Do you have a particular dish at a restaurant that you get every time you go and salivate over in between trips? My husband went to the University of Virginia (UVA) in Charlottesville and his best memory of college (I kid you not) was eating the sesame peanut noodles at Marco & Luca Dumplings on the downtown mall. So every time we return to Charlottesville, he has to stop there to get his fix. Consequently this inspired me to figure out how to make these at home with gluten free noodles knowing I will never get to experience the wonder of sesame peanut noodles in their original glutinous form.
The noodles are nothing fancy. Coming in a Styrofoam take away box with little to no garnish there’s nothing about them to suggest a culinary marvel, but my husband’s devotion to them was enough for me to try and replicate the experience in allergen free form.
As a result, I decided to do some internet research and most sesame noodles have the same standard sauce. I tried it out with my own twist and the results were husband approved. He confirmed that while they weren’t exactly like Marco and Luca’s noodles, they did remind him of noodles that his grandmother used to make him when he was little. This was compliment enough for me!
In conclusion, I will continue to experiment until I figure out the elusive Marco and Luca sesame peanut noodles, but until then I am pretty pleased with the results of this recipe. To create a main dish for Meatless Mondays, I added tofu for protein. The method I used for cooking the tofu came from Minimalist Baker (see recipe here), creating a nice crispy tofu. In addition, the tofu is flavored with gluten free tamari and red pepper, which although simple, created a great taste complimenting the noodles. Please enjoy this vegan, gluten free and dairy free recipe and please comment below with any suggestions for improvement!
Cold Sesame Peanut Noodles with Spicy Tofu
For the sauce:
1/3 cup peanut butter (all natural)
2/3 cup hot water
1/4 cup gluten free tamari
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2-3 Tbsp coconut palm sugar
1/4 olive oil
1/2 Tbsp sesame oil
2-3 cloves of garlic
2 Tbsp grated ginger
2 Tbsp sesame seeds
For the noodles:
16 ounces gluten free rice noodles (I used these)
1 cucumber, peeled and sliced into matchsticks
Green onion, diced
For the tofu:
18 ounces of firm or extra firm tofu cut into small cubes
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1-2 Tbsp gluten free tamari
- First preheat oven to 375 degrees Farenheit
- Next place all sauce ingredients in a food processor and blend together until garlic and ginger are finely chopped.
- Prepare noodles according to package instructions and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
- Combine tofu with red pepper flakes and gf tamari. Then place in oven safe pan with oil and cook on medium-high until browned on all sides. Transfer pan to oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until tofu reaches desired crispiness.
- Mix noodles, cucumber slices and sauce together in large bowl.
- Finally sprinkle tofu, green onions and additional sesame seeds on top if desired.
- Enjoy with a glass of white wine!