Curry-Fried Tofu with Vegetables and Udon Noodles

serves 4
Bouquet garni for broth:
3 slices  ginger
1 clove  garlic
1 stalk  lemongrass, smashed and sliced
2  star anise
2 thumb-sized pieces, dried tangerine peel, rinsed [optional]   (substitute with 2 strips of orange zest if desired)
6 cups vegetables stock
1 package  medium tofu
2 tbsp Madras curry powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 packages     7 oz. udon noodles
2 cups  bean sprouts
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup carrots, cut into matchsticks
2 cups  broccoli florets
1/2 tsp or to taste    salt
4 sprigs  cilantro

A savoury vegetarian treat!
Prepare bouquet garni by wrapping ingredients in a piece of cheesecloth and tie securely with kitchen twine.

To make broth, add bouquet garni to stock and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium and cook for 3 minutes. Cover and allow to steep for 15 minutes. Remove bouquet garni.

Cut tofu into 1/2-inch thick by 2-inch squares. Pat dry with paper towels.

Combine curry powder and salt in a dish.

Cook udon noodles according to manufacturer’s instructions. Drain and divide into serving bowls. Top with equally divided portions of bean sprouts.

Heat oil in large heavy skillet over medium high heat. Dredge tofu in curry mixture until lightly but evenly coated. Fry tofu until golden brown and slightly crisp on the outside. About 1 minute on each side.

Meanwhile bring broth to a boil, add carrots and broccoli and cook until vegetables are just tender. About 2 minutes. Season with salt. Pour boiling soup and vegetables over noodle mixture.

Top with fried tofu slices and serve immediately.
by Stephen Wong