Baked Tofu with Bean Thread NoodlesTofu is the blank slate that needs a cook’s creative nudge to turn it into a tasty meal. I made the “Spicy Tofu with Bean Thread Noodles,” from Drweil.com, and was rewarded with a perfect balance of sweet and hot; an addictive flavor that was easy to eat. Don’t let these noodles cool down -- you must eat them while they’re hot, for the best flavor. As for the spiciness, it was too much for my young child to tolerate, but an adult’s mouth should celebrate the kick of this dish. In fact, I used 1 tsp. of the chili garlic sauce from Huy Fong Foods, knowing that this would blow the dish away. I knew what I was doing!

As the tofu cubes baked, I enjoyed the great scent of the toasted sesame oil and fennel seeds. My chosen noodles were Ka-Me Bean Threads (Sai Fun), made of mung bean starch and water. I used two white onions, two beautiful organic mangoes, organic frozen corn, and vegetable-bouillon broth. Fresh cilantro and fresh mint are such pleasing herbs. The whole combined noodle dish was a celebration of flavor: sweet, spicy goodness. Treat yourself to this one.

RECIPE: a great grown-up party of textures and flavors
PREP TIME:
you’ll definitely eat in less than an hour
TASTE:
mung-bean noodles absorb the magic of mangoes, mint, tofu, corn, and sweet onions, while sparked by the heat of your chosen red chili paste

I hope to cook another great meal next time. I will try the “Buttermilk Roast Chicken,” from Nigella Lawson at Foodnetwork.com, combined with the “Rainbow Slaw,” from the July 2006 issue of Vegetarian Times. Come back to my site on Friday, December 19, to see the results of this one.