This Chinese Noodles with Tofu dish is a very tasty meal-in-one. Me and Tofu, we’ve had a rocky relationship. I used to think of Tofu as this squishy tasteless boring thing. But that’s before I discovered I could marinate it before frying it. I found that the secret to tofu is that it absorbs the flavors of the sauce it’s in. I sometimes roast the marinated tofu in the oven instead of stir frying it – it’s crisp on the outside and soft on the inside, with a lot of flavor – delicious!
This is a fairly quick and easy Chinese stir-fry. Most of the prep time is the draining of the tofu. You can use any type of noodles that you like. I really love Udon noodles – they are so plump and chewy – but you have to get the fresh kind, I think that’s a must. I get them at my local grocery store, but you could definitely find them at a specialty Asian store. This time I didn’t have any on hand, but I had a stash of Ramen noodles, so that’s what I used. I have found that it is best to stir-fry each type of vegetable separately, so they don’t overcook, and the pan isn’t overcrowded. If you have the time, you can marinate your drained tofu with a little soy sauce for about 30 minutes and coat with some corn starch before frying to prevent it from sticking to the wok.
Chinese Noodles with Tofu
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp oyster sauce can be substituted with vegetarian oyster sauce
- 1 tsp chili black bean sauce
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 14 oz. (1 package) firm or extra-firm tofu
- 12 oz noodles udon, chow mein, ramen
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil divided
- 1 small bell pepper cut into julienne strips
- 1 carrot cut into julienne strips
- 1 cup snow peas cut lengthwise in half
- 2 stalks celery cut into julienne strips
- 1 cup mushrooms sliced
- 5 scallions sliced thinly, white and green parts separated
- 1 Tbsp ginger minced
- 1 Tbsp garlic minced
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper or to taste
- 2 Tbsp cilantro chopped, optional
- Combine soy, oyster and black bean sauces with honey and sesame oil and set aside.
- Place a dish towel on a large plate, folded to the size of the tofu slab, and place the tofu slab over the towel.
- Place another folded dish towel over the tofu and cover with something heavy to weigh it down (I usually use a stoneware pan).
- Let tofu sit for at least 30 minutes.
- Cut tofu into 1/2-inch cubes and set aside.
- Cook the noodles according to package directions, drain and rinse with cold water to stop cooking.
- Cut noodles to 6 to 8 inches in length using kitchen shears.
- Heat a wok or stir-fry pan over high heat.
- Add 1 tbsp oil and swirl to coat the sides.
- Reduce heat to medium-high and stir-fry the tofu until golden brown; transfer to a plate.
- Stir fry each type of vegetable (bell pepper, carrots, snow peas, celery and mushrooms) separately, adding more oil as needed, and transferring each vegetable to a large plate or bowl when tender-crisp.
- Add white parts of the scallions, ginger, garlic, and crushed red pepper to pan and stir-fry for 15 seconds
- Add back in the vegetables and tofu and stir gently to combine.
- Add cooked noodles and sauce mixture, and toss gently to coat, until heated through.
- Remove from heat and garnish with green parts of the scallions.
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I’m so happy to find this recipe. I grew up in Singapore, and a good Chinese stir fry noodle was an important part of my life. I would love to try this recipe at home sometime.
Any particular sauce of the chili black bean sauce/oyster sauce you recommend I look for in the Chinese grocery?
How do you julienne a celery stalk? Do you mean to chop it into long strips that are not thin…like the carrot?
why do you need to let the tofu sit for 30 minutes if you are not marinating it? Can’t I drain the tofu and wipe it well with paper towels before cutting into half inch cubes? Why do you need to weigh it down with something heavy?
Sorry if my questions seem silly. I’m a self taught cook.
I wish this recipe came with a few pictures of your ingredients and veges so it was easier to follow, but thank you for sharing it!!
Paint the Kitchen Red
Hi Dhanya – no worries, I’m always happy to answer questions and no question is silly on my blog. This recipe is one I posted before I went to all-Instant Pot, all the time 🙂 And that’s also before I started posting very detailed instructions. I am really happy that you’ve found it and would like to try it.
– I just use what’s locally available in my grocery store – Lee Kum Kee brand black bean and Kikkoman Oyster – but you can use whatever you can find.
– Yes, the celery is cut a bit thicker than the carrots but long thin strips.
– You don’t have to weigh down the tofu, but when I do I find that it’s better able to absorb the flavors of your sauce because it isn’t full of liquid already.
Let me know if you have further questions. Also, you can easily substitute chicken strips and it tastes really good. btw, I love love love Singapore noodles. I make them at home, but have yet to find a recipe that is perfect!
If I am trying this recipe out with about 6oz. of noodles or to serve 3, should I reduce all the sauces, honey and sesame oil as well by half the amount stated above? I guess I reduce the ginger-garlic and spring onions by half too. Please let me know if you have any other advice.
I will try with just mushrooms and tofu. Do you think about 1 cup of sliced mushrooms and half a packet of cubed drained tofu (about 7oz.) be enough for this amount of noodles?
I managed to find black bean garlic sauce, not chili black bean. I guess the spice will come from the chili flakes.
Thanks again for your help ?
Paint the Kitchen Red
Dhanya – yes, you can reduce all ingredients by half and your veggie quantity sounds good. If you wanted to you could add a dash more than half of any of the ingredients. You might want to reduce the garlic a bit since you black bean sauce has garlic. Good luck 🙂