Vietnamese-Style Bean-Thread Noodles
- 1 bundle bean-thread noodles - (2 oz)
- 2 tablespoons peanut or light olive oil
- 1 large onion quartered, and thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 cups thinly-shredded cabbage - (heaping)
- 2 cups diced fresh tomatoes - (heaping)
- 1/2 cup very fresh mung bean sprouts
- 1/2 pound firm tofu diced
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar - (to 3) to taste
- Dried hot red pepper flakes to taste
- Salt to taste
- Chopped peanuts for garnish
- Thinly-sliced fresh basil leaves for garnish
Immerse the bundle of noodles in cold water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, remove from the heat, cover, and let sit for 3 to 5 minutes, or until al dente, then drain. When cool enough to handle, place on a cutting board and cut in several directions to create shorter lengths.
In the meantime, heat the oil in a stir-fry pan or wok. Add the onion and stir-fry over medium heat until translucent. Turn up the heat, add the garlic and cabbage and stir-fry until the cabbage is tender-crisp and lightly browned, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the tomatoes and sprouts and continue to fry, stirring frequently, until the tomatoes are soft and the sprouts tender-crisp, another 5 to 7 minutes.
Stir in the vinegar, tofu, and red pepper flakes, and cellophane noodles. Cook, stirring, until everything is well heated through. Serve at once, garnishing each serving with chopped peanuts and the optional basil.
This recipe yields 4 servings.