Preparation / Directions:
A beautifully compose plate with many flavors and colors. Each component is placed on the plate separately, making three little groupings of bright and exciting tastes. The noodles and tofu can be made ahead, held at room temperature for an hour or so, leaving only the vegetables to be sautéed at the last minute.
GRILLED TOFU MARINADE 4 "blocks" firm tofu
Combine the marinade ingredients in a large bowl. Add the pieces of tofu and cover with the marinade. Let sit for 6 to 8 hours in the refrigerator or 3 hours at room temperature.
Prepare charcoal grill.
Remove the tofu from the marinade and drain slightly. Cook over med-hot red coals, basting frequently with the marinade. "Score" the tofu on both sides making a cross-hatch pattern. Cook until golden brown, about 5 to 8 minutes on each side. Remove from the grill and set aside.
SESAME BUCKWHEAT NOODLES Sauce: 6 green onions, minced 4 cloves garlic, minced 3 Tbs miso, red or white 3" piece ginger, peeled and minced 2 jalapeno peppers, minced 1/2 c sesame oil 1/2 c peanut oil 1/4 c seasoned rice wine vinegar 2 Tbs sherry vinegar 3 Tbs soy sauce salt and pepper to taste
1 c sesame seeds, toasted 1 to 1 1/2 lb buckwheat noodles
Combine the sauce ingredients in a large bowl. Add half the sesame seeds, mix well. Cook the noodles in salted boiling water until al dente; drain. Add the warm noodles to the sauce, toss and let sit for about 20 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings.
GINGER MIXED VEGETABLES
1 yellow onion, wedge cut 2 cloves garlic, sliced thin 1/3 c peanut oil 6 or 8 shiitake mushrooms, sliced 1/4" wide small handful snow peas, trimmed and strings removed 5" piece ginger, peeled and sliced very thin 1 head broccoli flowerets only, blanched 2 carrots, slivered and blanched splash of dry sherry salt and pepper, to taste cilantro sprigs for garnish
To prepare the vegetables, sauté the onion and garlic in some peanut oil over high heat until onion is tender, but not soft or translucent. Add the mushrooms, snow peas, and ginger. Cook over high heat, stirring constantly until the mushrooms are tender. Add the broccoli, carrots and sherry, cook for 1 more minutes and season with salt and pepper.
To assemble: Cut the tofu into slices about 1/8" thick. On each plate, arrange 3 or 4 pieces of tofu overlapping each other. Spoon some of the noodles onto each plate and finish with the vegetables. The tofu and noodles are served at room temperature and the vegetables are served hot. Garnish with a sprig of cilantro.
From "Glories of the Vegetarian Table" by Janet Hazen.