The Astronomer and I have been staying up later than usual these past few nights securing restaurant reservations in London and France for our European jaunt this summer. Skype-ing in French and stalking Open Table when we should be sleeping has been simultaneously exhilarating and exhausting.
While our dining itinerary isn’t completely settled (there are a few elusive restaurants that I’m still hoping to rope in), we are guaranteed a nose to tail feast in London, exquisite escargots and souffles in Paris, and wines of all stripes at every lunch and dinner. This trip is going to be epic.
In preparation for what will surely be two-and-a-half weeks of non-stop indulging, I’m making a greater effort to eat healthily at home in the month and a half leading up to the trip. This recipe for Red Curry Peanut Noodles from the February 2008 issue of Food & Wine is the latest addition to my solid lineup of meatless meals that pack a satisfying punch.
Peanut noodles are terrific straight up, but add in a few tablespoons of fiery red curry paste and everything gets turned up to eleven. Perking up the noodles is a saucy blend of peanut butter, cilantro, lemongrass, chilies, garlic, galangal, and kaffir lime. The original recipe calls for just bean sprouts and carrots, but I’ve added tofu, red peppers, and edamame too to kick up the nutrition quotient.
Even though I’m buckling down on my eating habits these next few weeks, I still insist that everything that passes through these lips be delicious. Red Curry Peanut Noodles—it’s just what my taste buds and waistline ordered.
- 1 pound whole-wheat spaghetti
- 1 package extra firm tofu (approximately 19 ounces)
- Vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup peanut butter (smooth or chunky)
- 1 lime, juiced
- 2 tablespoon red curry paste
- 2/3 cup chicken or vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed cilantro leaves
- Kosher salt
- 1 red bell pepper, julienned
- 12 ounces shelled edamame, prepared according to package directions
- 2 scallions, white and green parts quartered and thinly sliced lengthwise
- 1 carrot, coarsely grated
- 1 cup mung bean sprouts (2 1/2 ounces)
- 1/3 cup salted, roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
- Lime wedges, for serving
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the spaghetti until it is al dente. Drain the spaghetti and rinse under cold water until cool. Drain very well and set aside.
Cut the tofu into 1/2-inch cubes and lay on paper towels to absorb excess moisture. On medium-high heat, saute the tofu in 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil for 2-3 minutes on each side to lightly sear the outside and heat the inside. Set aside.
Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine the peanut butter with the lime juice, red curry paste, stock, and 1/4 cup of the cilantro leaves and puree. Season the sauce with salt.