Duck was craving noodles. I wanted something satisfying and filling, but also fresh and healthy. I looked in the fridge and found red chard, baby bok choy, and tofu. A quick consultation of my beloved Moosewood Cooks at Home spreadsheet offered up Gingered Greens and Tofu, page 232, and things just kind of went from there. I riffed off the Moosewood recipe to end up with something delicious and stunningly beautiful. An unexpected side-effect of red chard + rice noodles is a sea of gorgeous, sunrise-tinted noodles. They tasted of lime and, somehow, lime tasted of pink.
Sunrise Noodles with Gingered Greens and Tofu (adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home)
Rice noodles (I used half of a 14 oz packet from Thai Kitchen)
1/2 c. soy sauce
1/2 c. dry sherry or Shaoxing cooking wine
1/4 c. rice vinegar
3 T. brown sugar
1-1.5 lbs firm tofu, blocks cut into 1/2-inch slices and then into 1-inch squares
4 T. peanut or vegetable oil
2 T. grated fresh ginger root
2-3 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
1 bunch red chard, lower stalks removed (but don’t pull the stalks out of the leaves), coarsely shredded
1-2 baby bok choy, coarsely shredded (optional)
3 T. lime juice
2 T. thinly sliced scallion + more for garnish
pinch of cayenne or splash of chili oil
To cook rice noodles: Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Turn off heat and immerse rice noodles in hot water for 3-5 minutes until noodles are soft, cooked through but still firm and al dente, not mushy. (Check firmness frequently, as you would regular pasta.) Rinse with cold water for 30 seconds. Drain well and set aside.
Make tofu marinade: In a small saucepan, bring the marinade ingredients to a boil. Simmer for one minute and remove from heat. Add the tofu squares to the pot of marinade, immersing them as much as possible. Gently stir in 2 T. of the peanut oil. Set aside for 5 minutes.
Make lime juice mixture: Combine lime juice, scallions, and cayenne or chili oil in a small dish and set aside.
Preheat broiler. Prep all the remaining ingredients and have them at hand before beginning to stir-fry.
Place the tofu in a single layer in a nonreactive heatproof pan, covered with the marinade, or remove tofu from marinade, reserving marinade for later, and place on a piece of foil (depending on how your broiler works). Broil the tofu for 7-8 minutes; then turn it over with a spatula and brown the other side. Ideally, the tofu will get nicely browned and firm on the outside, chewy on the inside.
While the tofu broils, heat the remaining 2 T. of oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. Stir in the ginger and garlic for a few seconds and then quickly add the chard and bok choy. Stir constantly on high heat until the greens wilt. When the greens are just tender, gently stir in the rice noodles and lime juice, scallion, and chili mixture. Gently toss the noodles and greens together until the rice noodles are heated through. The noodles should turn a lovely shade of pink. Remove from heat. When the tofu is browned, gently toss it with the reserved marinade and the noodles and greens, reheating if necessary. Top with a few raw scallions slices and serve immediately.