One thing I’ve noticed about little kids is that they like to dip their food into something.  For most kids, it is ketchup.  They will eat almost any food dipped into ketchup.  My kids also like salsa, garlic mayonnaise and soy sauce.

(When my boys were almost two, they enjoyed dipping foods into salsa SO much that they dipped their banana bread in salsa.  Yum!)

This meal is a delicious, healthy, vegan (could be gluten-free with the right noodles and tamari instead of soy sauce) and is a crowd winner with my boys and my meat-eating husband!

This was originally published in the New York Times and my husband’s mom had the paper copy of it, but I couldn’t find it anywhere electronically.


Cold Noodles With Spicy Peanut Sauce

8 ounces thin Chinese egg noodles or Japanese buckwheat noodles (soba)

1/4 cup smooth peanut butter or sesame butter

5 tablespoons brewed black tea

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons dark soy sauce

1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons chili oil

2 teaspoons Oriental sesame oil

2 teaspoons wine vinegar

2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 scallion, chopped.


  1. Boil noodles until tender, drain, rinse in cold water and set aside, covered. 2. Mix peanut butter with tea until peanut butter has dissolved. Add soy sauce, chili oil (more or less depending on how spicy you want the dish), sesame oil, vinegar, sugar and garlic. Pour sauce over noodles and toss.


  1. Sprinkle with scallions, toss again and serve.


Roasted Tofu

Drain one container of tofu, cut into 1/2 inch cubes and marinate for several hours (or however much time you have) in:

4 tablespoons soy sauce

4 tablespoons Sherry wine (I substitute 1 teaspoon honey and 2 teaspoons water if I don’t have sherry)

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

2 cloves garlic chopped

I cook the tofu two ways.  The healthier option takes a bit longer but I like the texture a bit more.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray a bit of olive oil onto a cookie sheet.  Spread the tofu out on the cookie sheet and spray once more with olive oil.  Cook for about 30-40 minutes or until brown, turning once.

The other way to cook it is to fry the tofu pieces in a good amount of oil on the stove top.  This takes about 10-15 minutes to get them all cooked so if you are short on time, you can just brown them in a pan.


I like to serve these noodle with a bunch of broccoli and a bowl of soy sauce for dipping the broccoli and the tofu pieces.