I love the combination of green tea and orange, however if you can’t find green tea noodles, soba (buckwheat noodles) or udon work well too. This dish is light, yet warming, which makes it good for all weather and seasons :).
Classically, a very high heat is used for stir fry, causing the oil to smoke, but when cooking at home, I tend to be a bit more conservative with such high heat, as vegetable oils are generally very heat sensitive, which means they oxidize easily under high heat and release carcinogenic free radicals, which you then consume. To me, the whole benefit of cooking at home is that you have control over your meals and can reduce the amount of toxins in your life!
Sprouted tofu is easier to digest than regular tofu and is argued to neutralize the effect soy has on estrogen levels when consumed. It tastes the same as regular tofu, so if you can find it, you might as well get it!
1 block sprouted firm tofu, cut into 1″ cubes and pressed between two towel-lined plates
1 tablespoon coconut or canola oil
2″ piece ginger, minced
1/2 medium yellow onion, sliced 1/4″ strips
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium carrots, cut on a bias 1/4″ thick
1 tablespoon mirin (I like Mitoku brand)
1 red bell pepper, sliced 1/4″ thick
3.5 oz shiitake mushrooms, sliced 1/4″ thick
1 head bok choy (not baby), stems cut into 1/2″ pieces and leaves cut into large chunks
black pepper, to taste
7 oz green tea or soba noodles
black and white sesame seeds, toasted
For the Marinade:
1 tablespoon mirin
2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
1/4 cup shoyu or other high quality soy sauce or tamari (again, I like Mitoku)
juice of 1/2 an orange (feel free to add a little zest in as well-unfortunately, mine had already been zested for something else!)
1 tablespoon unrefined (not toasted) sesame oil or canola oil
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
pinch red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon ginger powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
What to do:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Assemble marinade ingredients directly into a glass baking dish and whisk with a fork. Add tofu chunks and toss to coat. Place in oven.
In a medium pot, bring salted water to a boil for the noodles.
While the water comes to a boil, heat oil over medium-high heat in a large pot or cast-iron skillet. Add ginger, onion, garlic and carrot. Cook for a few minutes, tossing frequently. Add mirin, mushrooms and bell pepper. Cook another couple of minutes, until lightly browned and slightly wilted.
Flip tofu chunks and return to the oven. Add bok choy stems to the vegetable pot and cook for about a minute. Place noodles into boiling water and cook for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
While noodles cook, add bok choy leaves, toss and turn off the flame. Remove tofu from oven and pour marinade into vegetables. Toss vegetables.
Strain the noodles once tender and serve into individual bowls. (Coat any remaining noodles with a touch of oil to keep from them sticking to themselves.) Top with vegetables and a few pieces of tofu (make sure you get some of that sauce, too!). Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and serve.