Sesame Noodles with Green Beans and Tofu
Since this version of the Cantonese favorite is great served cold, it’s an ideal dish for a picnic or to take to a potluck on a warm summer evening. The noodles will continue to soak up the dressing over time, so to serve any leftovers, toss the noodles with an additional 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) or so of warm green tea to re-moisten them. The vegetables used here are just a suggestion; feel free to substitute whatever vegetables you have on hand.
For the sauce:
- 1/3 cup (3 oz./90 g) creamy all-natural peanut butter
- 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) warm brewed green tea
- 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) soy sauce
- 2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbs. peeled and minced fresh ginger
- 2 tsp. finely chopped garlic
- 1 Tbs. firmly packed brown sugar
- 2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
- 2 tsp. Asian chili oil (optional)
For the noodles:
- 3/4 lb. (375 g) linguini or spaghetti
- 1/2 lb. (250 g) green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch (5-cm) pieces
- 6 oz. (185 g) baked tofu, cut into 1/4-inch (6-mm) strips
- 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
- 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
- 1 large carrot, thinly sliced
- 3 Tbs. toasted sesame seeds
To make the sauce, in a bowl, combine the peanut butter, green tea, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, garlic, brown sugar, sesame oil and chili oil. Whisk until smooth and set aside.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the package instructions. During the last 2 minutes of cooking, add the green beans. Drain the pasta and beans and rinse thoroughly with cold water to cool. Drain well.
In a large serving bowl, combine the pasta, green beans, tofu, bell pepper, celery, carrot and sesame seeds. Pour the sauce over the noodles, toss to coat the ingredients well and serve. Serves 4 to 6.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Weeknight Vegetarian, by Ivy Manning (Weldon Owen, 2013)