kids' cooking- asian

Tuesday has kicked my tail. Totally kicked it. I'm glad the day is done and that I cooked my kids' meal yesterday. Friday also kicked me pretty hard, so we ate out. Normally, I don't like to eat out. I like knowing where my food comes from and how it is prepared. And six nights out of seven, I really enjoy cooking. When we do go out, it's usually ethnic (Thai, Mexican, Japanese) and Gary and I try to deconstruct our dishes to figure out how to adapt them to home cooking. We went to a dive-y Chinese place that also has a fabulous Thai menu. Thinking about how much we enjoyed our meal, and knowing that we had the essential ingredients, I looked up a recipe for Pad Thai in Joy of Cooking. And promptly closed the book because the recipe was too too long and complicated. Here's what I did instead.

Gingery Asian Noodles with Good Stuff
1 T vegetable oil and Sesame oil (I use safflower oil because that's what I make our mayo with and it is nice, neutral, and good for high heat)
1 large clove of garlic, smashed
1" fresh ginger, cut in match sticks.

Sautee this until the garlic is browned and remove it. I keep the ginger in because we like it. Use the oil to sautee:

1 halved and sliced yellow squash
1 halved and slice baby leek (pulled from the garden) or several scallions
1/2 yellow bell pepper, sliced
about a dozen sugar snap or snow peas

Remove from fire and aside when tender crisp.

Mix together:
1 T chunky peanut butter
1/4 c lemon or lime juice (I used lime)
1/4 c fish sauce
2T sesame oil
2T sugar

Cube about half a block firm tofu and pat dry. Marinate briefly in the sauce you just made, then pan-fry in the same gingery-garlicy oil.

Boil enough soba (buckwheat) noodles or whole wheat spaghetti noodles for your family. I didn't have enough of either so I combined them and no one noticed. When they were almost finished, I tossed in a cup of shrimp. Drain, mix with vegetables and tofu. Top with the sauce you made and gently toss to combine. Serve it up: we added some frozen crumbles of thai basil that my mom bought and didn't like- I froze the entire bunch, crushed it, and dole out a bit as needed. Regular basil would work, too. I topped the adult noodle bowls with a bit of Sriracha, Thai chili-garlic sauce. We like the kid with the rooster on the label and the green lid. Everyone ate it up. I was really happy that I left the ginger in because it added a lot to the dish. There was only a tiny bit left. I ate that cold for lunch and enjoyed the ginger even more.