With my shelf of cookbooks and cooking magazines and my detailed pantry staples cupboard, I suspected I might be a food nerd. My suspicions were confirmed after reviewing my Christmas list and noticing that 3/4 of it included kitchen-related items. What can I say? I like sharp chef knives and sturdy cast-iron.
I’m also a big fan of the Thug Kitchen Cookbook that Cameron gifted me this year. If you’re not familiar with the creators’ original food blog, you’re missing out on the best foul-mouthed, irreverent voices in home cooking. GOOP this is not. Before you visit the site, prepare yourself for ample F-bombs and a no-excuses healthy cooking mindset.
Recently, the creators of the blog published a print version of their favorite recipes, and Cameron, knowing my appreciation for the outliers in the food blog industry, snapped up a copy. It’s the kind of cookbook that I’ve been reading for fun because the writers’ voices are unique and funny. They’re not promoting a gauzy, pie-in-sky lifestyle that most of us could only attain through crippling credit card debt. Their agenda? Teach folks how to cook healthy, plant-based meals that don’t skimp on flavor. Based on the recipe I tried for today’s post, mission accomplished.
So far, we’ve bookmarked numerous recipes, and today’s recipe, Cold Citrus Noodles with Cucumbers and Carrots, served as a good entry point into the cookbook since we’re familiar with entrees that emphasize fresh ginger. You can use other kinds of noodles, but I highly recommend soba noodles for their slightly bitter tang. Also, you can make these noodles without the ginger sesame tofu, but then you’d miss out on a kicking protein source that also happens to taste delicious. I’ll post that recipe for you later this week.
Cold Citrus Noodles with Cucumbers and Carrots
(adapted from a Thug Kitchen Cookbook recipe)
Serves 4 as a light lunch or as a side
Citrus Sesame Sauce
– 1/4 cup rice vinegar
– 2 TBS water
– 2 TBS orange juice
– 2 TBS toasted sesame oil
– 1 1/2 TBS minced fresh ginger
– 2 TBS low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
– 1 TBS lemon juice
Noodles and Veggies
– 8 oz soba noodles
– 1/2 large cucumber, peeled and cut into matchsticks
– 1 large carrot, cut into matchsticks (If it’s not organic, then be sure to peel.)
– 2/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
– 1 1/2 TBS toasted sesame oil
– Sambal Oelek Chilli Paste (a chili sauce that adds heat and depth to the light and refreshing flavors of the sauce)
– Ginger-Sesame Baked Tofu
1. Mix all the ingredients for the citrus sesame sauce together in a small bowl. Set aside.
2. Cook the noodles according to the package directions, making sure that noodles are al dente and that you rinse them in cold water to stop the cooking process. Otherwise, you’ll end up with mushy noodles when you add the sauce.
3. While the noodles are cooking, cut up the veggies and green onions. Let the cucumber matchsticks sit on a paper towel for 10 minutes and then pat dry. Cucumbers tend to release water after they’ve been cut, and patting off excess water reduces the chance of mushing up the noodles when you’ve mixed everything together.
4. Add the drained noodles, carrots, cucumbers, and sesame sauce to a large bowl, and toss to combine. Fold in the green onions and sesame seeds. Top with chunks of Ginger-Sesame Baked Tofu and sprinkle lightly with additional sesame seeds. Serve cold or at room temperature.