This super flavorful vegan peanut butter noodles is served with perfectly crispy pan-fried tofu! Filling, hearty yet incredibly wholesome at the same time. Quick to make and is ready in 40 minutes.
The combo of peanut butter and noodles might sound weird, but I am here to tell you that this is seriously one of the best pairing ever! This amazing vegan peanut butter noodles is creamy, rich and nutty, and will definitely leave you wanting for more!
💚Why you will love this recipe
- It is creamy, rich and super comforting to have - No joke, even my non-vegan family absolutely love this peanut noodles with tofu. They even asked for seconds!
- A 40 minute recipe that makes a lovely quick meal - Hence, it is a great weeknight meal to make after a long day of work.
- Can be made ahead and great for meal prep - This vegan peanut noodles with tofu will keep well in the fridge for 3-4 days. As for the sauce, it can be refrigerated for up to a week, and is even freezable too!
🥜What you will need
For peanut sauce
📃Notes / substitutions
- Noodles - Any kind of dried noodles will work well here. I am using dried wheat noodles, but you can choose to use soba, udon, rice noodles or even regular spaghetti. For a higher protein version, use chickpea or pulse spaghetti. Use gluten-free ones if needed.
- Tofu - Make sure to use extra-firm tofu, and do remember to press it beforehand.
- Cornstarch - Essential for helping tofu develop a crispy outer crust. Can be substitute with other starches like potato starch or tapioca starch.
- Peanut butter - Highly recommend using smooth natural peanut butter that is only made from peanuts and salt.
- Oil-free - Cook tofu on a good non-stick pan without oil, and omit sesame oil in peanut sauce. Alternatively, bake tofu in an oven preheated to 200C / 400F for 20 minutes.
🔪How to make
Heat up a pot of water and cook noodles according to package instructions. Drain and rinse under cold water after cooking.
In the meantime, make peanut sauce by combining everything needed.
Combine together salt and cornstarch. In a zip top bag, place in tofu along with the cornstarch mixture. Toss until tofu is well coated.
Heat up a tablespoon or so of neutral tasting oil in a medium cast-iron / non-stick skillet on medium high heat. Place tofu in a layer and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, until most sides are golden brown. Set aside.
Add in another ½ tablespoon of oil back into the pan. Saute garlic for 1-2 minutes, before adding in cabbage and carrot. Cook for 3-4 minutes until veggies have softened, stirring frequently.
Toss in peanut sauce along with cooked noodles. Toss until everything is well combined. Remove from heat, top it with tofu cubes and enjoy!
- Drain and press your tofu - This step is key in making crispy tofu. You can either press them using a tofu press, or just by stacking something heavy on top. Check out this post on how to press tofu for a more detailed instructions.
- Use natural smooth peanut butter - Those kinds that are only made from peanuts and sometimes with the addition of salt. This is because they are runnier when compared to conventional ones.
- Slightly undercook noodles - Noodles that are overcooked tend to be clumpy and stick together easily. I usually cook them a minute less than the suggested cooking time on the package. They should be al dente and still have some chew to them.
- Rinse noodles under cold water immediately after cooking - This cool them down to stop them from further cooking.
- Feel free to use any veggies you have on hand in place of cabbage and carrot. You can add up to 4 cups of it. Some that works particularly well include mushroom, bell peppers, snap peas, broccoli and cauliflower. I also love to throw in some shelled edamame.
- Switch pan-fried tofu with other plant based protein source. Some of my personal favorite includes seitan, tempeh and vegan chicken tender slices.
- For a lower carb version, swap noodles with zucchini noodles, spaghetti squash or sweet potato noodles.
- To make peanut noodles with tofu lower in fat and calories, you can rehydrate ⅓ cup of peanut butter powder with ¼ cup of water and use it in place of peanut butter.
- Vegan peanut butter noodles can be eaten both warm or cold. For the cold version, you can skip cooking your veggies and toss them with cooked noodles in peanut sauce, before topping with tofu.
🍜How to serve
Although this peanut noodles with tofu is pretty satisfying and hearty on its own, you can definitely pair it with some additional toppings or side dishes.
- Top it with some extra raw veggies like shredded cabbage, julienned bell peppers and bean sprouts.
- Side dishes like tofu satay skewers, Thai quinoa salad or tofu rice paper rolls pairs beautifully with this recipe.
- Pair it alongside some steamed or roasted veggies to get in some extra greens.
- Sprinkle on some chopped roasted peanuts or sesame seeds to give this dish extra flavor and texture.
For cooked vegan peanut butter noodles, it can be refrigerated for 3-4 days in a sealed container. You can either reheat it on stove or in the microwave, but do add a splash of water to thin if the mixture appears to be dry.
As for peanut sauce, it can be kept in the fridge for up to a week, and can even be frozen for up to a month. Hence, I do recommend batch-making the sauce. It not only will work in this recipe, but can also be used as a salad dressing or in stir-fries.
❔Commonly asked questions
This vegan peanut butter noodles is naturally free from gluten if gluten-free noodles like rice noodles and soba are used. You will also want to make sure to purchase gluten-free soy sauce like this Kikkoman one.
Most dried noodles and pasta in the market are naturally vegan. But do turn and read the ingredient list and look out for animal products, eggs being one of the most common ones added to noodles. Obviously, avoid egg noodles they will contain eggs.
It is possible to make crispy tofu without using oil. You can pan-fry your tofu dry without oil, but do make sure to adjust heat to medium and use a good non-stick pan. It will take a bit longer for tofu to turn golden brown, so do be patient!
To coat your tofu, you can use other starches in place of cornstarch like tapioca starch or potato starch.
🍽More Asian vegan dinners
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Vegan Peanut Butter Noodles With Crispy Tofu
For peanut sauce
For the noodles
- 1 14 oz block extra firm tofu pressed and drained
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 8 oz dried noodles of choice
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 3 cups shredded cabbage
- 1 medium carrot julienned
- Heat up a pot of water and cook noodles according to package instructions. Drain and rinse under cold water after cooking.
- In the meantime, make peanut sauce by combining everything needed.⅓ cup peanut butter , 3 tablespoons soy sauce , 1 ½ tablespoons rice vinegar , 1 ½ tablespoons maple syrup , 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- Combine together salt and cornstarch. In a zip top bag, place in tofu along with the cornstarch mixture. Toss until tofu is well coated.
- Heat up a tablespoon or so of neutral tasting oil in a medium cast-iron / non-stick skillet on medium high heat. Place tofu in a layer and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, until most sides are golden brown. Set aside.
- Add in another ½ tablespoon of oil back into Saute garlic for 1-2 minutes, before adding in cabbage and carrot. Cook for 3-4 minutes until veggies have softened, stirring frequently.
- Toss in peanut sauce along with cooked noodles and tofu. Toss until everything is well combined. Give it a taste and add more soy sauce, if needed. Remove from heat, serve and enjoy!