Let’s celebrate the Year of the Tiger! It’s Lunar New Year, celebrated in China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Vietnam, and Southeast Asia, as well as everywhere people who trace their origins to those places have landed. After two years of pandemic, worries, I think it’s fair to try a few lucky foods from Asian traditions. We can use all the Lunar New Year luck we can get!
I’m lucky to live in Minneapolis, where we have a vibrant Asian community and well-stocked markets and groceries that serve that community. That’s where I picked up my “Long Life Noodles,” which are longer than a standard noodle, to confer long life to the diner. I also picked up Vegetarian Oyster Sauce, Soy Sauce and some more fun Lunar New Year foods.
In these noodles, I also added some thinly sliced carrot rounds, to symbolize gold coins. Ginger, garlic and sesame oil are classic Chinese seasonings for this dish, and coat the noodles with umami-savory flavors. I opted to make a meal of it by adding some fried tofu cubes, but you can just serve the noodles on their own, if you want it as a side for a Chinese meal.
Long-Life Lunar Noodles with Tofu
- 1 tablespoon vegetarian oyster sauce
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon organic sugar
- 1 pound extra firm tofu small cubes
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons avocado oil divided
- 1/2 ounce dried shiitake mushrooms rehydrated and sliced
- 2 thin carrots thinly sliced
- 4 scallions whites julienned, greens diagonally sliced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger minced
- 9 ounces long life noodles or other thin wheat noodles
- Put on a pot of water for the noodles. Prepare a wide bowl lined with triple layers of paper towels for the tofu. In a cup, stir the oyster sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil and sugar.Heat a wok over high heat and drizzle in 2 tbs of the oil. When hot, add the tofu and start stirring. Cook until golden brown, then transfer to the paper lined bowl. Set aside.
- Cook the noodles-the thin noodles took only 2 minutes. Wipe out the wok and put back on the heat. Drizzle in the last tablespoon of oil. Add the carrots and white parts of the scallions, and stir. When softened, add the garlic and ginger and stir.
- Add the noodles, shiitake mushrooms and the oyster sauce mixture, stirring and tossing to coat. When heated through, add the tofu and the green parts of the scallions. Serve immediately.