Holy smokes. Calling all tofu haters out there, this recipe is for you. I recently got the popular food blog, Minimalist Baker‘s new book, Everyday Cooking and browsed through the amazing recipes. But the one that caught my eye was a post on their blog for this Thai Noodle Bowl with Almond Butter Tofu. I’ve recently been on a pad thai kick due to the nature of the rice noodles naturally being gluten free, so whenever I crave pasta it is my go-to. Comfort food at its finest. But now that I’m getting more adventurous in the kitchen, I decided to give this recipe a shot and I am so glad I did.
This recipe does not take long at all, and can easily be done from start to finish in under 30 minutes. The key is to have your tofu pressed to soak up all the water while you prep your veggies, and to make your sauces before starting the actual cooking process. This tofu would be good by itself too with any type of sides – it’s addictive and savory and it could not taste any better. I’m hooked.
Check out the original recipe for this bomb dish here.
This easy dish makes tofu the star with its almond butter sauce. Paired with rice noodles and veggies, this meal is a perfect crowd-pleasing vegan dish. Gluten-free and full of savory flavor.
- 8 ounces (227 g) extra firm tofu
- 3 Tbsp (45 ml) sesame oil, divided
- 2 Tbsp (32 g) salted creamy almond, cashew or peanut butter
- 1 Tbsp (15 ml) tamari (or soy sauce if not GF)
- 1 Tbsp (15 ml) lime juice
- 1–2 Tbsp (15–30 ml) maple syrup or coconut sugar
- 1 birds eye chili, crushed (or sub 1/4 tsp red pepper flake)
- 3 Tbsp (21 g) cornstarch
- 5 ounces (141 g) very thin rice noodles (I like this brand)
- 2 cups (244 g) thinly sliced or ribboned* carrots (~2 carrots)
- 1 cup (104 g) cucumber, sliced on a bias, then halved (~1 small cucumber)
- optional: 1/2 cup (75 g) chopped red bell pepper
- 1/2 cup (50 g) thinly sliced diced green onion
- 1/2 cup (30 g) fresh cilantro or basil, torn/chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbsp or 6 g)
- 1 fresh or dried birds eye chili, crushed (more to taste), or sub 1/4 tsp red pepper flake
- 1 Tbsp (15 ml) maple syrup, plus more to taste
- 2 tsp tamari (or soy sauce if not gluten free)
- 1 Tbsp (15 ml) lime juice
- 2 Tbsp (30 ml) rice vinegar (or sub white or apple cider vinegar with varied results)
- 1 Tbsp (15 ml) sesame oil
- Start by wrapping tofu in a clean towel and setting something heavy on top (like a cast iron skillet) to press out excess moisture for 10 minutes. Set aside.
- Prepare the tofu sauce in a medium mixing bowl by whisking together 1 Tbsp sesame oil, almond butter, tamari, lime juice, maple syrup, and 1 crushed chili. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more tamari for saltiness, lime juice for acidity, chili pepper for heat, or maple syrup for sweetness. Set aside.
- Next, prepare rice noodles according to package instructions, then rinse with cold water, drain thoroughly, and set aside.
- Prep vegetables next. Set aside.
- Prepare salad dressing by adding all ingredients to a small mixing bowl (or jar) and whisking (or shaking vigorously) to combine.
- Taste and adjust flavors as needed, adding more chilies for heat, tamari for saltiness, lime juice for acidity, or maple syrup for sweetness. Set aside.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat and cut pressed tofu into small rectangles. Toss in 3-4 Tbsp cornstarch (they should be well coated) and sauté in 2 remaining Tbsp sesame oil, flipping once browned on the underside to ensure even browning – about 5 minutes total.
- Add the almond butter sauce and stir gently to combine. Cook for another 3-4 minutes, stirring gently to ensure even cooking on all sides. Remove from heat and set aside.
- To assemble, divide noodles, vegetables and tofu among serving bowls. Serve with dressing. For more heat, serve with sriracha or chili garlic sauce.
- Best when fresh, though leftovers keep well when stored separately in the refrigerator up to 3 days.
*not a fan of tofu? I promise it’s worth trying. If not, replace with cashews, edamame, tempeh, or even chicken.
- Category: Main Dish
- Cuisine: Thai