Curried Noodles with Crispy Tofu & Winter Vegetables {gluten-free & vegan} and a Spice Society Giveaway

Pan-fried rice noodles team up with winter vegetables and perfectly crispy tofu for a brightly-hued, vegan and gluten-free take on Singapore noodles. Read on to see how to win a box of Spice Society organic spices for #eatgreen2016. 

Curried Noodles with Crispy Tofu & Winter Vegetables {gluten-free & vegan}

Hello!

Curried Noodles with Crispy Tofu & Winter Vegetables {gluten-free & vegan}

I can’t believe it’s been nearly 3 weeks since I saw you last. I’ve missed you! But there was a good reason: I’ve been working hard behind the scenes to put some finishing touches on my book. I’m so excited to share it with you come April, I can hardly stand it.

Curried Noodles with Crispy Tofu & Winter Vegetables {gluten-free & vegan}Curried Noodles with Crispy Tofu & Winter Vegetables {gluten-free & vegan}

It was nice to take a break from staring at sweet, decadent recipes and do some savory cooking with one of my favorite gals. Emma drove down from Napa, showed me how to make the crispiest, tastiest tofu in the world, helped me whip up these noodles, modeled said noodles. We discussed our shared love of Meg Ryan rom coms, cats of the masochistic variety, and nerded out on vegetables.

Curried Noodles with Crispy Tofu & Winter Vegetables {gluten-free & vegan}Curried Noodles with Crispy Tofu & Winter Vegetables {gluten-free & vegan}

I’ve been on a bit of a health kick these last few weeks, getting up early to get to a yoga or dance fitness class, and still eating everything I love, just in smaller portions. It’s been feeling great, like a mini, loosey-goosey personal detox in just the way I like it. We’ve had this soup, this minestrone, these smoothies, lots of salads, and many meals out at our favorite local spots. (Don’t worry – I still ate my fair share of these for breakfast.)

Curried Noodles with Crispy Tofu & Winter Vegetables {gluten-free & vegan}

I’m a firm believer that “healthy” means different things to different bodies. To some, it’s eating raw food, to others it’s eating slow-cooked soups and stews. To some it’s eating meat, to others not so much. To some it’s avoiding gluten or grains altogether, and to others it’s loading up on whole grains and legumes. Then there’s the mental and emotional health of feeling calm and relaxed about your choices, and that’s just as important. Maybe that looks like having some flexibility around what you eat and indulging every so often without beating yourself up inside.

Curried Noodles with Crispy Tofu & Winter Vegetables {gluten-free & vegan}

But if there’s one thing that we’re always committed to in the Bojon kitchen, it’s buying organic whenever possible. This struck home when Spice Society sent me a box full of lovely spices and the reminder that it’s extra important to go organic with herbs and spices, since they are condensed versions of themselves and the conventional versions tend to be extra-dense with nasty stuff. I always buy organic spices anyway, but I was especially blown away by their offerings. Their toasted cinnamon enhanced the warm flavor of these flans. Their dried oregano made a cheesy tomato baked pasta really pop, and Emma and I couldn’t stop talking about how amazing their extra-vibrant curry powder tasted in these noodles.

Curried Noodles with Crispy Tofu & Winter Vegetables {gluten-free & vegan}

This dish has roots in Singapore noodles, a Chinese take-out specialty with questionable origins. I’ve never tasted the classic version – probably because they’re often filled with all sorts of sketchy meat. But I turned to the authority on all things delicious and plant-based: my girl Dana at Minimalist Baker (who has the most glorious book coming out in April that you should seriously get your mitts on ASAP) for a Singapore starting point, and Emma and I put our own wintery take on things, along with Emma’s flawless crispy tofu.

Curried Noodles with Crispy Tofu & Winter Vegetables {gluten-free & vegan}

First, tofu is marinated in a mixture of tamari, rice vinegar, garlic, oil and chili sauce, then dredged in curried cornstarch and pan fried until crusty. The marinade doubles as a braising sauce for vegetables, and the whole thing is tossed with pan-fried rice noodles redolent with curry powder.

Curried Noodles with Crispy Tofu & Winter Vegetables {gluten-free & vegan}

This dish has several steps, but all are quite straight forward, and you’re rewarded with a spectacularly colorful dish that feels nourishing and bright, especially during the winter months. Leftovers reheat brilliantly.

Curried Noodles with Crispy Tofu & Winter Vegetables {gluten-free & vegan}AND the most exciting part? Spice Society and are teaming up to host a little Instagram contest. Show us your healthy, home-cooked meals and tag them #eatgreen2016, and you could be one of five winners to receive a beautiful box of Spice Society organic herbs and spices.

Curried Noodles with Crispy Tofu & Winter Vegetables {gluten-free & vegan}

See more behind-the-scenes photos and read Emma’s account of the day here.

Happy cooking!

Spice SocietyThanks to the folks at Spice Society for sponsoring this post, making the most delicious, vibrant and organic herbs and spices, and just generally being lovely. Thanks also to my lovely monthly sponsors: Cape Cod Select, Grace Green Beauty, Cogworks serve boards, and A Purified Life Superfood Chocolate

Want more Bojon in your very own home? Preorder my book here

Curried Noodles with Crispy Tofu & Winter Vegetables {gluten-free & vegan} and a Spice Society Giveaway
Author: 
Yields: 4-5 servings
 
If you can't pick between noodles and curry, this is the dish for you. Chewy pan-fried rice noodles tossed with stir-fried winter vegetables and crowned with crispy tofu make one heck of a nourishing meal. Do allow at least an hour and preferably 3 or 4 for the tofu to marinate, and at least 30 minutes and up to overnight to chill the noodles; this makes them hold together better when fried. If you have an eco non-stick pan with rounded edges such as this one, it will make this dish extra-easy; a wide cast-iron skillet works, too. Make this with classic Vietnamese chili garlic sauce, or try it with this organic sriracha, barrel aged in Oakland, California.
Ingredients
Noodles:
  • 12 ounces (340 g) brown rice spaghetti such as these (or other noodles of your choice)
Tofu and Marinade:
  • ⅓ cup (80 ml) rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) tamari
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) vegetable oil, such as sunflower
  • 1-2 teaspoons (more or less, to taste) Vietnamese chili garlic sauce, or sriracha, plus more for serving
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic (such as Spice Society)
  • 1 pound firm or extra firm tofu
To finish the tofu:
  • ½ cup (60 g) cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder (such as Spice Society)
  • 1½ teaspoons granulated garlic (such as Spice Society)
  • 1½ teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 2-4 tablespoons (30-60 ml) vegetable oil, such as sunflower
To finish the noodles:
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) vegetable oil, such as sunflower
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) tamari
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder (such as Spice Society)
Vegetables:
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) vegetable oil, such as sunflower
  • 1 bunch scallions, cut into 1-inch lengths
  • ½ pound broccoli or broccolini florets (4 cups)
  • ½ pound cauliflower florets (2 cups)
  • 2 large carrots, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 cup finely shredded red cabbage (1/4 of a small head)
  • marinade from tofu, above (scant ½ cup)
Instructions
Prepare the tofu:
  1. In a large, shallow bowl or baking dish, stir together the rice vinegar, tamari, chili sauce and granulated garlic. Press the tofu firmly between a double layer of paper towels to extract the water and cut into bite-sized pieces (I like rectangles roughly the size of my thumb). Toss the tofu in the marinade and place in a single layer if possible. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and preferably 3 - 4 or up to overnight, tossing occasionally if needed.
Prepare the noodles:
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook until very al dente, a minute or so less than you normally would – they will cook more as they are fried. Drain the noodles and rinse with cool water until the noodles are cold. Toss with a drizzle of oil to keep the noodles from sticking. Cover and chill until cold, 30 minutes or up to overnight.
Finish the tofu:
  1. In a shallow bowl, whisk together the cornstarch, 2 teaspoons curry powder, 1 ½ teaspoons granulated garlic and the salt. Reserving the marinade, drain the tofu well through a strainer and into a bowl. Place a third of the tofu in the bowl with the cornstarch mixture, and toss to coat. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a wide skillet (eco nonstick and seasoned cast iron both work well) set over a medium flame until it shimmers. Add the tofu in a single layer, shaking off excess coating. Cook until golden on the first side, 1-2 minutes, then turn each piece and cook on each side until golden, about a minute. Scoop the tofu onto a plate lined with two layers of paper towels to drain. Repeat with the remaining tofu, adding more oil to the pan as needed.
Cook the vegetables:
  1. Wipe out the skillet and add 2 tablespoons oil, heating over a medium-high flame until it shimmers. Add the carrots, tossing to cook, 1 minute. Add the cauliflower, tossing to cook, 1 minute. Add the broccolini and the reserved marinade. Increase the heat to high and cook, tossing occasionally, until the broccolini is bright green, 2 minutes. Toss in the cabbage and scallions, tossing to wilt, 1 minute; the vegetables will continue to cook from residual heat, so keep them a little firmer than you want. Remove the vegetables to a large bowl (the one you had the marinade in is great) and spread it out a bit to allow the steam to release.
Finish the noodles:
  1. Wipe out the skillet, add 3 tablespoons sunflower oil, and heat over medium-high until the oil shimmers. Use your fingers to unstick the noodles a bit and add them to the hot pan, letting them sit for a minute or two to sear as you sprinkle the tamari and curry powder over those bad boys. Gently toss the noodles to coat them in the goodness and heat through, trying your darndest to break them up as little as possible.
  2. Scrape the noodles onto a platter and top with the vegetables and tofu. Serve right away, passing extra chili garlic sauce or sriracha at the table if you like. Leftovers keep well, refrigerated airtight, for up to a few days. A microwave is your best bet for reheating, but a hot skillet or oven will work, too.

Curried Noodles with Crispy Tofu & Winter Vegetables {gluten-free & vegan}

 

38 thoughts on “Curried Noodles with Crispy Tofu & Winter Vegetables {gluten-free & vegan} and a Spice Society Giveaway”

  1. Just added it to next week’s menu (post this weekend’s juice cleanse, yikes). Is granulated garlic more like garlic salt or powder? Or would either work? YUM and totally inviting photos as always. Can I come live in your kitchen?

  2. I’ve been wondering what the secret to crispy tofu was! I need to start coating mine with corn starch! I’ve been craving a delicious and healthy noodle bowl just like this! I hope you are having a great 2016 so far Alanna, I can’t wait for your cookbook!!!

  3. Hahaha! Your questionable origins comment made me laugh, and as someone who is Chinese and still raises her eyebrows/looks at the food questionably when takeout boxes are opened, I really appreciated it. These noodles (and the crispy tofu!) sound super yummy, there’s no question about that! ;)

  4. Alanna I know I can always count on your recipes to be vibrant and somehow be exactly what I want to eat! I just bought some sprouted tofu, but had no plans for what to do with it. I cannot wait to try these noodles and crispy tofu! Love all of this, lady! Happy 2016 to you!! xo

  5. Thank you for always inspiring me when I come to your space, Alanna. It wont be long before this recipe is cooked up my kitchen and devoured! I’m thrilled about your book arrival a few months away and look forward to all the delicious recipes at each turn. No doubt, supporting organic is such an important thing to do.. Love the work Spice Society does! Thank you for this opportunity! And good for you getting up earlier each day and committing to YOU time! xo

  6. I’ve always wondered how to get that wonderful lightly crispy tofu texture while allowing it to keep its shape! I’m definitely going to try this. The flavor combinations look so good. I can just imagine how much I’m going to love this. I hear you re: a break from sweets after weeks of working on the book. So exciting though.

    1. Haha! Maybe. According to the internet, “Most curry powder recipes include coriander, turmeric, cumin, fenugreek, and chili peppers in their blends.” Let me know if they’re the same!

  7. Ohhhh I really really want this right now!!! THIS kind of dish has been my jam lately and I can’t get enough of it. And on the thought of living healthfully–I’ve found out for myself that doing what I can, a little running here, some grueling yoga there, and some hiit when I’m feeling like I need a challenge, plus healthy eating most of the time with far more sweets allowed than should be permissible, works perfectly for me. It’s a nice balance without making myself feel too bad and quite freeing! ;)

  8. These noodles look glorious! It’s so hard to find good noodle recipes that don’t leave you feeling totally guilty afterwards. Thank you for sharing, so excited to give these a go!

    Love your blog, it’s just amazing :)

    -Dana and Ali
    theflexroutine.com

  9. This was really delicious Alanna! I saw it on Facebook and thought it would be just the thing for dinner last night. The tofu was the most delicious ever! My 11 year old ate it without a look of abject disgust on her face so that’s high praise.

    It was probably me but my noodles did not fry well. I don’t know if I overloaded the pan (maybe I should have done it in two batches?) or if my pan (10″) was too small. In the future I may just add the tamari and curry to the noodles and warm them with the veggies and marinade (which was awesome!) just to make it a little easier.

    Everyone loved it so it’s going in the recipe binder. Thanks for a wonderful dinner.

    1. Aw, thank you for trying our recipe, Claire – I’m so glad you guys liked it!! And thanks for the feedback on the noodles. Frying them IS a bit of a pain and your plan sounds like a good one.

  10. What a wonderfully flavorful bowl of noodles, Alanna — simple, satisfying food. I can’t wait to try the dish, and I love the addition of hearty curry here!

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