Big fan over here of 30-minute meals and this Vegan Thai Noodle Bowl falls into that category. I almost feel like this is a deluxe 30-minute meal. The sauce for this stirfry bowl is so simple yet it packs so much flavour and had me going back for seconds. I would have gone back for thirds but I was stuffed. If you are sick of spending time in the kitchen and 30 minutes is your MAX, then give this recipe a whirl.
how to prepare the smoked tofu
If you are not a tofu fan (hello Picky Husband) then just leave the tofu out of the recipe. The sauce definitely holds its own without a smokey addition from the smoked tofu. But if you love tofu, like me, here is the dealio. The smoked tofu that I’m obsessed with is Silver King Soya Foods. In this stirfry bowl, I use their tamari smoked tofu- it’s amazing. I pick up this good stuff from Nature’s Fare. Again for this recipe, you don’t have to use tofu or smoked tofu. You could leave it out completely or use regular extra firm tofu.
Now even though this tofu is already packed with the tamari and smokey flavours I still decided to press it so it would for sure keep its shape in this dish. You can press your tofu for a long time, or I find even doing it for 30 minutes makes a difference. Now if you press the tofu, this meal isn’t a 30-minute meal. But when you get home from work, get that tofu pressed while you prepare the veggies. If you can press it for 30 minutes at least (although I prefer 1 hour). If you are short on time, skip this step (the tofu will still be yummy) or just leave out the tofu.
When you press the smoked tofu, wrap the tofu in a clean dish towel. If you have a tofu press, you are lucky. But if you don’t just pile a bunch of those heavy cookbooks on top of the towel and leave it be. The pressing of the tofu helps to remove excess water so that the tofu will hold it’s shape in this vegan thai dish.
To cook the smoked tofu, heat a cast-iron pan over medium heat with a few tsp of oil (I use avocado oil). Then cut the tofu into 1/2 inch cubes and toss them in arrowroot powder. Make sure all sides are coated. Then once the pan is hot, add the coated tofu. The tofu will cook for roughly 2 minutes per side. The end result is a crispy outside and softer inside. The perfect addition to this stirfry bowl.
here are a few reasons why I love this Vegan Thai Noodle Bowl, so listen up!
- Simplicity is where it’s at. This stirfry bowl has a basic 5 ingredient sauce. It’s nothing fancy but is so delicious with the combination of the Lotus noodles, the smoked tofu and the basic veggies. It’s simple yet so flavourful.
- This great thing about this vegan thai bowl is that you can use whatever vegetables you have on hand. If you don’t like broccoli (which the recipe calls for), sub in the vegetables that you do like. I kept it pretty simple because, with COVID19, no one is running out to the grocery store every day. I typically always have broccoli on hand so it just worked out that way. But it’s a versatile dish that gives you the freedom to pick and choose.
- The Picky Husband likes this dish! Of course without the tofu. I don’t’ know if he will ever be a fan of tofu and that’s ok, we are all allowed our own opinions. But he loves the sauce, and this is definitely a recipe I think he could make in the future. Adam makes dinner for us most Mondays (so I get a break) but I like to set him up with simple recipes that don’t take long because he hates cooking. He may hate it, but he does look pretty cute cooking up a storm in the kitchen!
This Vegan Thai Noodle Bowl is going to be a highlight of your week. It’s easy to throw together, loaded with protein, smokey flavours and ginger goodness. This dish works as leftovers/lunch for the next day as well (just reheat). I hope you love the combination of flavours and the heartiness of this stirfry bowl and you go back for seconds just like I did.
vegan thai noodle bowl
tofu + veg
- 210 g smoked tofu (firm/extra firm)
- 2 tsp oil of choice
- 2 tbsp arrowroot powder/corn starch
- 2 tsp oil of choice
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/2 white onion
- 1 tbsp grated ginger
- 1 red pepper
- 1 head broccoli (2 cups chopped)
- 1/2- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 8 oz brown rice noodles (Lotus Foods see notes)
- handful of toasted cashews to top the dish (optional)
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup tamari
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp water
- 1/2 tsp maple syrup
- 1/2 lime, juiced
- I suggest pressing your tofu for at least 1 hour. Place the unwrapped tofu in a towel and place something heavy on it. Set aside. The tofu will absorb the flavours of the dish better, if you press it. But if you are short on time you can skip this step.
- Once the tofu has been pressed, cut the tofu in ½ inch cubes. Heat a cast-iron pan with 2 tsp of oil over medium heat. Toss the tofu cubes in 2 tbsp of arrowroot powder. All sides should be covered. Once the pan is heated, saute the cubes on each side for roughly 2 minutes or until browned.
- While the tofu is cooking. Heat another pan on the stove (medium heat) with 2 tsp of oil. Add chopped onion to the heated pan. Once the onion starts to brown add the pressed garlic cloves, the grated ginger, chopped broccoli, and the sliced pepper. Toss in the red pepper flakes. Let these vegetables saute as you bring a medium-sized pot of water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, follow the directions for your pasta.
- Prepare the sauce. Add all the ingredients to a bowl and whisk. Add half of the sauce to the vegetables once they have browned, and lower the temperature to a simmer.
- Drain the water from the noodles once they are cooked, add the tofu and the noodles to the vegetables and toss. Add the remaining amount of sauce. Divide evenly among two bowls and top with sesame seeds and cashews.
- This dish is delicious as leftovers. Store in a sealed container for 3 days.