Bright basil and coriander Thai-inspired pesto noodles and zoodles pair perfectly with sweet corn kernels, and smoky honey, miso and sesame tofu.I love sorting through the piles of herbs at the farmers market every weekend. The closer we get to spring the higher and greener the offerings, and the more varieties available for flavouring every meal of the day. I dream of growing herbs in our garden, but the sad truth is, I am a distracted gardener. The only plants that I am successful with are those that thrive on benign neglect (see: orchids and jade plants). I think my sister got all the green thumbs in the family. She is a whiz with succulents and cacti and her garden is gorgeous. I’m still going to give tomatoes a try this summer. We shall see how long they last until Penny decides they are new green chew toys…
I ended up with an abundance of coriander and basil in my kitchen a few weeks ago, and I wanted to combine them into a fresh, pesto with a bit of a twist. I popped the basil and coriander into my mini processor with some peanuts, garlic, and a tonne of lime juice for a Thai-inspired pesto with a twist, and holy flavour bomb it was amazing!
We’ve been in a noodley mood in our house (it’s a thing) since my Herbed Cucumber, Bean, and Pea Noodle Salad with Peanut Dressing and this was a warmer, heartier twist perfect for a spring dinner. I added some zoodles to the rice noodles to up the veggie content, and sauteed the noodles with some fresh sweet corn right off the cob before tossing the dressing through. And then, there’s this tofu.
I understand that not everyone is a tofu enthusiast, so I will note here that you could prepare chicken in the same way. But this tofu is seriously tasty, so give it a try and who knows, maybe it will be a meatless favourite for your family dinner rotation! I used hard tofu because I like it’s heft and chew factor and tossed it with a combination of toasted sesame oil (super flavour booster), honey, and miso paste. This hits every salty, sweet, umami taste bud sensation you could ask for. Satisfaction factor: high!
This dinner is just what I was craving as winter ended and spring appeared, but truth be told, I think this will be a year-round favourite. The bright, herbal noodles and corn and the sweet-savoury tofu are a match made in heaven. Flavour heaven. So head on down to the farmers market this weekend and pick up some herbs so you can make this soon!
Thai Pesto Noodles with Zoodles, Corn and Honey-Miso Tofu
gluten free | vegetarian | vegan option: swap honey for maple syrup (just as tasty I promise!)
For the pesto
- 1 packed cup coriander leaves
- 1 packed cup basil leave
- 1/3 cup salted peanuts
- 3 cloves garlic
- Juice of 2 limes
For the noodles
- 100 grams gluten free rice noodles, prepared as per package
- 1 zucchini, spiralised or chopped finely
- 3/4 cup corn kernels (I used fresh but you can used frozen)
For the tofu
- 300 gram packet hard tofu, drained
- 1 1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons miso paste
- To prepare the pesto add all ingredients to the bowl of a small food processor. Whiz until it forms a thick, chunky paste.
- Prepare the rice noodles as per the package instructions. Rinse under cold water, drain very well.
- Cube the tofu into pieces about 1.5 cm (3/5 inch) square. Mix together the sesame oil, honey, and miso paste in a medium bowl until smooth. Add the tofu and toss gently to coat entirely.
- Add tofu to a large, non-stick fry pan and saute until golden. Once cooked, place in a bowl and keep warm until required.
- Use the same fry pan you used to make the tofu to get maximum flavour! Place it over medium heat and add the zucchini and corn, saute until the zoodles are softened and the corn has changed to bright golden in colour. Add the noodles to warm them slightly. Remove from the heat and toss through the pesto.
- Serve noodles topped with tofu. Enjoy!