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.