Friday, 22 April 2011

Squashed up noodles...

There's been a butternut squash lurking in our kitchen for a good few weeks now and tonight was its night for fame and glory... I combined it with some courgette and leeks in a very light sub-satay over some noodles and topped with some roasted tofu and toasted seeds. Here's the drill:


Half a butternut squash
One courgette
One leek
Tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp sugar
250ml vegetable stock or bouillon
Tbsp peanut butter
Tbsp light soy sauce
Tbsp corn syrup
3 cloves garlic
2 tsp cornflour
3 bundles noodles, cooked and rinsed in cold water
500g firm tofu
Tbsp sesame oil
3 tsp sea salt
3-4 tbsp mixed sunflower and pumpkin seeds


First of all get the tofu going as it takes 20 minutes or so. Tofu is really great baked - crispy, chewy and and generally yummy. Heat the oven to 200 degrees C. Drain the tofu and slice into thick, long slices. Place on an oiled baking tray, brush with sesame oil and then sprinkle with salt. Then bake the tofu for 20-30 minutes or until brown and crispy.

Skin and chop the squash into small-ish cubes and then start to fry in a large wok, chop the courgette and (well-washed) leek into similar sized pieces and, after around ten minutes when the squash has started to brown really well, add these pieces to the wok and fry with the squash. While the vegetables are cooking, sprinkle with the sugar and with a tsp of sea salt.

Now make the sauce. In a blender combine the stock/bouillon, peanut butter, soy sauce, syrup and garlic. Blend until nice and smooth. Then add to the cooking vegetables and cook for 3 more minutes to take the edge of the garlic and to let the sweetness of the syrup lift the vegetables. Combine the cornflour with a little cold water and add to the mix gradually until the vegetables and sauce are thickened up nicely. Set to one side.

With ten minutes or so to go for the tofu, you can do the noodles and the seeds. I used udon noodles here, boiled for 4 or 5 minutes in a large-ish pan and then rinsed well in cold water and tossed in a tiny bit of sesame oil to stop them from sticking together.

To prepare the seeds, sprinkle them over a baking tray covered with a little soy sauce and 2 tsp sea salt. Mix through well and bake in the over with the tofu for 5-6 minutes only, until they start to brown.

When the tofu and seeds are done, serve the noodles topped with the vegetables, the tofu and the seeds. Yum. As ever, this dish was designed to be kiddy/wife friendly and so wouldn't suffer at all if there was some cheeky chilli included.

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