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What can you prepare for Valentine’s Day dinner to make your loved one remember this day forever? I have a great idea, that is, if you love spicy food. This authentic Sichuan style gluten-free dan dan spaghetti is going to wow your significant other. I guarantee you won’t find anything like this that’s both gluten-free and vegan in any Chinese restaurant .
It was 11 years ago when Brad and I had our first date. We didn’t go to any restaurant because I couldn’t find any authentic Chinese restaurant here in our town. So I decided to cook some real Chinese food in his kitchen. I mean, real Sichuan style Chinese food that’s full of robust flavors, and peppers of course. As we’ve grown so much together through life’s experiences, our time spent together enjoying a spicy meal like this adds even more fulfillment to our lives.
Now, as a gluten-free family, finding an authentic, gluten-free Chinese restaurant is even harder. But, no worry! You won’t miss out on anything this Valentine’s Day due to your gluten-free diet. I introduce you to Barilla® Gluten-Free Spaghetti, the best choice of Italy. These high quality gluten-free spaghettis are made of rice and corn. The taste and texture is that good that you’d never know they’re gluten-free. With a few simple ingredients, you can easily make this fabulous Sichuan style gluten-free dan dan spaghetti at home.
Here is my list of the major ingredients:
- Barilla Gluten-Free Spaghetti
- Tofu, firm or extra firm
- Shiitake mushroom
- Sichuan peppercorn
- Red long chili pepper, dry
- Green onion
- Shiitake mushroom chili sauce
Don’t get discouraged because of the long list. I can get all of these ingredients at my local Kroger store. With all the clear, purple “gluten-free” labels on the shelves throughout the store, I find my shopping at Kroger is always frustration-free. So if you have a Kroger in your town, you can easily find the Barilla Gluten-Free Spaghetti in the pasta section.
As I mentioned before in a previous post, shiitake mushroom is a fantastic substitute for ground meat for those of you who are vegetarian or vegan. It has a strong, unique woody flavor and meaty texture. To make this romantic, cozy Valentine’s Day dinner a whole meal, you can simply roast some tofu in the pan while the pasta is cooking.
To make this gluten-free dan dan spaghetti the real deal, you can follow these tips.
- Prepare the spicy oil. Roast the red pepper corn and long chili pepper in oil for a few minutes. The hot oil will be infused with all the spicy flavors. Remove the peppers.
- Sauté diced shiitake mushroom in the oil you just prepared and add roasted tofu and chili sauce.
- Prepare the sauce in each soup bowl. You need to add the sauce to the bowls first, then the cooked gluten-free spaghetti, followed by placing the shiitake mushrooms and tofu on top of the spaghetti. Pour in some hot vegetable broth and sprinkle some green onion. Voilà!
Does this wonderful meal sound like a fabulous idea for your Valentine’s Day dinner? Authentic Chinese, gluten-free, and vegan are all in one lovely bowl.
- 6 dry shiitake mushrooms
- 8 oz firm or extra firm tofu, cut into ½” cubes
- 5 teaspoons oil
- 4 oz green leafy vegetables
- 6 oz Barilla Gluten-Free Spaghetti
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ½ tablespoon fresh ginger root, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 long red chili peppers, dry
- 2 teaspoons Shichuan peppercorns
- 2 tablespoons shiitake mushroom chili sauce (see note)
- 1 teaspoon gluten-free soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons gluten-free soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- ¼ teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon chili oil
- (optional) 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 2½ cups vegetable broth, hot
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped green onion for garnishing
- Soak dry shiitake mushrooms in boiling water for at least 5 minutes or until the mushrooms are soft. Discard the stems and dice the soaked mushrooms.
- Bring 4 quarts of water in a pot to a boil. Blanch green leafy vegetable for a minute. Set aside in a bowl to let it cook. Cook the spaghetti in the same pot and follow the instructions on the package.
- Meanwhile, heat a sauté pan over high heat until it’s hot. Add 2 teaspoons of oil and wait 15 seconds until the oil is hot. Add tofu cubes and salt. Reduce the heat to medium and sauté until they are golden brown. Approximately 10 minutes. Transfer the tofu cubes into a bowl and set aside.
- In the same sauté pan, heat the remaining oil until it is hot. Reduce the heat to medium low. Add chili peppers and Sichuan peppercorns, allowing the flavors to become infused into the oil. Approximately 3 minutes. Discard the peppers.
- Add ginger, garlic, diced mushrooms, shiitake mushroom chili sauce, and soy sauce. Sauté for a few minutes. Stir in roasted tofu cubes.
- Mix all sauce ingredients together except the vegetable broth and green onion.
- Divide it into the two soup bowls.
- Use tongs or a pair of chopsticks to remove the cooked spaghetti from the pot without rinsing and add directly into the soup bowls that you prepared with the sauce. Add roasted mushrooms and tofu on top of the spaghetti. Add green leafy vegetable. Pour in hot vegetable broth and sprinkle green onion on top. Serve immediately!
(You can find more Wonderful Your Way meals using Barilla gluten-free pasta here. I hope you find the perfect one for you!)