Recipe: Tamarind Tofu Noodles
Last week it was lemon ice cream – today it’s tamarind noodles, and Friday a post about a lemon shallot shrimp salad. Maybe it’s a salt hangover from Charcutepalooza. (Have you seen the contest winning post? It’s really something special.) All I know is that I’m all about sour flavors right now.
I love tanginess almost as much as I love the heat of chilies – which probably explains my strong attraction to South Asian food. Sour and hot? Hand it over, now.
It’s a good thing that citrus season peaks in January. My palate is ready for that wake-up call. Something to cut through all the cream, sugar, and duck fat I’ve consumed in December. I’m not making any excuses; lemons and limes aren’t local. And tamarind isn’t even in season right now. But, right now, these are the flavors keeping me in motion.
I’m not the only one. I made lemon cheesecake bars for New Year’s brunch, and K.M., who really has hardly any sweet tooth, and never minds skipping dessert, keeps asking me to make more. He’s never, ever, before requested a repeat of a dessert recipe that didn’t feature chocolate.
Clearly it’s a sign; time to celebrate the taste of tart.
And that’s exactly what these noodles are. I came up with the recipe looking for use for leftover pasta – somehow, I always, always cook more pasta than I need – and thinking of pad Thai. Luckily, I also had some bok choy, chilies, an egg and two limes on hand. And there is always tamarind paste in the pantry, perhaps because I don’t think of it as often as I should.
You can make these noodles as spicy as you like – add more red pepper flakes or some extra hot sauce to the tofu marinade. But don’t overpower the sour notes. That’s the whole point.