I buy mint, cilantro, and basil every week at the farmer's market and use them in summer salads, in any asian style soup, in tuna salad, chicken salad, in larb, in sorbet (no, really), and in a multitude of other dishes. Like I said, I adore the combination -- it is heady with fragrance, complexly nuanced, and fresh beyond belief.
Last night, D and M were coming home late from the airport, and I promised to have something yummy on the table when they got in. Because it was the end of the week, and the larder was on the empty side, I did not have much to work with. However, I did have the magical mix of herbs, a slab of marinated tofu, and a bag of chili flavored noodles.
Necessity being the mother of invention as it is, and those being the ingredients that I had on hand, this dish was created. It turned out to be a distant cousin to one of my favorite dishes, larb. D, M, and I all enjoyed it -- give it a try, it is another one of those fast, simple, healthy meals that you can get on the table in just about 30 minutes (and holds really well, you can serve it warm or at room temperature, or even cold).
Tofu Noodle Wraps
--3 or 4 purple cabbage leaves per person, separated from the head and cleaned
-- 1 lb pasta (either soba noodles, udon noodles, or thin spaghetti noodles -- mine happened to be chili flavored spaghetti)
--1/2 cup total of liquid (your choice on the ratio, but I include: sesame oil, soy sauce, a bit of fish sauce, lucky boy soy paste, rice wine vinegar, and rooster sauce)
--2 cloves garlic, diced
--1 inch fresh ginger, dished
-- 1 8 oz package of baked tofu, sliced into matchsticks
--4 green onions, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
--1 cup sliced mushrooms
--1 cup diced herbs (basil, mint, and cilantro)
1) put a large pot of water on to boil, and, when boiling, add your pasta. Cook until al dente and then drain.
2) meanwhile, heat the liquid mixture in a large wok until bubbling. Add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, for about a minute.
3) add the tofu, onions, and mushroom, and cook, stirring regularly until mushrooms are done and tofu is heated through -- about 10 minutes. Then turn the heat off.
4) add the herbs and the drained noodles to the tofu mixture and stir until everything is incorporated and the noodles are slicked with sauce. Taste and adjust seasoning (at this point I added more rooster sauce)
Pile the noodle mixture onto a large plate, next to the plate of cabbage leaves. Let each person fill their own leaf to make their own wrap(s).
In other (culinary) news, check out some of the first tomatoes from my tomato plants!
And, look at the delicious cupcakes I made for a 4th of July party -- they are the cupcake version of this cake. They were phenomenal, if I do say so myself, and were devoured in minutes after I brought them out. :)