Shirataki Noodle Salad with Tofu and Peanuts
- Prep Time 15 minutes
- Cook Time 15 minutes
- Estimated Cost $13
- 14 Comments
I need to tell you about yesterday because it was completely amazing.
It all started about a month ago, when the Young & Hungry writing team was just getting started. Dave Holden, the head writer and creator of the series, wanted his writers to experience my San Francisco food world firsthand, so he asked me to organize a day of eating, drinking and fun for them, in order to help inspire their telling of fictional Gabi's world.
I reached out to some of my favorite Mission District food businesses, and put together what turned out to be the most fun day ever.
I brought along my food blogging buddies, Irvin Lin (of Eat the Love), Sean Timberlake (of Punk Domestics), and Sabrina Modelle (of The Tomato Tart), so the writing team could learn learn a bit about the food blogging scene (and also because I like eating and drinking with them so much), and we set off on our foodventure.
We toured the Dandelion Chocolate shop/factory, and tasted pure chocolate straight out of the mixer.
And then, when the writers' plane was delayed 2 hours, we headed to Elixir, my go-to watering hole, for more drinks.
By the time we said our final goodbyes, I was feeling drunk, happy, and incredibly full.
So, the plan today is to keep things light, food-wise.
Enter shirataki noodles.
These miraculous (and, admittedly, kind of weird) noodles are made from soy and sweet potato. They come in 7-ounce bags, packed in a strangely fishy-smelling liquid, but don't be put off by this. Draining and rinsing them well, along with a quick boil will make them pleasantly chewy and pretty damn similar-tasting to wheat or rice noodles.
Even better, a serving has a mere 25 calories, 5 grams of carbohydrates, 2.5 grams of fiber, no gluten, and zero fat. If you're going to be eating noodles, I highly suggest swapping these in every now and again. They're satisfying, tasty, and spare you the "oh-my-god-I-just-ate-enough-food-for-3-people" feeling that so often follows a pasta meal.
My favorite kind is the Spinach Fettucine variety from Wildwood, but plain or any other flavor will work just fine.
Here, I toss the noodles with crunchy cabbage, shredded carrots and simple, uncooked tofu. Feel free to use shredded chicken, poached prawns or even grilled beef as your protein component.
- 2 7-ounce packages of shirataki noodles (typically found near the tofu--I'm particularly fond of the "Spinach Fettucine" variety from Wildwood's Pasta Slim $3
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil Pantry
- 2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar $2.50
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce or tamari Pantry
- a few drops of sesame oil Optional
- Asian chili paste to taste Optional
- 1 clove garlic, minced Pantry
- 1 teaspoon sugar or honey Pantry
- 1 cup thinly sliced red cabbage (about 1/2 small head) $1.50 for a whole head
- 2 carrots, grated or cut into matchsticks $0.50
- 6 ounces medium-soft tofu, cut into small cubes $1.50 for 12 oz.
- 2 scallions, sliced $1 for a bunch
- 1 small handful fresh mint leaves $1 for a bunch
- 1 small handful fresh cilantro leaves $1 for a bunch
- 1/4 cup shelled, roasted peanuts (buy in the bulk section), crushed $1.50
Recipe Serves 4
- Take the noodles out of their packages and drain the liquid they come packed in.
- Put the noodles in a strainer and place them under a cool running faucet for 30-45 seconds, to remove as much of their "fishy" smell as possible.
- Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil and add the noodles.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
- Drain and rinse noodles in cool water, then set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, soy sauce, sesame oil, if using, chili paste, if using, garlic, and sugar or honey. Set aside.
- Place the shredded cabbage and carrots in a large bowl, and toss with half of the dressing.
- Layer the dressed veggies on a serving platter or in a serving bowl.
- In the same bowl you tossed the veggies with dressing, toss the cooked, rinsed noodles in the remaining dressing.
- Layer the dressed noodles atop the dressed cabbage and carrots.
- Top the noodles with the cubed tofu, scallions, mint, cilantro and crushed peanuts.
- Serve immediately.