View Full Version : Caramelized Tofu and Brussel Sprouts with Rice Noodles.

Neil Yamamoto
3rd April 2008, 23:15
Had a request for a vegetarian – vegan meal idea. Here’s one of the current favorites I discovered on 101 recipes and modified slightly.

Caramelized Tofu and Brussel Sprouts (vegetables) with Chow fun (Sha He Fen) noodles.

Note: Chow Fun, Chao Fen, Sha He Fen, are all the same thing, wide cut rice noodles.

1 Lb. Fried or baked tofu, cubed or sliced in to 1-2” pieces
1 Lb. Brussel sprouts – or substitute any vegetables you like
1-1/2 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup Real maple syrup – OR – 3 rounded tablespoons of brown sugar dissolved in 2 tablespoons of hot water. Don’t use imitation maple syrup.
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1 shot of rum or brandy
Ground Chile peppers or Siriacha Hot sauce to taste – optional

1 Lb. Sha he Fen Noodles - Chow fun Noodles
1-1/2 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 to 2/3 cup vegetable broth
1/8 teaspoon of salt
Pinch of pepper

Slice the Brussel sprouts into bite size pieces, half or quarters, depending on the size of the sprout. If using other vegetables, again, chop into bite size pieces. Keeping the pieces roughly the same size ensures even cooking. Set aside.

In a skillet, heat the oil on high, reduce heat to about medium and add the tofu. Add the maple syrup - brown sugar. Stir well to coat the tofu. If you are going to add Chile peppers or hot sauce, add it now. Keep stirring the tofu about every 30 seconds. The tofu will develop a deep golden brown surface color. Try to get at least two side of the tofu to caramelize. Watch carefully as the sugar or syrup can burn quickly. Remove tofu from the pan and set aside.

Turn the heat up to Medium High. Using the same pan, add a tablespoon of water and the rum / brandy, stir well. This will deglaze the pan, help prevent any burning of the remaining sugars in the pan and the liquid will coat the vegetables and improve flavor. Add the Brussel sprouts-vegetables. As the vegetables start to develop a bit of caramelization and deepen in color, add about 1 ounce of water and cover to finish cooking the veggies. Add the tofu to the vegetables and set aside.

To cook the Chow fun noodles:
Cut the noodles into ” strips. They may be sold precut, if so just break them apart. Heat the oil in a large pan, and add the noodles and about half the broth. Stir gently to break apart the noodles. Season with salt and pepper. When the noodles have separated, add the remaining broth and continue to stir until most of the broth has been absorbed by the noodles. Top the noodles with the tofu and vegetables and serve.

Note: You can cook both the vegetables and noodles in different pans at the same time if you can split your attention while cooking.

Total prep time, about 15 minutes

Total cooking time:
Tofu – about 5-7 minutes
Vegetable – about 5 minutes
Noodles – about 5 minutes.

John Connolly
7th April 2008, 18:53
My old lady makes a great Brussels sprouts side. It is Brussels with onions (or leeks) and walnuts, in a balsamic reduction. Very tasty, and provides all kinds of great nutritional value w/ the combo of Brussels and walnuts (high in protein and a great source of Omega-3 fatty acid).

Jeremy Hulley
7th April 2008, 19:57

John Connolly
7th April 2008, 21:17
Give a couple of handfuls of walnuts a rough chop, and set aside.

Wash and chop up one leek or one medium onion (we like Walla Walla or Vidalia sweet onions) or a combo of leek and onion. Sautee over medium-low heat in olive oil, until reduced and caramelized (at least partially). Turn up heat and add several generous splashes of high quality balsamic vinegar (do not substitute other vinegar, because you will need the sweetness of the balsamic) to de-glaze the pan, reduce heat and let simmer down w/ leeks/onions.

At the same time or before the onion process, trim and boil Brussels (You should add the Brussels to boiling water, do not add to cold water and bring to boil) until just bright green (I dunno 1 &1/2 lbs?). Cool to stop Brussels cooking in cold water (or ice bath) if you are not far enough along on the leek/onion/balsamic process. Either way, add the drained Brussels (cold or hot) directly to the onion/leek/balsamic, and throw in walnuts. Toss everything over medium/low to low heat. Add sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Enjoy.

The use of an ice bath or cold water rinse is very important if you are far along on the Brussels before the other stuff is ready. If you just drain 'em without cooling, they will continue to cook in their own ambient heat, and will be gray and mushy at the end of the cooking process.

Herbal ingredients that go well in this dish and are optional are rosemary or sage. Please use fresh, and chop and add right before the balsamic is added to the pan

Jeremy Hulley
7th April 2008, 21:19