Friday, June 26, 2015

Sen Yai Noodles with Crispy Tofu, Purple Broccoli and Thai Fish Sauce

     Colorful Noodle House Food!
     Thai Sen Yai noodles are the same thing as Chinese Kwai Tiu noodles.  In plain English, these noodles would be called Rice Flour Fettuccine or Flat Rice Noodles.
     When cooking Sen Yai, it is easy to tear or damage the noodles when tossing them with the stir fry vegetables and sauce.  Rice flour lacks gluten strands that strengthen the noodle dough, so a gentle touch is required when finished a recipe that calls for Sen Yai.  

     Purple broccoli is a nice hybrid.  The purple broccoli adds a lively color to today's recipe.  Red bell pepper and the yellow crispy tofu creates an interesting classic color contrast.
     The bright yellow color of the fried tofu comes from turmeric and egg yolk.  The crispy texture of the egg coating comes from the cornstarch in the egg batter.
     This is not a traditional Thai recipe and it is not a Chinese recipe.  Today's recipe is the result of a nice combination of Asian flavors and Asian cooking techniques.  Many modern Asian chefs combine ingredients and cooking techniques from different regions of Asia to create nice new appealing entrées.  This free form style is part of what modern Noodle House Cuisine is about.

     *This entire recipe yields 1 entrée!
     Crispy Tofu:
     Only a small amount of batter is needed to create a thin crispy coating.  
     Step 1:  Cut 4 thick square shapes out of a block of firm tofu.  The tofu squares should be about 3/8" thick and 2 1/2" square.
     Place 2 egg yolks in a mixing bowl.
     Add 1 large egg.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric.
     Add sea salt and white pepper.
     Add 1 small pinch of Chinese five spice powder.
     Add enough corn starch while whisking, to create a medium consistency batter.  (About 3 to 4 tablespoons.)
     Step 2:  Heat a non-stick sauté pan over medium heat.
     Add enough vegetable frying oil, so the oil is 1/4" deep.
     Dredge the tofu squares in corn starch.
     Place the tofu squares in the batter one at a time.
     Knock off any excess batter.
     Place the battered tofu square in the hot oil.
     Pan fry both sides of each tofu slice, till the batter is crisp.
     Step 3:  Remove the tofu pieces from the oil after they are crispy.
     Place the crispy tofu slices on a wire screen roasting rack over a drip pan.
     Keep the crispy tofu warm on a stove top.
     Sen Yai Noodles:
     Cook 1 large portion of Sen Yai (Rice Flour Fettuccine) in a pot of boiling water over high heat till they are tender.
     Drain the hot water off of the noodles.
     Place the noodles in a container of ice cold water.
     Leave the noodles in the ice water.
     Set the noodles and ice water aside.
     Crispy Tofu, Sen Yai Noodles, Purple Broccoli and Thai Fish Sauce:
     Step 1:  Heat a sauté pan or mini wok over medium/medium high heat.
     Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.
     Step 2:  Add 1 clove of minced garlic.
     Add 1 teaspoon of minced ginger.
     Add 2 tablespoons of chopped onion.
     Add 1/2 cup of chopped napa cabbage.
     Add 1 cup of trimmed small purple cauliflower florets.
     Add 1/4 cup of coarsely chopped red bell pepper.
     Add 1/2 of a thin sliced jalapeño pepper.
     Add 1 green onion that is cut into bite size pieces.
     Step 3:  Sauté and stir fry the vegetables, till they are halfway cooked.
     Step 4:  Add 1/3 cup of mung bean sprouts.
     Stir fry for a few seconds.
     Step 5:  Add 1 cup of chicken broth.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of Korean style coarse red serrano chile sauce.  (sambal)
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of sesame oil.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of Thai fish sauce.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of lime juice.
     Add 10 to 12 fresh cilantro leaves.
     Add 1 pinch of sea salt and white pepper.
     Step 6:  Drain the cold water off of the ribbon noodles.
     Add the ribbon noodles, to the vegetables and sauce in the pan.
     Step 7:  Bring the liquid to a gentle boil.
     Reduce the temperature to medium/medium low heat.
     Gently toss the ingredients in the pan together occasionally while rapidly simmering, till the excess liquid evaporates.
     Step 8:  Take the pan off of the heat.
     Mound the ribbon noodles and vegetables on a plate.
     Arrange the crispy tofu slices on top of the noodles and vegetables.
     Garnish the tofu slices with a piece of the green onion and a piece of red bell pepper from the stir fry vegetables.
     This is a very healthy noodle entrée!  The umami flavor is mildly spicy  This is a pretty plate of food to look at too. 

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