Tofu Pad Thai

Serves 4 (makes 8 cups).

Note: If you soak the noodles while frying the tofu, they should be ready to add to the pan at the right moment. If you cook the noodles a little sooner, be sure to rinse with warm water, as the noodles will stick together. The tofu fries better and sticks less if you use the full amount of oil called for, though you could cut it to a couple of tablespoons, if you prefer. From Robin Asbell.

• 1/2 lb. rice noodles (stir-fry style, flat noodles)

• 1 (12-oz.) pkg. tofu, extra-firm

• 5 tbsp. soy sauce

• 1/4 c. lime juice, or 3 tbsp. tamarind paste

• 2 tbsp. light brown sugar or palm sugar

• 1/4 c. canola oil (or less if, preferred)

• 1 tsp. red pepper flakes (more to taste)

• 2 garlic cloves

• 1 tbsp. fresh ginger, chopped

• 2 eggs, whisked, optional

• 2 c. bean sprouts

• 4 green onions, cut in 1-in. pieces

• 2 c. bean sprouts, divided

• 1/2 c. fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped

• 1/2 c. peanuts, roasted and unsalted, chopped

• 1 large lime, quartered

Directions

Put on a large pot of water to boil for the noodles. (Wait to drop the noodles in the water until the tofu is in the pan; see Note.) Turn off the heat and soak the noodles according to package directions (about 8 minutes) or boil until just tender. Drain.

Wrap tofu in a kitchen towel and put a weight on it. Press to remove excess water and make the tofu firmer. Mix soy sauce, lime juice and sugar in a cup, and reserve.

Place a wok or 12-inch sauté pan over high heat, and when hot, drizzle in the oil. Swirl the pan for a few seconds to coat the bottom and heat the oil, then crumble in the tofu and sprinkle in the pepper flakes. (Add the noodles to the boiling water now.) Over high heat, fry tofu, stirring and scraping frequently until browned and crunchy in spots, about 8 minutes.

Add the garlic and ginger to the tofu, stir, and push to one side of the pan. Add the eggs (if using) to the open spot and stir; they will cook quickly. Pour in the soy sauce mixture and add the green onions and noodles. Add half of the bean sprouts. Stir-fry, turning the noodles in the pan gently until egg is cooked and the noodles look dry. Serve immediately, with the remaining sprouts, cilantro leaves, chopped peanuts and lime slices.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 605 Fat 30 g Sodium 1,150 mg

Carbohydrates 67 g Saturated fat 4 g Total sugars 9 g

Protein 24 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 6 g

Exchanges per serving: 1 vegetable, 4 carb, 3 medium-fat protein, 3 fat.