Peanut Noodles with Crispy Tofu

By Julie van Rosendaal on March 10, 2011
They enjoy it when they’re young and get to know it as something that’s soft inside, crispy outside and flavourful, rather than bland. Tofu is high in calcium and takes on flavours well, so a little marinade and a hot pan can be transformative. If you want to skip the noodles, try cutting firm tofu into strips and serving the crispy fingers like fries. For a thicker peanut sauce, don’t bother cooking the tofu – choose the soft variety and whirl it instead with the marinade and peanut butter in a food processor until smooth.



1/4 cup (60 ml) rice vinegar
1/4 cup (60 ml) soy sauce
1 tbsp (15 ml) canola oil
1 tbsp (15 ml) sesame oil
2 tbsp (30 ml) honey or brown sugar
1 tbsp (15 ml) lime juice
2 tsp (10 ml) grated fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/4 cup (60 ml) peanut or almond butter or tahini (sesame seed paste)   


300 g firm or extra-firm tofu (one pkg))
1/2 lb (454 g) Asian noodles, or as much as you think you’ll need
2 cups (500 ml) broccoli florets
1 small red pepper, sliced
1–2 green onions, chopped
canola or sesame oil, for cooking
1/4 cup (60 ml) sesame seeds
1/2 cup (125 ml) sliced almonds, toasted (optional)       


1. To make the dressing, shake the vinegar, soy sauce, canola oil, sesame oil, honey, lime juice, ginger and garlic in a jar.

2. Pour over the tofu in a shallow dish, cover and refrigerate for an hour or up to a day, turning it once or twice. Remove the tofu from the marinade (reserving the marinade) and place on two sheets of paper towel; place another paper towel on top, then a plate or other flat object. Let sit for 30 minutes to press out any excess moisture – this will make your tofu extra crispy.

3. Whisk the almond or peanut butter into the marinade. Cook the noodles according to package directions, adding the broccoli for the last few minutes of cooking time; pour both into a colander to drain, and run under cold water to stop them from cooking. Drain well. Transfer to a bowl and add the red pepper and green onion. Drizzle with about half the dressing, toss and divide among bowls.

4. Cut the tofu into about 1-inch squares (or bite-sized pieces) and heat a drizzle of oil in a heavy skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the tofu and brown on all sides. Divide the crispy tofu among the bowls, top with sesame seeds and drizzle with extra dressing. Serve immediately. Serves 6.

PER SERVING (made with sesame seeds and 1 tablespoon cooking oil):

517 calories, 29 g fat (4.2 g saturated fat, 12 g monounsaturated fat, 13 g polyunsaturated fat), 50 g carbohydrates, 0 mg cholesterol, 17.7 g protein, 9.6 g fibre.

By Julie van Rosendaal| March 10, 2011

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