Photo: Galdones Photography

Stephanie Izard may be one of the most recognizable chefs in America. From her homebase in Chicago, she runs three restaurants (with hard-to-snag reservations), a line of spice mixes and bottled sauces, and she’s even looking to get into the magazine publishing game. She sat down with The Takeout to offer her tips of becoming an ace chef at home, and passed along this recipe from her latest book Gather & Graze: 120 Favorite Recipes for Tasty Good Times.


Tofu Noodle Salad with Fermented Tofu Vinaigrette

Serves six

From Stephanie Izard: I buy tofu noodles from Jenny Yang at Phoenix Bean, a tiny tofu kitchen on the north side of Chicago (it’s seriously amazing how much tofu she pumps out of that place). She gets her soybeans from local farmers growing them the good old-fashioned way (no GMOs or pesticides), and then makes the most magical, delicious tofu. For these noodles, she cuts extra-firm tofu into thin strips—like linguine, but a little chewier. And they are naturally gluten-free and high in protein! They’re great right out of the bag in cold salads or tossed into stir-fries. You can definitely substitute rice noodles, but it’s worth trying to find Jenny’s—or a similar product—in your area.

For this salad, all you do is toss the noodles with some simple grilled veggies—whatever’s at the market—and my very favorite vinaigrette. It’s salty, pungent (in a good way), and savory and makes this salad a great one for meat-eaters.

  • 1 cup fresh shiitake mushroom caps
  • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 (6-ounce) jar fermented tofu in chile (I like the Lao Gan Ma brand)
  • 1/2 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp. yuzu juice
  • 1/2 Tbsp. sambal oelek
  • 1 (24-ounce) package soybean noodles, dry-packed
  • 2 cups mung bean sprouts
  • 1 cup shredded red cabbage
  • 1 cup thinly sliced baby summer squash
  • ½ cup pickled Fresno chiles (recipe below)
  • ¼ cup fresh mint leaves, torn
  • ¼ cup fresh Thai basil leaves, torn

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Toss the shiitake mushroom caps with a tablespoon of the canola oil and season with a pinch of salt.

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Spread the mushrooms on a baking sheet and roast until tender, about eight minutes. Set aside to cool, then slice into quarters.

Combine the fermented tofu, vinegar, remaining 1/4 cup canola oil, the sesame oil, yuzu juice, and sambal oelek in a blender and blend until well incorporated and thickened.

Toss the noodles, shiitakes, sprouts, red cabbage, squash, pickled chiles, and herbs with the dressing.

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Serve at room temperature or chilled.


Pickled Fresno Chiles

A little spicy, a little fresh, and really, really bright, these are great sliced thin and tossed into salads or sauces, or on avocado toast.

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Makes 1 cup

  • 2/3 cup champagne vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup sliced and seeded fresh Fresno chiles

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the vinegar, sugar, and salt to a boil. Put the chiles in a heatproof container, pour the pickling liquid on top, and allow to cool to room temperature. Cover and store in the fridge for up to one month.

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Reprinted from Gather & Graze: 120 Favorite Recipes for Tasty Good Times. Copyright © 2018 by Stephanie Izard, Inc. Photographs copyright © 2018 by Galdones Photography. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.