🎃 To celebrate the end of my midterm week and the beginning of the holiday season, I have a three course Halloween-inspired dinner for you! 👻
First off, it’s not one but two deliciously noodly dishes that both happen to be vegan as well! 1st is a spicy spiralized carrots glass noodle salad with seared sesame tofu. Main course is a cozy pumpkin curry over black bean noodles.
After dinner follows not one but two healthy sweet desserts! All menu items are costumed in an orange and black theme, and of course, all bursting with nutrition.
You’re in for a total treat! So here’s a preview of the menu that I’m just so excited to share. 🙂
Appetizer: 👻 Orange and Black Noodle Salad with Sesame Crusted Tofu. Spiralized carrots, konnyaku glass noodles, spicy and refreshing sauce, rich black sesame butter, and crispy sesame crusted tofu. (Recipe below!)
Main: 🎃 Cozy Kabocha Pumpkin Coconut Curry over a duo of black bean and black rice noodles. (Recipe will be posted tomorrow! Subscribe to my blog or follow me on Instagram @vivanttang to keep updated.)
I already have the recipes posted for the desserts, so go check that out if you haven’t already.
Today, I’m sharing the recipe for the appetizer. It’s light and refreshing, but since it’s Halloween, of course, it’s got to have a bit of heat from the chili paste. (I just love spicy food haha) And to balance the lightness, I add a generous drizzle of black sesame butter on top, giving it a luxurious dimension. The black sesame butter also gives the salad that midnight black glare that’s perfect for Halloween!
To give this appetizer some substance, I top it with seared tofu with a crunchy sesame coating. I absolutely love this tofu on its own, but the crunchiness of the sesame tofu, with the freshness of the noodle salad, brings the entire dish together.
Also, the appetizer may be a noodle dish, but it’s also low carb! That’s because it’s made with konnyaku (or 魔芋) noodles. Say what?! Basically, it’s a glass noodle that is made from an Asian yam. You can find this product in your Asian grocery store, usually next to the tofu. If you’re familiar with those tofu shirataki noodles, which I think are popular in mainstream grocery stores nowadays, these konnyaku noodles are similar but not quite. The konnyaku noodles are more translucent, tasteless, and I think have way more enjoyable than shirataki noodles. That being said, if you can’t find konnyaku noodles, you can definitely use regular rice noodles or shirataki noodles as well! 🙂
Because the appetizer is low carb, and I definitely don’t eat low-carb, I compensate that with a carby pasta main dish (which will have to wait for tomorrow’s blog post!).
Anyways, on to the recipe!
Orange and Black Glass Noodles + Sesame-crusted Tofu
Appetizer ~or~ Light Main Course
Recipe for 1 (so easily doubled, tripled, etc. for the number of people dining)
2 oz extra firm tofu
Salt, pepper to taste
2 tbsp toasted black sesame seeds
1 tsp avocado oil (or any oil, but stay away from corn and soy oil)
Carrot and Glass Noodles:
1 large carrot
4-6 konnyaku bundles
Sauce for noodles:
2 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp honey
salt to taste
red chili paste
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp minced ginger
1 tbsp black sesame tahini
2 baby orange bell peppers, thinly sliced
First, prep your tofu. Cut it into rectangles and then triangles. Drain excess water on a paper towel. I like to season the tofu with a bit of salt at this point too.
Add your black sesame seeds to a small bowl / plate.
Preheat a nonstick pan to medium high. We’re going to sear the tofu later.
Then, prepare your noodles: the carrot and the konnyaku noodles. We’re going to steam them. (If you don’t have a steamer, you can boil them in water.)
Make noodles out of your carrot with a spiralizer. If you don’t have a spiralizer, you should definitely get one! They’re so cheap nowaways, like $15? Really worth it. But if not, you can use a mandoline or just really good julienne skills. 😉
The konnyaku noodles come in knots, so unknot them and give them a rinse under water. These konnyaku noodles are already soft and don’t need cooking really, but I like to just loosen them up with heat. I then place the carrots and the noodles in a steamer cook them until the carrots are soft and tender (5-6 minutes?).
By now, the pan should be hot, so add in avocado oil. Transfer your tofu to the plate of black sesame seeds. Dip it in the sesame seeds on all sides. It should stick because tofu is slightly damp. If it doesn’t stick, you can brushing your tofu with a bit of sesame oil or water. Add your sesame-covered tofu to the pan and sear for a few minutes until crisp and golden, flip!
While the tofu is cooking, make your sauce. To a medium mixing bowl, mix rice vinegar, honey, chili paste, garlic, ginger, and salt to taste. You can then take out your noodles. Add them to the sauce that you made and mix well!
Now it’s time to plate. Remember we eat with our eyes first. 😉 I like to first plate the mix of carrot and glass noodles, top it with sliced baby bell peppers, cilantro, and the seared tofu on the side.
Finally, drizzle a generous spoon of luxurious, extra dark black sesame butter.
I hope you give this recipe a try! Even though it’s Halloween-inspired, I love making this appetizer any time of the year too, swapping out ingredients for what’s in season (like zucchini for carrots when it’s summer).
Try it out for this upcoming weekend, snap a pic, and share it with me on Instagram! @vivanttang ❤
Happy Halloween everyone! 🎃👻