Jul 11, 2020

dan dan noodles


Time: 30 minutes
Dishes: medium pot with lid, large skillet, measuring cup

Hello, hello Dear Readers!

Full disclosure: bump this meatless, vegetarian, and vegan recipe to a "moderate" if you add the stir-fry vegetables (from frozen is perfectly fine). I made this as a copy-cat recipe from PF Chang's, who make this without the vegetables, but I find adding them makes this dish even better; besides - vegetables are always great by me.

The sauce is sweet and just a bit spicy (unless you cannot have spice - as always, make the dish to suite your taste). This is best with tofu, but use seitan or Gardein with equal success. Mince the protein pretty well (check out the picture) because texture influences flavor.

Use a lid to heat the water for the pasta to get this meal on the table quickly - even with the added work of the vegetables, 30 minutes is all the time you'll be spending in the kitchen - unless you eat there, as well. 


Speedy Cooking Tips:

  • Put the water on for the pasta before grabbing the ingredients.
  • Use a lid while heating the water.
  • Grab the vegetables and thaw in water (unless already thawed). 
  • Squeeze the excess water from the vegetables before cooking.
  • Chop the green onions while the protein cooks and the water heats.
  • Prepare the sauce while the pasta cooks (unless you had time already).
  • Chop the protein while the green onions cook.

Dan Dan Noodles

Makes 4 servings 


1. Pasta: Cook the pasta in a medium pot of salted boiling water, until   al dente. Drain and use the pot for the Sauce:

12 ounces thin spaghetti

2. Protein: Cook in a large skillet over medium-high heat, with a lid:

1 teaspoon olive oil

16 ounces tofu, sliced or 4 Gardein scallopini

3. Remove from the skillet and set aside to cool. Once cool, mince.

4. Cooking Sauce: mix all the ingredients in a large measuring cup until sugar dissolves. Set aside. 

1 1/3 cups vegetable broth

1/3 cup tamari

1/3 cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons garlic-chili sauce

2 tablespoons cornstarch

5. Dan Dan Sauce: using the medium pot from the pasta, heat over medium-heat and add: 

1 teaspoon olive oil

2 tablespoons minced garlic

5 green onions, minced

6. When golden (do not burn), add the Cooking Sauce (stir the sauce first) and the minced Protein. Cook until thickened, about 3 minutes.

7. Stir Fry Vegetables (optional): Heat the large skillet from the Protein step over medium-high heat and cook until tender:

1 teaspoon olive oil

3 cups stir-fry vegetables (if frozen, thaw first)

8. Serve: Add cooked Pasta to a bowl, top with Stir Fry Vegetables (if using) and Dan Dan Sauce

© 2020 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.

Jul 4, 2020

huli huli tofu


Time: 30 minutes
Dishes: cake pan (or shallow pan), grill pan, measuring cup

Hello, hello Dear Readers!

Today's meatless, vegetarian and vegan dish is from Hawaii and is technically a grilling dish. The term "huli" means to turn, as the ingredients are placed between two racks and turned to grill both sides. According to lore, this was the idea of a Honolulu businessman, and since the teriyaki-style sauce became popular, he tradmarked the recipe and sold it. 

I used a grill pan on the stove, but you can grill outdoors, if you want. Press the tofu for a few minutes, to get most of the liquid out, and then marinate it overnight (if you want) or as little as ten minutes (which is what I did). I supplemented with green beans, which is actually quite nice, so go for it. Substitute zucchini or Gardein scallopini. Grilling is another 10 minutes or so and the dish is ready.

Cook some rice and serve with a green salad and a simple dressing. Have mangoes on the side, to boost authenticity. 

Enjoy and Happy Fourth!

Speedy Cooking Tips:

  • Press the tofu right away.
  • Prepare rice (if using).
  • Get all the ingredients out and the grill pan.
  • Prepare the marinade while the tofu presses.
  • Marinate the tofu before cleaning the green beans.
  • Preheat the grill pan for 5 minutes.

Huli Huli 

Makes 4 servings 


Serve with: Rice, Green Salad and mangoes

1. Tofu: Press the tofu for 5 minutes using a press or wrap in a lint-free kitchen towel (which has the same effect). Then slice the tofu into 10 slices the long way.

1 package firm or extra-firm tofu

2. Marinade: Combine the ingredients in a shallow cake pan (or another shallow dish). Mix well.

1/2 cup ketchup

6 tablespoons tamari

6 tablespoons brown sugar

1/4 cup rice or apple cider vinegar

1-inch ginger, grated

1 teaspoon minced garlic

3. Green Beans: Add to the Marinade the Tofu and trimmed green beans. Set aside overnight or 10 minutes:

2 large handfuls green beans

4. Grill: Prepare outdoor grill or preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Brush the pan with oil or use oil spray. Grill the Tofu 4 minutes per side, rotating the tofu 45-degrees halfway through. This leaves pretty grill marks and prevents tofu from burning. Grill the Green Beans until tender. Brush the tofu and green beans with the Marinade as they grill. 

5. Serve: Serve the Huli Huli with rice, green salad with an Italian dressing, and mangoes. 

© 2020 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.