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So I bought these tofu noodles...

Cookiefiend Sep 23, 2008 12:12 PM

Tofu Shirataki Noodles... what to do?
They're looking at me - I'm looking at them.

Tomatoes, basil and parmesan?
Chicken broth, a bit of celery and carrot?

Anything else?


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  1. MMRuth RE: Cookiefiend Sep 23, 2008 12:35 PM

    The first thing I'd do is rinse them really well - they can have a bit of an odd taste to them. I find they are better with Asian flavors - try making a peanut sauce, add some shredded chicken and sliced cucumbers.

    2 Replies
    1. re: MMRuth
      jenn RE: MMRuth Sep 23, 2008 04:47 PM

      You know, i rinse them but I can't say I cook them. And peanut sauce is a bit heavy for me. I do concurr on asian flavors

      The recipe I am most familiar with is with rice vinegar, shredded carrot, shredded cucumber, cilantro---lots and lots of cilantro--and something more spicy--maybe shreded horseradish leaves?

      1. re: jenn
        Cookiefiend RE: jenn Sep 23, 2008 05:36 PM

        jenn -

        do you think that maybe jalapeno finely minced would work for the spicy?

        Also - I'm really glad everyone has told me to rinse the noodles... I didn't the first time and I thought "well... they taste a bit odd, but what do I know?"


    2. b
      bulavinaka RE: Cookiefiend Sep 23, 2008 01:55 PM

      I like the Chinese version - tofu "noodles" with pork. I've only eaten it in restaurants but did a yahoo on recipes and got this on the first hit:


      The recipe sounds about right, but I'm not sure about the peanut butter - I'd probably be tempted to use a butter that was strictly ground peanuts.

      MMRuth's rec sounds similar to what are known as an American version of dan dan noodles, which I think would work well too. Maybe add a small amount of vinegar sesame oil to the sauce, and add thinly sliced egg omelette to the list and and garnish with sliced green onions and sesame seeds. Good luck!

      4 Replies
      1. re: bulavinaka
        MMRuth RE: bulavinaka Sep 23, 2008 02:45 PM

        What I meant to say was "cold sesame noodles" but the words weren't coming to me!

        1. re: MMRuth
          Cookiefiend RE: MMRuth Sep 23, 2008 03:51 PM

          Thank you so much!

          This will help, I was just fizzling on ideas

          ps - thanks for the recipe bulavinaka :-)

          1. re: Cookiefiend
            bulavinaka RE: Cookiefiend Sep 23, 2008 04:01 PM

            The recipe sounds like it is almost identical to the dishes I get at some of the Shanghainese eateries in the San Gabriel Valley. Please do as MMRuth suggests in rinsing the "noodles,' and draining them well. You want them to be relieved of most of the moisture so the sauce adheres better. Enjoy!

          2. re: MMRuth
            bulavinaka RE: MMRuth Sep 23, 2008 03:58 PM

            I knew you knew that! :)

        2. dagoose RE: Cookiefiend Sep 23, 2008 03:58 PM

          I love them...They are basically just like any other noodle, only you can cook them in seconds...
          So, yes, as MMRuth said, the important thing is to rinse them really well, but after that, you can do anything you would do with pasta with them, but you don't have to boil them in hot water.

          Toss them straight in a wok to add noodles to a stir fry. For a quick hot lunch, you can make them into spaghetti carbonara in like seconds. For a quick cold lunch, after you rince them, make like a pasta salad, tomatoes, olives etc.

          I totally love them...

          ETA: Oh yeah, and you can microwave them if you need something else fast!

          1. JungMann RE: Cookiefiend Sep 24, 2008 07:46 AM

            I'm a bigger fan of these noodles with Asian seasonings than Western. I think it's also important to blanch them to get them to firm up a little bit. Sauces depend on what I feel like. Sesame noodles would be great. Szechuan noodles are a good thought, too. I often make a dressing of light and dark soy, oyster sauce, sesame oil, lime juice, sambal, cilantro, scallions, shallots, celery, chilies, crushed peanuts and sesame seeds. Give a quick toss and you have a delicious, light meal. Homemade ramen would be another great use.

            9 Replies
            1. re: JungMann
              MMRuth RE: JungMann Sep 24, 2008 07:52 AM

              I meant to mention that I did try them with a pesto sauce, but even though I rinsed and blanched them, the combination just didn't work for me.

              1. re: JungMann
                Cookiefiend RE: JungMann Sep 24, 2008 08:10 AM

                crud... I just realised I forgot to add the cilantro to the noodles. :-P

                Your Szechuan noodle recipe is kinda/sorta what I've doing for lunch today, minus the cilantro (because I forgot it) and the oyster sauce.
                Do you think that I could use fish sauce instead of oyster sauce next time?

                MMRuth - I think I'll skip the pesto sauce - if you don't like it, I probably won't!

                1. re: Cookiefiend
                  JungMann RE: Cookiefiend Sep 24, 2008 08:24 AM

                  That isn't my szechuan noodle recipe. Szechuan noodles are a spicier, greasier breed entirely. But for my normal noodles, I also use fish sauce, too. In that case I reduce the salt content of the dressing by decreasing or omitting some of the light soy. The oyster sauce adds more sweetness than salt.

                  1. re: JungMann
                    Cookiefiend RE: JungMann Sep 24, 2008 09:34 AM

                    I'm sorry JungMann - I missread your post regarding the Szechuan noodles!

                    Alkapal included a link from an earlier post (that I missed) and you had a couple recipes on there - one with shredded Napa cabbage and one with sesame oil - I'll try those too.

                    I'm allergic to oyster sauce - sounds like I could add a bit of sugar to the fish sauce (and reduce the salt) and maybe get something similar to oyster sauce. Maybe...

                    Thanks for your patience!

                    1. re: Cookiefiend
                      JungMann RE: Cookiefiend Sep 24, 2008 09:53 AM

                      I see no trouble adding a little sugar instead of oyster sauce. I've even seen the addition of honey in some dressings. Let your cupboard be your oyster!

                      1. re: Cookiefiend
                        alkapal RE: Cookiefiend Sep 24, 2008 06:54 PM

                        there is a mushroom soy sauce i believe that might just be able to stand in for oyster sauce (or maybe dried mushroom mashed into oil packed anchovy?). fish sauce + sugar = umami (but not oyster sauce flavor -- and still salty!)

                        hmmm, will have to google oyster sauce substitute......

                        hounds, any ideas here?

                        1. re: alkapal
                          JungMann RE: alkapal Sep 25, 2008 07:09 AM

                          There is such a thing as vegetable-based oyster sauce, but I don't know if that omits the OP's allergen. Dark soy might be a better substitute in that it has the salt and rich caramel flavor, though the briney taste might be hard to recreate. Fish sauce is a bit of a blunt instrument compared to oyster sauce.

                          When I'm out of oyster sauce, I sometimes just re-jigger the ratio of dark to light soy, add a dash of sugar, throw in some extra chilies and chili oil, maybe a touch of ginger and toss with Szechuan peppercorns. It's a different dressing altogether, but equally good. Shirataki is forgiving. It's good to experiment.

                          1. re: JungMann
                            alkapal RE: JungMann Sep 25, 2008 07:15 AM

                            jungmann, good point about "filling out the flavor profile" with a slight variation of the recipe to add flavor -- instead of trying to fix a "substitute" per se for the oyster sauce.

                            1. re: JungMann
                              Cookiefiend RE: JungMann Sep 25, 2008 08:54 AM

                              alkapal & JungMann -

                              You are so kind to work so hard trying to find a "substitute" or close-to-oyster-flavor profile!

                              I'll try these - I have no idea (except for what I've read) what an oyster tastes like - the sauces you've worked out for me will at least give me an idea of what I'm missing.

                              Thank you both!

                              Edit: I just re-read this and thought "well, if you don't know what an oyster tastes like, how do you know you're allergic?" I accidently had a dish with oyster sauce in it at a Polynesian buffett and had the beginning signs of my shellfish reaction - mini panic ensued but I hadn't had enough to go into a full blown reaction.

                  2. alkapal RE: Cookiefiend Sep 24, 2008 08:10 AM

                    a little while back, there was another thread re these noodles: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/539873

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: alkapal
                      Cookiefiend RE: alkapal Sep 24, 2008 08:37 AM

                      oh glory!

                      Thanks for posting that - I should have researched it myself!

                      1. re: Cookiefiend
                        alkapal RE: Cookiefiend Sep 24, 2008 08:40 AM

                        they look intriguing, but i haven't tried them yet. they seem so guilt-free! (well, of course they are guilt free; it would be me that doesn't feel guilty chowing down on a big bowl!) ;-)

                        1. re: alkapal
                          Cookiefiend RE: alkapal Sep 24, 2008 09:29 AM

                          They are so low in calories and in carbs - when I found them I thought 'Holy smokes! Guilt free lunch!'.

                          I like them - they are definitely better after you rinse them... I didn't the first time, I read the directions wrong on the package. The texture is springy, (nothing wrong with that) and the flavor is mild. I had them for lunch with a mixture of soy sauce, peanut butter, sesame oil, hot sauce, and green onion and broccolini. Much better than the chopped tomato, basil and parmesan I did the first time!

                          I've written down some of the ideas from your links and will give them a whirl. Some of them I'll have to figure out what they are (hot pot?) and whats in them (Japanese curry?). Hello Google? It's me again! :-)

                          1. re: Cookiefiend
                            alkapal RE: Cookiefiend Sep 24, 2008 06:58 PM

                            just think of the days before google was a verb!
                            i must get some right away. we just had a vietnamese stir fry with rice noodles and seafood, and i'll bet this noodle would do well.

                            hot pot is just broth on a communal center-of-table burner, where you can add in meats, veg, condiments into the main dish and/or your personal bowl. (that's my idea from top of my head; plenty of hounds are much, much more knowledgeable....)

                    2. t
                      taboo RE: Cookiefiend Sep 24, 2008 12:47 PM

                      I have added chicken and herbs with a spicy tomato sauce to go over it all which was great. Also, I have added the noodles to soups as they take on the flavor that they are in.

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