Dear Sam Sifton,

You are the best person ever.



I just made his cold sesame noodles and then I died because they were SO GOOD and I was SO EXCITED THAT I MADE SOMETHING THAT TASTES GOOD. I AM GOING TO EAT THESE NONSTOP FOREVER.

Anyway, so it is ridiculously hot in New York these days and I decided I should try making cold sesame noodles, even though I’ve never actually eaten them. After extensive research I settled on this recipe, mostly because I love Sam Sifton (ah, the roller coaster of emotions when he was appointed restaurant critic, and then again when he stopped being the restaurant critic).

To go with them, I decided on an Asian-ish vegetable stir-fry with tofu. The stir-fry was made up; I figured it should involve snap peas, because I love snap peas, and baby bok choy. I also bought scallions and then discovered they weren’t in the sesame noodle recipe, so I included them in the stir fry. For the bok choy, I cut the ends off and then just sliced them; I broke up the stems a bit more so I wouldn’t have huge bites of them. (See note below.) For the snap peas, I de-stringed them—you just pull the little string thingy and they sort of unzip; it’s very satisfying—and broke them in half.

I stir-fried the baby bok choy, scallions, and snap peas with garlic, ginger, and a little soy sauce and toasted sesame oil (not enough of either, actually). I pan-fried the tofu until golden. For some reason I thought it would mingle with the vegetables, which would impart their flavor to it; but then I just ate it plain, which was sort of gross, but serviceable, I guess.

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Sesame-crusted tofu with soba noodles

Wow, what is this, it’s like an actual food blog. I wanted something with soba noodles the other day, and after an extensive search of my recipe folders (I just started to write foodlers, which I guess is semiaccurate) and Google (oh, maybe I was just trying to combine folders and Google. That’s not as funny) I found this. I am always wary of Eating Well because their recipes are healthy, but they regularly taste really good, so it’s OK. Also, there’s no photo of the final product, so maybe they never actually cooked it.

Also also, it uses both Chinese and Japanese ingredients. (There’s Chinese black bean sauce and fermented Chinese black beans—which I omitted because I didn’t have any and because I am scared of them—but also soba noodles, which I thought were generally Japanese. And who knows where watercress comes from, or really, what it is.)

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