These noodles are surprisingly easy and really flavourful. The sauce is made with a simple mix of ingredients with a kick of spice from some homemade chili garlic oil!
My go-to meals usually involve tofu with rice or noodles because of how simple it is to put together. This time around, I took some fresh Thai basil leaves from my garden and sautéed it with some tofu. I love the flavour profile of Thai basil compared to sweet basil, and how it has this slightly sweet but liquorice-like taste that goes so well with stir-fries in my opinion.
I cooked down the tofu and basil before adding in the sauce and the noodles. The sauce contained some of my favourite chili garlic sauce, which I love to make and store for months. It's really simple to make and is a good condiment to have for so many different uses!
You'll find the full recipe below!
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Stir- Fried Basil and Tofu Noodles
Good for 2 servings These noodles are surprisingly easy and really flavourful. The sauce is made with a similar mix of ingredients with a kick of spice from some homemade chili garlic oil. 1 250g block extra firm tofu
100g dry noodles of choice (I used wheat flour noodles, similar here) 2 tbsp oil, for cooking 2 garlic cloves, minced 1/2 cup packed thai or holy basil leaves Salt and pepper, to taste Bird’s eye chili, optional for serving
Sauce 2 tbsp soy sauce 2 tbsp coconut sugar or other sugar 3/4 cup room temp. water 2 tsp cornstarch 1-2 tsp chili garlic sauce with sediments or chili sauce of choice (homemade recipe follows) 1/2 tsp minced or grated ginger
Drain excess water from the tofu. I like to wrap my tofu in a towel and placing a flat heavy plate or surface on top for 10-15 minutes. You can also use a tofu press. Afterwards, slice the tofu into3/4-inch cubes.
Mix all sauce ingredients together until sugar is dissolved.
Cook or prepare noodles according to package instructions until chewy. If using rice stick/noodles, simply soak them in boiling hot water until pliable.
Heat a non-stick pan or skillet. Add in 2 tbsp oil. Once hot, add in the tofu cubes. Cook over medium high heat for 3-4 minutes on each side until lightly brown. Once the tofu are lightly crisp. Add in the garlic. Sauté for a few minutes. Add in the basil leaves. Cook with the tofu for a few minutes then add in the sauce mix.
Leave to simmer over medium heat until sauce slightly thickens from the cornstarch. Add in the noodles into the sauce and mix well. Leave to cook for a few minutes until the sauce absorbs some of the sauce.
Season with some salt and pepper to taste, if needed. Top with some fresh chili, if desired. Enjoy while hot!
Chili Garlic Sauce
Makes 1 cup
28 pieces (50g) bird’s eye chili
12 garlic cloves (30g), peeled
3/4 cup neutral oil such as canola, avocado, etc.
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp chinese five spice powder
1 dried star anise, optional
1 dried bay leaf, optional
1 tsp Szechuan peppercorns, optional
Chop off the top ends and stem of the chilies. Place the chilies and garlic cloves in a food processor. Process until finely minced.
Heat a saucepan. Add in 3/4 cup neutral oil. Season with salt, sugar, and five spice powder. Add in the rest of the herbs and spices, if using.
Leave to simmer over medium heat. Add in the minced garlic and chili. Cook over medium heat, stirring every few minutes until the chilies have turned in a much darker share of red, around 25 minutes.
Turn off heat and then leave to cool. Store in an air-tight container or jar in a cool, dark place until ready to use. Can be stored for up to 3 months.