Exploding with flavor in every bite, these spicy peanut noodles with tofu are naturally gluten-free, vegan, and packed with protein. What a perfect recipe for your next meatless-Monday!
Peanut Butter & Noodles?
It's safe to say we've eaten our way through the majority of Southeast Asia. From our incredible travel experiences there, we become huge fans of Asian culture and cuisine. It's unfortunate to be confined due to the "Big C", so we've been having some serious wanderlust going on (exciting news coming soon on that front though).
While reminiscing, we decided to create our own version of various noodle dishes we've enjoyed. We took inspiration from traditional Pad Thai, but tweaked it to create a simple, but unbelievably delicious meal.
The major difference between peanut noodles and Bangkok's signature dish is the use of tamarind, fish sauce, and eggs. We decided to "veganize" it and use easy-to-find ingredients.
Our peanut noodles have such bright, vibrant flavors that are bound to impress anyone. After mixing in the creamy peanut butter sauce, each bite becomes rich with a touch of heat (or a lot if you can handle it).
You can adjust the spice level by adding more or less of the chilis or sriracha. Feeling a bit daring? Add a habanero or ghost pepper. Make these peanut noodles ahead of time for a vegan and gluten-free meal prep that will have people asking for the recipe.
Key Ingredients for Spicy Peanut Noodles With Tofu
- Peanuts: an essential ingredient for this dish and a great way to add in some extra protein and healthy fats. Peanut butter creates a rich and creamy texture in the sauce, while crunchy roasted peanuts add another level of complexity to this dish. Despite their name, peanuts are actually a legume and closely related to beans, lentils, and soy (who knew?).
- Thai chilis: also known as Bird's eye chilis, Thai chilis are widely used across southern Asia. These babies contain 50,000-100,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU), which is moderately spicy (to some). Thai chili peppers are an excellent way to bring a layer of heat to your meal while providing you with healthy amounts of Vitamin A and C.
- Tofu: this is a vegan's secret weapon to bump up the protein content of any meal! Surprisingly to many, tofu has a higher percentage of protein-to-calorie ratio than its meat counterparts. For those of you who really dislike the texture of tofu, ensure you buy extra-firm varieties and press out all the water.
- Rice noodles: made up of just ground rice and water, rice noodles are a perfect alternative to yellow egg noodles. They're naturally gluten-free and offer slightly lower carbohydrate content and calories than their yellow-looking cousin. We love using them in this recipe as they have a chewy, satisfying texture.
How to Make Spicy Peanut Noodles With Tofu
To begin, drain, press, and cube the tofu into bite-size pieces. Then, prep the rest of the stir fry ingredients by chopping the chilis, ginger, garlic, carrots, and bell peppers. Also, slice the green onions, chop the peanuts, and wash the bean sprouts.
To make the peanut sauce, simply mix the peanut butter, ginger, liquid aminos, maple syrup, rice vinegar, lime, hot sauce, and water together in a bowl.
In a large pot, bring some water to a boil. Once boiling, turn the burner off and add in your rice noodles. Stir, then cover them for about 5-6 minutes, or until the noodles are al dente.
Drain and rinse the noodles, then toss with a dash of sesame oil to prevent sticking. Set your noodles aside while you prepare the stir fry.
For the stir fry, heat the sesame oil in a large skillet over medium. Once hot, add your tofu cubes in and sauté for a few minutes to brown it on all sides (use an oil guard if you have one as the sesame oil can splatter). Next, add in minced Thai chilis, garlic, and ginger. Sauté for another couple of minutes, or until the garlic is fragrant.
Once crispy, transfer the tofu and spices to the noodle pot, then add the julienned carrots and bell pepper to the skillet. Sauté the veggies for 4-5 minutes, or until tender. If things are looking a little dry, you can add a splash of water or oil.
Putting it Together
To assemble, mix the cooked veggies, tofu, and noodles together with the bean sprouts, green onions, and chopped peanuts in the large noodle pot. Add in the peanut sauce and cook over medium heat (tongs are handy for this part) for a few minutes, or until the sauce is incorporated and everything is hot.
Serve these spicy peanut noodles immediately with optional garnishes such as lime wedges, more bean sprouts, more sliced green onions, chopped cilantro, peanuts, and sriracha or sambal oelek!
How to Store Spicy Peanut Noodles With Tofu
This meal is of course best served immediately after cooking. But worry not. If you have leftovers, they'll keep in the fridge for about 3-4 days. When you're ready to eat, heat the noodles in a pot over low or the microwave. Serve with your preferred garnishes!
Why You'll Love These Spicy Peanut Noodles With Tofu
This dish is a staple in our household, and soon it will be in yours too. It's:
If you make this recipe, don’t forget to leave a comment, rate it, and tag us on Instagram with #brokebankvegan. Happy eating!
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8 servings per container
Serving Size1 servings
- Amount Per ServingCalories434
- % Daily Value *
- Total Fat
- Saturated Fat 3g 15%
- Sodium 798.3mg 34%
- Potassium 188.8mg 6%
- Total Carbohydrate
- Dietary Fiber 5.7g 23%
- Sugars 10g
- Protein 17.8g 36%
* The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
I can't find rice noodles. What else can I use?
You can easily mix this meal with rice, soba noodles, or quinoa if you can't find rice noodles. You'll be able to find rice noodles at your local Oriental market if you have one nearby.
Do I have to use Sambal Oelek?
If you can't find sambal oelek at the grocery store, don't worry! You can omit it or simply add more spice by adding extra chilis, sriracha, or red pepper flakes.
How can I make this meal cheaper?
Remember, this meal does serve 8 people, but to make it even cheaper, use less peanut butter, use soy sauce instead of liquid aminos, and omit the bell peppers or carrots.