As I sat at my computer completely lost in cyberspace, I felt a cold nose on my arm. Our faithful-to-her-stomach German Shorthaired Pointer Tea-Bird, who tells time better than anyone I know, was letting me know it was time for lunch. She usually begins the ritual with a long stare, moving into heavy sighs and impatient breathing and finally the “nudge,” making it is clear that I have gone way beyond the acceptable time-frame. Into the kitchen we go, Tea at my heels, and we confer about what to do. As I survey the contents of the refrigerator, she takes on the serious task of examining every shelf and together we agree on tofu, onion, carrot, celery, red cabbage, broccoli and red bell pepper. We decided on a stir fry, quick and nourishing. My wok is in the process of re-seasoning (a 2-day affair) so I break out two 12 inch skillets and a 6 quart sauce pan for the noodles. I cook the tofu in one skillet, the vegetables in the second and boil water in the sauce pan all at the same time. The result is a meal-in-one dish finished within 20 minutes. Everyone is happy, especially Tea-Bird, who can’t get enough of the mugwort Soba noodles!
Tofu Stir Fry with Red Miso Sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons organic expeller-pressed canola oil
1 fourteen ounce block medium firm tofu, cut into 2 inch wide by 1/2 inch thick triangles
3 teaspoons tamari
In a 12 inch skillet on medium-high heat, cook the oil and tofu until it starts to brown. Turn the tofu, cook for 45 seconds to a minute and add the tamari tamari. Turn down to a simmer and cook four to five minutes until the tamari is absorbed.
1 cup miso, Kyoto red (low sodium, unpasteurized)
1/4 cup mirin
2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 1/2 tablespoons tamari
2 cups hot water from noodles (see noodles)
Mix sauce ingredients in a bowl and then add to the tofu, allowing it to simmer and thicken for a few minutes. Turn off heat, cover and reserve.
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 1/2 tablespoons ginger root, peeled and minced
8 cups chopped vegetables: onion, carrot, celery, red cabbage, broccoli and red bell pepper
1 tablespoon tamari
Heat a 12 inch skillet on high heat, add the ginger root and, ten second later, add the vegetables and tamari. Cook for 10 minutes stirring, turning or flipping until the vegetables have a seared edge and are cooked “al dente.” Reserve.
8 to 10 cups water
1 package Eden Foods mugwort soba noodles
Boil water in the sauce pan and add the entire package of noodles. Cook for 6 to 7 minutes “al dente,” set aside 2 cups of water for the sauce (see sauce) and drain the noodles. Toss with the vegetables. May be served individually in large soup bowls with the tofu-miso sauce on top or, as I did this time, in one large dish with the tofu-miso sauce on top.