1/2-inch knob of fresh ginger, finely grated(about 1 teaspoon)
2teaspoonsmaple syrup or honey
2tablespoonslime juice(more if needed to taste)
Noodles and veg:
Combine the noodles, carrots and cabbage in a very large bowl. In a medium skillet, toast the sesame seeds over medium heat, shaking occasionally, until toasty, 2 minutes. Remove to a small bowl. In the same skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add the tofu in a single layer, and fry on one side until golden, about 5 minutes. Turn and fry on the second side. Remove from the skillet and add to the bowl of noodles. Add more oil to the skillet if necessary, and add the scallions. Saute one minute, just to take away the bite, and add to the noodles. Toss in the dressing, below, then the cilantro and sesame seeds. Serve right away, or chill for an hour to bring out the flavors.
The salad will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Creamy sesame-almond dressing:
Whisk everything together. The dressing will keep for up to a week in the fridge.
If you don't have tahini in the house, you can use an extra tablespoon of nut butter instead. Or go nut-free and use all tahini. This is extra special served with my friend Emma's crispy tofu in place of the simple pan-fried tofu I've shared here. For the veggies, feel free to substitute wilted kale for the cabbage and thinly sliced cucumber for the carrot. Radishes make a nice addition too. Carrot Cashew SauceThis is a fun variation! Use cashew butter in place of almond, and add 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped, to the sauce. Blend in a high-speed blender until smooth, adding a little warm water if needed to thin the sauce. Toss with warm noodles (such as Korean sweet potato noodles) and roasted veggies (such as matchstick carrots and asparagus or broccoli). Serve with roasted salmon or tofu for protein. Nutritional values are based on one of four servings.