Crispy Tofu and Cabbage Noodle Bowls

Crispy Tofu and Cabbage Noodle Bowls - Eat Cho Food
Crispy Tofu and Cabbage Noodle Bowls - Eat Cho Food
Crispy Tofu and Cabbage Noodle Bowls - Eat Cho Food
Crispy Tofu and Cabbage Noodle Bowls - Eat Cho Food
Crispy Tofu and Cabbage Noodle Bowls - Eat Cho Food
Crispy Tofu and Cabbage Noodle Bowls - Eat Cho Food
Crispy Tofu and Cabbage Noodle Bowls - Eat Cho Food
Crispy Tofu and Cabbage Noodle Bowls - Eat Cho Food
Crispy Tofu and Cabbage Noodle Bowls - Eat Cho Food
Crispy Tofu and Cabbage Noodle Bowls - Eat Cho Food

I don't think I encountered a single vegetable this past weekend. Okay, there were some magical ramps on a pizza Reuben made on Sunday and I may have made a basic salad to accompany the pizza so we wouldn't die. Do mixed greens out of bag even count as a vegetable though? We had a very indulgent weekend of dumplings, pizza, mochi cake, beer, and park snacks. Every once in a awhile Reuben and I will break out of our homebody comfy clothes and actually go outside to a park to socialIzen’s with other people. There were even strangers there! GASP. Despite our tendency to grumble like we are 80 years old on the drive over to the park full of young people on blankets, we had a wonderful sunny time catching up with old friends and coworkers that I see everyday! 

Oh! Oh! I also want to tell you that I'm hosting my very first dumpling workshop! It's going to be a blast! If you also live in the Bay Area or really love dumplings and are willing to travel for them, you can grab yourself a seat at my workshop under the shop tab of this website! It's going to be sort of intimate since it will be my first time teaching, so hurry up and get a spot while they last! I was practicing my pleats again this weekend and thinking through how I would explain all the steps and intricacies of making dumplings to a real life human. I think I have a good plan though! This blog, Instagram, and the internet in general is fun or whatever, but what I really really really love is feeding people in real life. I just can't wait to make enough dumplings to feed an army with some new friends!

Alright, enough dumpling talk. Let's talk noods! And vegetables because I desperately need those back in my life. A variation of this noodle bowl is on constant rotation in our house. It's so quick and easy to make. Plus you can literally throw in whatever vegetable or protein you have on hand. The overall flavor guidelines of this bowl are inspired by Vietnamese Vermicelli Bowls or Bun Bo Xao. So think salty, sour, sweet, and a little funky. Don't be afraid of fish sauce! It adds such wonderful flavor. Both the tofu and cabbage are crisped up in the oven together. The tofu gets a nice crunchy texture with the help of some draining beforehand and a much needed flip in the middle of the baking process. Red cabbage is one of my favorite vegetables at the moment. It's so versatile and lasts a super long time in the refrigerator. You can eat it raw in a slaw or quickly sautéed it in a pan, but my absolute favorite way to cook it is by cutting thick slices of cabbage and roasting them in the oven at a high heat. The cabbage caramelizes and crisps in the oven and it's the most wonderful thing! 

What really ties this whole bowl of freshness and goodness together is the dressing! It's a blend of fish sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, rice vinegar, and Brightland Awake Olive Oil. The Awake olive oil is delicious and has a really unique flavor in my opinion. When tasting it on it's own it starts off fruity and then you get a really strong and almost peppery flavor, which works beautifully with the sour, sweet, and funky flavors from the other dressing ingredients! Brightland Olive Oil has some of the most beautiful packaging too! Like, just look at that bottle! You'll want to display it on your counter all the time. I also love that their oil is sourced all in California (probably not that far from me actually) and they value pure and honest food production. You know you’re getting the good stuff!

Enjoy the rest of your week and enjoy the fresh noods!


Crispy Tofu and Cabbage Noodle Bowls

serves 2

materials:

1 block firm tofu
½ head of red cabbage
8oz rice noodles
Brightland Awake Olive Oil
1 tsp sesame oil
Salt + Pepper
1 large carrot - peeled into ribbons or shredded
Crushed cashews or peanuts - optional
Sesame seeds - optional
Thai basil leaves - optional
Lime wedges - for garnish

dressing Materials:

Juice of 2 limes
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp rice vinegar
¼ cup Brightland Awake Olive Oil
Pinch of salt

steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut tofu into small pieces, about 1” cubes. Place tofu on a baking tray lined with paper towels and cover the top of the tofu with more paper towels. Press down on the tofu and allow the tofu to drain for at least 15 minutes. This extra step will help insure an extra crispy texture!

  2. Cut red cabbage into 3/4” slices, try to keep each slice intact. Brush a baking tray with 2 tsp of olive oil. Place cabbage on the oiled tray and season with ½ tsp of salt, few cracks of black pepper, sesame oil, and another 2 tsp of olive oil. Rub all the seasonings into the tops of the cabbage slices. Set aside.

  3. Remove tofu from tray and discard paper towels. Brush baking tray with 2 tsp of olive oil. Place tofu on the oiled tray and season with ½ tsp salt, few cracks of black pepper, and another 2 tsp of olive oil. Place tray of tofu and cabbage in the oven and bake for 38-45 minutes. Flip the tofu halfway through. The cabbage will caramelize and the tofu will crisp up.

  4. While the tofu and cabbage are baking, prepare your rice noodles according to the package directions. Once cooked, drain and rinse under cold water. Set noodles aside.

  5. To make dressing, whisk together lime juice, fish sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, olive oil, and salt in a small bowl or jar. Set aside.

  6. To assemble, place a bundle of noodles in a bowl and top with tofu, cabbage, carrots, cashews, sesame seeds, and a few basil leaves. Squeeze a lime wedge over the noodles, add dressing, and give everything a good mix. Enjoy!

Chili Garlic Noodles

Chili Garlic Noodles - Eat Cho Food
Chili Garlic Noodles - Eat Cho Food
Chili Garlic Noodles - Eat Cho Food
Chili Garlic Noodles - Eat Cho Food
Chili Garlic Noodles - Eat Cho Food
Chili Garlic Noodles - Eat Cho Food
Chili Garlic Noodles - Eat Cho Food
Chili Garlic Noodles - Eat Cho Food
Chili Garlic Noodles - Eat Cho Food
Chili Garlic Noodles - Eat Cho Food

Ciao from Rome! We’re currently slowly waking up from our daily nap and figuring out what we want for dinner. Pasta? Pizza? More Pasta? 20489384 scoops of pistachio gelato? I think we might get pizza… It’s only been 2.5 days in Italy and we’ve already developed our daily rhythm of waking up super early, grabbing an espresso and some form of carb for breakfast, walking a million miles, poking our heads into a gorgeous church, gazing at some ruins or classical art, eating an afternoon mortadella sandwich, walking another million miles, stoping for a drink and apertivo, napping at the airbnb, mustering up enough energy to find dinner, getting a scoop of gelato, and then passing out hard to repeat again the next day. My feet feel like they are going to fall off but it’s all worth it!

I’ll be keeping this short and week because I feel like I need to nap just a little bit more… I was actually going to share Reuben’s Pizza recipe today but Squarespace is failing me and all the drool worthy photos of pizza are not loading! I was frowning a lot this morning and then I remember we are in Rome and I shouldn’t be frowning at all. It will just have to wait 2 more weeks until we are home to share. No worries though, because I have this noodle double feature to share instead! One post back you’ll find a recipe for the greatest and chewiest homemade Chinese egg noodles! They are so good and addicting, you’ll find it hard to ever go back to dried pasta ever again! This recipe dresses up the fresh noodles in a ton of garlic, a healthy amount of butter, and just the right amount of chili oil. It’s simply a spicy version of my San Francisco Style Garlic Noodles. One of the best things on Eat Cho Food!

Despite how red and fiery these noodles look, they actually aren’t super spicy. The butter and the garlic really balance out and mellow the chili oil. I’m normally a wimp when it come spicy food, but I was able to polish off a whole plate without any assistant from a glass of milk! These noodles are perfect as is but would also be pretty spectacular with a side of your favorite seafood or protein!


Chili Garlic Noodles

serves 2-4

Materials:

1 pound of fresh Chinese egg noodles
5 tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup minced garlic
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 heaping tbsp chili oil - more for garnish
2 tsp sugar
pinch of salt to taste
dash of white pepper
chopped parsley for garnish 
sesame seeds for garnish

Steps:

  1. Boil your noodles until al dente. When cooking fresh Chinese egg noodles it should only take about 4 minutes. Rinse with cold water and set aside to drain.

  2. Heat a large skillet on low heat. Add 5 tbsp butter to the skillet and allow it to slowly melt. Once the butter has melted, add in minced garlic and cook on low heat for 4 to 5 minutes. The garlic shouldn't brown too much. You are really trying to infuse the butter with garlic flavor.

  3. Turn up the heat of the skillet to medium high. Add oyster sauce, chili oil, sugar, pinch of salt, and dash of white pepper. Add in egg noodles and toss the noodles so that everything is evenly coated and mixed. Leave the noodles alone for 3 minute and then toss. Repeat this until the noodles are lightly crisped.

  4. Garnish with parsley, sesame seeds, and some extra chili oil if you wish. Enjoy!

Chinese Egg Noodles

Chinese Egg Noodles - Eat Cho Food
Chinese Egg Noodles - Eat Cho Food
Chinese Egg Noodles - Eat Cho Food
Chinese Egg Noodles - Eat Cho Food
Chinese Egg Noodles - Eat Cho Food
Chinese Egg Noodles - Eat Cho Food
Chinese Egg Noodles - Eat Cho Food
Chinese Egg Noodles - Eat Cho Food
Chinese Egg Noodles - Eat Cho Food

I’m so excited to share this recipe for homemade Chinese Egg Noodles with you guys! It means that you can literally have noodles at anytime! As long as you have flour, water, and eggs you’re all set. I call these Chinese Egg Noodles, but to be honest with you I’m not entirely sure what makes these noods any different than all the other egg noodles we have been eating in Italy. I’m going to keep the name, because I got my 23andMe results back and I’m 70% Chinese and 00000000% Italian. Pasta is pasta. Carbs are carbs. So no matter what you call them they are going to taste good! When you think of Italian and Chinese foods there are definitely a few crossover episodes. Noodles obviously. Ravioli and dumplings. Tortellini en Brodo and Wonton Soup! Calabrian Chilis and Chili Oil!

We unfortunately didn’t plan for any pasta making classes while in Italy. Actually, who knows? Kristina of the past wrote this, so maybe there was a surprise class! I’ll just have to keep practicing when I get home. Making noodles might be my new favorite thing to do in the kitchen. It’s pretty neck and neck with making dumplings at this point. My family never made homemade noodles growing up. We were more of a homemade dumpling wrapper household. But the noodles that were pivotal in my family’s favorite noodle dishes were always pre-made or of the instant variety. Don’t get me wrong, I’m going to be buying instant ramen and pre-made noods for the rest of my life, but I’m also go to whip up these thick, chewy, and eggy noodles whenever a craving strikes and I no longer live within 1 minute of our favorite Asian grocery story. Homemade noodles just taste a bit more luscious? Not sure if that is the right word, but I think because you spent the extra time to craft them by hand it adds an extra something something.

You can make these noodles completely by hand if you wish! You’ll just need a fairly large rolling pin and work surface to roll out the pasta thin. I just felt like busting out my pasta roller because its fun! I also really enjoy the cutting the noodles by hand. It has a similar meditative quality to folding dumplings. I could do it forever! Or at least until I get hungry.

These egg noodles are perfect for any stir fry recipes! Soups too! I would cut these a little thinner for soup though. In a few days I’ll be sharing a recipe for Chili Garlic Noodles that utilize these dreamy noods. It’s going to be so good!


Chinese Egg Noodles

makes about 1 pound of fresh egg noodles

materials:

10 oz all-purpose flour (just shy of 2 cups of flour)
2 large eggs
1/4 cup water
cornstarch for dusting

steps:

  1. Pile flour on a clean work surface. Make a well in the center of the flour pile. Add eggs and water into the well. Using a fork start whisking the eggs and water together. Gradually start mixing in the flour until you get a shaggy dough. Start kneading the dough until smooth. Knead for 10 minutes and use a bench scraper to help scoop up the dry flour bits.

  2. After 10 minutes of kneading and the pasta is smooth, cover the dough with plastic wrap and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes until ready to work with.

  3. After the dough has rested, divide the dough in half. Keep one half wrapped in plastic wrap to avoid drying out.
    If rolling out with a pasta machine: Roll out one half of the dough until its about 3/4” thick and oval shaped. Feed the dough through the pasta machine on the thickest setting first. Continue to feed the do through until the dough is about 1/8” thick.

  4. Layout thin dough on your work surface. Lighting dust the dough with cornstarch. Fold the dough in half lengthwise. Dust with a bit more cornstarch and half in half one more time. Using a sharp knife, cut into 1/8” wide noodles. You can also use a pasta attachment if you wish. Loosen the noodles with your hands so they don’t stick together. Cover with plastic wrap until ready for cooking! Fresh egg noodles will cook in about 4 minutes when boiled.