My mother introduced me to the Super G Mart two years ago and I have been infatuated ever since. Super G calls the old Bi-Lo store on Independence its home. There is another location in Greensboro, NC.
Want to introduce your children to a cultural adventure? Trek to Super G! On our monthly visits, I get my fresh herbs and bring a recipe that I want to try out – lately it’s been some sort of Thai dish. My children are fascinated by the food diversity. Super G also has a Korean restaurant in the back whose takeout measured up to my mother’s high standards!
If you want really fresh and cheap produce and herbs, Super G will deliver! Shake up your next dinner party and try a new Thai, Indian, Chinese, Spanish or Korean recipe. I made a Thai noodle dish for some dinner guests who absolutely raved over it. I was so proud! These friends have very adventurous palates and constantly frequent little known and obscure international restaurants in Charlotte and beyond.
From the cookbook, Cooking for Two 2010, by Editors at America’s Test Kitchen (they also produce the fabulous magazines Cook’s Illustrated and Cook’s Country)
RECIPE: Spicy Basil Noodles with Crispy Tofu
NOTE: Use 3/8-inch rice noodles – they are super wide – way wider than fettucini – but any flat rice noodle will do.
4 fresh Thai, serrano or jalapeno chiles (stem and seeds removed – I used jalapenos)
4 garlic cloves, peeled
3 shallots, peeled
1/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
6 ounces flat rice noodles
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 (14 ounce) block of firm or extra-firm tofu, patted dry and cut into 1-inch cubes
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup snap peas, ends trimmed and strings removed
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and sliced into 1/4-inch strips
1 1/2 cups fresh basil
1. FOR THE SAUCE: Pulse the chiles, garlic and shallots in food processor to a coarse pasted, about 15 pulses, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed; set aside. In a small bowl, whisk the broth, firsh sauce, sugar, lime juice and constarch together; set aside.
2. FOR THE NOODLES: Bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a large pot. Remove the boiling water from the heat, add the rice noodles and let sit, stirring occasionally, until noodles are tender about 10 minutes (or just follow directions on noodle package). Drain and set aside.
3. Spread cornstarch in shallow dish, then dredge tofu in cornstarch and transfer to a plate. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add tofu and cook, turning every few minutes, until all sides are crisp and browned about 8 minutes. Transfer tofu to paper towel lined plate and set aside. Wipe out skillet with paper towels.
4. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in the skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add snap peas and bell pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until snap peas are crisp-tender and begin to brown, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer vegetables to a small bowl.
5. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in the skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the chile mixture and cook until the moisture evaporates and the color deepens, 3 to 5 minutes.
6. Whisk the broth mixture to recombine, then add it to the skillet. Stir in the drained rice noodles, cooked tofu and vegetables, and basil and cook, tossing constantly, until the sauce has thickend and the noodles and vegetables are well coated and heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve!
You can find Super G Mart at:
7323 E Independence Blvd
Charlotte, NC 28227