Last weekend, we had Leo’s friend, Kevin, over for a playdate. The two little 4-year-olds were chasing each other in our yard. While running and giggling, Kevin suddenly stopped and asked me about the long skinny overgrown-grass-looking plant in my garden. “Ahh yes!” I said. “That’s my American chives.” Most Americans know them as onion chives.
I encouraged him to pick some and smell them. He did and then he handed them to his mom. I heard him say to her : “Cong.” (葱，in Chinese that means scallion, also known as green onion). Although green onions and onion chives are from different families, they do smell similar. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the differences. Because of that, they can also be used in similar ways in many recipes (but not all of the time).
Did you see my recent post Garden Herbed Cucumber Bites? The addition of the onion chives is not just decorative, but also gives bold flavors. In my opinion, chives has more robust flavors than green onions.
In many Asian cuisines, chives can be very different. Most of the time, chives in Asian recipes are referring to the garlic chives. The garlic chives have flat stems, instead of tube-like stems, and a mild garlic flavor. Those are more commonly seen in Pad Thai dishes.
The key ingredient for this chive oil zucchini noodles with roasted tofu is the oil. I chopped a bunch of chives from my garden and let them simmer in oil for about 20 minutes. The heat from the oil is definitely a good way to extract the strong and robust flavors from the chives. It also removed most of the pungent taste from the chives.
With the addition of oven roasted tofu, these chive oil zucchini noodles can easily be served as a low carb meal. If you don’t like anything spicy or pungent, this recipe is definitely worth trying. If you’re looking for a simple, healthy, vegan, and gluten-free dinner or lunch, you can’t go wrong with this chive oil zucchini noodles with roasted tofu.
- 1 cup canola oil
- 2 oz fresh onion chives cut into 1.5-inch segments
- 2 medium size 1 lb 3 oz zucchini squashes
- 1 lb extra firm tofu cubed
- 2 teaspoons canola oil
- 1 lb extra firm tofu
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- 1½ tablespoons chive oil see instructions below
- 1 tablespoon gluten-free soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon erythritol or coconut sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons chopped chives
- 1 pinch roasted sesame seeds
- To make the chive oil: Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion chives into the saucepan until the oil is hot, but not smoky hot. Stir briefly. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let the chives simmer in oil without cover on for 20 minutes. Watch occasionally to make sure the oil is not too hot to avoid burning the chives. The chives should be dark greenish brown instead of black when the chive oil is ready.
- To make the roasted tofu: Preheat oven to 425 ℉. Heat 2 teaspoons of canola oil in a skillet over high heat until the oil is hot. Add tofu cubes and fry until all sides turn slightly brown. Transfer the tofu cubes onto a baking sheet and roast in oven for 20 minutes until they are golden brown. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste.
- Let the chive oil cool slightly. Combine all the sauce ingredients and mix well in a small mixing bowl.
- Use a spiralizer to make zucchini noodles.
- Toss the sauce and zucchini noodles together. Garnish with fresh chopped chives and roasted sesame. Serve with roasted tofu immediately.
The prepared chive oil can be kept in refrigerator for at least 1 month.