This vegetarian version of a popular Chinese dish called Bon Bon Chi is amazingly flavorful. Take care not to overcook the vermicelli when it's just tender to the bite, it's ready. If you like your noodles very saucy, use all of the sesame dressing; otherwise, use leftover dressing to spoon over pasta or rice. 6 servings.
* 1 1/2 Tbs. sesame oil or other mild-flavored oil
* 2 cups well-drained diced firm tofu (13 oz.)
* 2 tsp. Bragg Liquid Aminos
* 1 lb. asparagus, tough ends trimmed, cut into 2-inch lengths
* 6 oz. dried vermicelli
* 1 English cucumber, peeled and julienned
* 1/3 to 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
* Pinch of asafetida (optional)
Directions: Sesame Dressing
1. Bring large pot of lightly salted water to a boil for vermicelli. Meanwhile, in large skillet, heat sesame oil over medium-high heat. Stir in asafetida if desired and tofu. Sprinkle with liquid aminos and cook, stirring often, until tofu is golden-brown, about 7 minutes.
2. Add asparagus, sprinkle lightly with salt, cover and cook until crisp-tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Immediately remove from heat; set aside.
3. Add vermicelli to boiling water; stir to prevent sticking. Cook until just tender, about 6 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold running water and drain well.
4. Transfer noodles to large bowl; add half the dressing and season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Toss well. Spoon asparagus-tofu mixture on top, sprinkle with cucumber and drizzle with some remaining dressing. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.
Sesame Noodle Salad with Asparagus and Tofu: Vegetarian Times [Issue: May 1, 2000 p.54 ]