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Friends recently invited me over for a wonton wrapping party. Which is how it should be done since wrapping those little packets can get tedious without friends and laughter to distract you.
But since I don’t eat meat, I used a tofu-based mixture to fill my wontons. The water chestnuts and ginger in the filling — roughly following the recipe below — was crunchy and spicy and a great complement to the broth and vegetables in a bowl of wonton soup.
I ended up bringing home about half of my filling mixture unwrapped, as I had seriously underestimated the number of wrappers it would take to use it all up.
The next day was cold and rainy, so I fired up the fireplace. (OK, I lit a Duraflame log.) Longing for something warm and comforting for lunch, I pulled out the extra wonton filling and decided to throw it over noodles.
What a revelation!
I nestled in by the fire with my steaming bowl of wonton noodles. Their creamy, crunchy, spicy goodness warmed my soul and lifted my spirits. I felt like Brittany Murphy in Ramen Girl — who went from the pits of despair to filled with hope in the course of one bowl of ramen. There’s just something about noodles that make the world a better place.
I may be overstating the power of these creamy noodles, but I don’t think so. Try a bowl this winter and tell me if you don’t feel like adopting a kitty.
Creamy wonton noodles
12 ounces soft silken tofu
Egg replacer equal to 1 egg (or 1 egg, lightly beaten)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch of pepper
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
3 teaspoons minced ginger or ginger paste
1 ½ teaspoons toasted sesame oil
4 green onions, sliced
12 water chestnuts, chopped into small pieces
1/3 cup shredded carrot, firmly packed
3 baby bok choy leaves, shredded
12 ounces pasta (try traditional Chinese or Japanese style noodles, spaghetti, rice noodles)
Remove tofu from packaging and drain excess water if necessary. In a medium bowl, mash or blend tofu until smooth. Note: It’s not strictly necessary to blend the tofu to create a smooth consistency. The mouth feel of mashed tofu will be the same. But the sauce looks lumpy or grainy when not blended. If you’re making this for company, go the extra mile for a creamier presentation.
Mix or blend in egg replacement or beaten egg, salt, pepper, cayenne, soy sauce, sugar, ginger, and sesame oil.
Prepare noodles: Cook noodles per instructions on the package, drain and rinse.
Pour tofu mixture into a medium skillet and simmer over medium heat until the mixture begins to bubble. Add sliced green onions, chopped water chestnuts, shredded carrot, bok choy leaves. Mix well and simmer for 1-2 minutes. Add noodles and mix well, coating all noodles. Serve immediately.