Celebrate Chinese New Year (or any other time of year) with a Chinese inspired stir fry with tofu and noodles and a plate of steaming hot, sweet and spicy greens. This looks like a lot of work, but it so simple. it’s all about preparation and timing as you need to cook both dishes simultaneously. Ideally you’ll need two large woks but this will work almost as well using large frying pans.
Using a combination of broccoli and choy sum gives the greens some crunch alongside the silky smoothness of the choy sum leaves
For the Udon
1 pack of firm tofu
A generous handful of raw cashew nuts
5-6 mushrooms – sliced
1 red chili – finely sliced
3 spring onions – sliced on an angle
1 handful of beansprouts
150-200g Udon noodles – or any other noodle you prefer
2 tablespoons Black Bean sauce
3 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon Ketjap Manis – or dark soy and a pinch of brown sugar
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar – or lime juice
A few drops of toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons groundnut oil or sunflower oil for stir frying
Drain the tofu, wrap in a clean tea towel then place a small weight (like a chopping board) on top. This will gently squeeze out most of the water without breaking the tofu. This helps the tofu to absorb more flavour during cooking. Leave for around 15 minutes. You’ll be amazed how much water does come out. Cut the tofu into bite sized cubes
I tend to use ready cooked noodles. if not, cook as per the instructions on the pack then leave in cold water until ready to prevent them from overcooking or sticking together.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a wok or large frying pan. When smoking, add the tofu and stir fry on a high heat for 6-8 minutes until browned. Remove from the pan.
Make a sauce by mixing together the black bean sauce, soy, ketjap manis, vinegar and sesame oil in a small bowl or mug.
Put the wok or pan back over a high heat and add a little more oil. When smoking add the cashews, chili, spring onions and mushrooms. Stir fry for around 45 seconds then add the sauce. Watch out at this point as the sauce vapourises and can catch the back of your throat when breathed in.
Stir fry for a further 30 seconds then add the beansprouts and cooked noodles (be sure to drain the water off if you left them in cold water). Continue to stir fry until everything is steaming hot – about 1 minute at most. Then serve with the greens below.
For the greens
1 pack of Choy Sum (about 4-5 bunches) – or you can use Pak Choi
1 small head of broccoli – cut into bite sized chunks
2 spring onions – sliced
1 thumbnail sized piece of fresh ginger – finely chopped
1 clove garlic – finely chopped
1 red chili – finely sliced
3 tablespoons vegetarian oyster sauce
1 tablespoon groundnut or sunflower oil
Wash the Choy Sum well then chop into large chunks – I tend to slice 2-3 times across the plant. Stalks can be used too. If using Pak Choi, cut lengthwise into quarters.
Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan. When starting to smoke, add all the ingredients except the vegetarian oyster sauce. Stir fry for 30 seconds or so until the leaves start to wilt. Now add the vegetarian oyster sauce and stir fry until everything is well coated and hot.
Serve with the noodles and tofu from above.