Try this Vegan Crack Chilli Tofu Noodle Bowl and you’ll be hooked for good. Cubes of flavorful, golden-brown tofu, crispy outside and soft inside, are served on a bed of rice noodles with lots of fresh veggies on the side. A gluten-free and nut-free recipe.
How long have we known each other? Ten years? In all that time, I am sure I’ve told you that I was not a fan of tofu. Perfect protein or not, I wouldn’t — couldn’t! — stomach it. Until the day I cooked up this Chilli Tofu.
I fell in love, and each time I now eat Chilli Tofu over a bed of glossy rice noodles in my Vegan Crack Chilli Tofu Noodle Bowl, I fall in love a little more.
If you noticed the extra “l” in the chilli, you probably wondered about it, so let me clarify that this chilli is not the thick, beany stew eaten here in the United States. Chilli Tofu is a spicy, sweet, slightly tangy recipe that’s my vegan version of the Indo-Chinese dish Chilli Paneer.
I shared a recipe for Chilli Tofu with you a while back which is delicious, but the version I have for you today is much quicker, and needs just one pan. Even better, you can take it from scratch to the dinner table in 30 minutes.
What gives Indo-Chinese cuisine its addictive flavor and uniqueness is the combination of Indian spices and Chinese seasonings. In this Vegan Crack Chilli Tofu, coriander seed and black pepper do a delicious tango with rice vinegar and soy sauce.
In India, the “chilli” is dry red chili peppers, but I used sriracha sauce. I also threw in lots of sesame seeds for the crunch and because, well, they’re delicious.
I serve up the chilli tofu noodle bowl with lots of chopped veggies because they add a pop of fresh flavor that works really well with the delicious tofu. I am especially partial to carrots and scallions, but you can chop up some greens, or bell peppers or zucchini. Snow peas are magnificent.
If you try this Vegan Crack Chilli Tofu Noodle Bowl, be sure to come back and let me know.
- 12 oz rice noodles
- 16 oz extra firm tofu, cubed Before you prep it, swaddle the tofu in paper towels and place in a colander with a heavy weight on it for a few minutes before cooking to remove excess liquid. If you're short on time, place the block of tofu in a microwave-safe dish and zap for four minutes, flipping over once. Drain out the water that collects in the dish when you flip the tofu.
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp coriander seed powder
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1/2 tsp ginger powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp (or more) sriracha
- 2 tsp cornstarch mixed with 1/2 cup water
- Salt to taste
- 2 cups chopped vegetables to serve, like spring onions or scallions, bell peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, leafy greens, or carrots.
Place a large pot of water on the stove for the noodles and cook them according to package directions. Drain the noodles and wash them under cold, running water.
While the noodles are cooking, heat the oil in a skillet and brown the tofu cubes on all sides over high heat.
Mix all the remaining ingredients except the cornstarch in a bowl and whisk together to mix.
Lower the heat and add the sauce to the tofu. Cook over low heat, stirring, until the liquid has evaporated. Continue cooking for a couple more minutes, stirring the tofu frequently.
Add the cornstarch mixed in water and scrape up any bits at the bottom of the skillet. Turn off the heat when most of the liquid is gone.
To serve the bowls, place the chilli tofu on a bed of rice noodles and add some veggies.
*Nutrition info below is only for the noodles and tofu, and does not include veggies.