Sesame-Crusted Tofu with Spicy Pineapple Noodles
- 4 ounces udon noodles or whole-wheat spaghetti
- 1/3 cup sesame seeds, preferably a mixture of white and black
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 (14-ounce) package extra-firm water-packed tofu (preferably organic), drained
- 4 teaspoons canola oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1-2 small dried red chiles, such as Thai, cayenne or chile de arbol
- 8 ounces snap peas, cut in half
- 1 (6-ounce) can pineapple juice (3/4 cup)
- 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 2 cups diced fresh pineapple
- 2 teaspoons hot sesame oil
Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and rinse well under cold water.
Mix sesame seeds, 1 tablespoon cornstarch and salt in a shallow dish. Cut the block of tofu lengthwise into 8 thin "steaks." Pat dry with a paper towel, and press both sides into the sesame-seed mixture.
Heat 2 teaspoons canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tofu and cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate, cover and keep warm.
Wipe out the pan. Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons canola oil. Add ginger, garlic and chiles and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add snap peas and cook, stirring, until beginning to brown, about 2 minutes more. Add pineapple juice, bring to a boil and cook 2 minutes. Whisk the remaining 1 teaspoon cornstarch and soy sauce in a small bowl until smooth. Add to the pan and cook, stirring, until the sauce is thickened, about 1 minute. Reduce heat to low, add pineapple, sesame oil and the noodles; toss to coat with the sauce and cook until heated through, about 1 minute. Remove the chiles. Serve the noodles with the tofu.
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