As I told you earlier, this weekend Rob and I completed the pool portion of our PADI scuba certification. Amidst Toronto’s cold, donning bathing suits in an 86F pool (and all the scuba gear) was a pleasant adventure, as we each described our plans for wanting to learn how to scuba dive. Some of the participants were going to head to Grenada for an ecological mission, others to Indonesia and Thailand but the majority, like us, were preparing for Caribbean destinations in a few short weeks.
The interesting thing about PADI certification, is that while yes, you learn how to scuba dive, the majority of the training is how to work your way through different challenges and how not to inflict harm on yourself. Lung overexpansion injuries, decompression syndrome, and contaminated air, it was actually kind of neat and definitely not anything we learned in medical school. If anything, Rob and I will probably be very happy spending more time in shallow waters than using more air in deeper depths. But we’ll see what it is like when we get there.
If you are at all interested in water ecology and environments, I highly recommend this excellent article all about jellyfish. Fascinating look at how they are taking over the waters.
However, I am willing to bet you are here for some good food. This is a basically a noodle topped with stir-fried veggies (broccoli, mushrooms, and even some edamame) and fried tofu then doused in a miso-ginger sauce. I used kelp noodles here but soba would work equally well. I also think this would work great with a quinoa or brown rice base, too, but it is nice to mix things up. Enjoy!
How are you keeping warm during this blast of cold? My thoughts are still with those digging out in Atlantic Canada (see the impressive photos here).
This is my submission to this month’s Pasta Please.
Broccoli, Shiitake Mushrooms and Kelp Noodles in a Miso-Ginger Sauce
Adapted from Radiance 4 Life
14 oz. extra-firm tofu
2 tbsp Braggs or tamari
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
8 oz noodles, or your favourite noodle (I used kelp but soba would work well)
2 tbsp tamari
1 tbsp grated ginger
1 tbsp miso (red or dark)
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp lime juice (half a lime)
4 large cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1/4 tsp Aleppo chili flakes (or more to taste)
1 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms (stems discarded)
2 cups chopped brocoli florets and peeled, thinly sliced stems (1 head)
1 cup shelled edamame
5 scallions, trimmed and cut into 1-cm pieces
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup sesame seeds, toasted
1. Begin by pressing your tofu. Slice tofu into 8 pieces and lay flat on a cutting board in a single layer. Cover with paper towel and put another cutting board overtop. Place heavy things like books or cans overtop. Allow to press for around 30 minutes if possible.
2. Meanwhile, prepare your noodles. For kelp noodles, that means you rinse them in cold water. For the others, you need to boil them: Once they’re al dente, drain and set aside.
3. While the noodles are cooking, combine the tamari, ginger, miso, toasted sesame oil, lime juice, garlic and chili flakes in a small bowl, removing any lumps from the miso. Set aside.
4. After drying your pressed tofu, cut into smaller 1-cm cubes. In a large skillet or wok over high heat, heat the 2 teaspoons of sesame oil and add the Braggs/tamari. Add the tofu and toss gently to coat. Stir-fry for about 10 minutes, turning often, until the tofu is golden-browned on all sides. Remove to a plate.
5. In the same skillet, stir-fry the shiitake mushrooms (adding just a little water if needed) for 1-2 minutes. Add the broccoli and continue to stir-fry for another 3-5 minutes, until the mushrooms are soft and the broccoli cooked (but not mushy). Add the edamame and scallions and cook 1-2 more minutes.
6. Place the noodles in a large bowl and toss with the sauce. Add the stir-fried vegetables and cilantro, stirring to combine. Top with tofu and toasted sesame seeds. This is good warm, at room temperature and cold.