GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn.-- It's the Year of the Dragon! The Chinese New Year began on Monday and lasts 14 days. During this time, family and friends visit, exchange hong baos (small red envelops of lucky money to children and for good luck) and there are many feasts to be enjoyed to ensure a lucky 4709.
This morning, Chef Keith Wood from Big Bowl dropped by our KARE 11 Kitchen to help us celebrate.
At Big Bowl, you can grab a litte extra luck with dishes currently on the menu. They include items like Kung Pao Tofu Noodle. The Chinese eat noodles during the New Year and on their birthday as a symbolic gesture to a long life. The kung pao is a nice homage to honor the Year of the Dragon (fiery hot!)
For more information about Big Bowl, visit www.bigbowl.com.
Big Bowl's Long Life Kung Pao Tofu Noodles
Chef Keith Wood
8 ounces fresh Chinese egg noodles
1 1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon peanut oil
1 cup firm tofu, cubed
1 cup raw peanuts
2 tablespoons Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon light soy sauce*
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons chile paste with garlic
1 ½ teaspoons bean sauce
6 dried whole chiles (crush for more intense heat)
½ cup sliced green onion, white part only
6 garlic cloves, smashed
1 cup cilantro or spinach leaves
1 cup fresh cleaned spinach
Cook noodles as directed on package, drain, briefly run under cold water and toss with teaspoon peanut oil; set aside.
Heat remaining oil in deep sauté pan until hot but not smoking, and add tofu. Turn gently until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels.
Add peanuts to the same oil and stir gently for 10 seconds, turn off the heat. When peanuts are light golden brown, transfer with slotted spoon to paper towels; cool. Gently chop ¼ cup, set aside.
Combine rice wine or sherry with hoisin sauce, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, chili paste and bean sauce. Set aside.
Return sauté pan to heat (there should be about ¼ cup oil remaining) and add chile peppers. Cook until dark and the oil is smoky. Remove from heat and quickly add green onion and garlic. Return to heat, add sauce mixture. Cook until bubbling hot.
Add the noodles and cook until well coated with the sauce. Toss in tofu and whole peanuts. Remove from heat and add cilantro or spinach. Divide among two plates and garnish with chopped peanuts.
*Light soy sauce refers to color, not sodium content.
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