Thai Sesame Noodles with Tofu and Vegetables is an easy, healthy weeknight meal that is also super versatile! It’s a fun, flavor-packed and balanced way to go meatless.
Tofu, vegetables and pasta are tossed with a spicy sesame sauce in this budget-friendly vegetarian Thai-inspired dish that's sure to become a weeknight favorite.
Tofu is inexpensive and a great way to stretch the protein portion of your food budget. Two people can enjoy this healthy, fiber-packed, low-calorie plant-based source of low-fat protein for $2 to $3.
Although budget-friendly, tofu suffers from an image problem because of its blandness and plain white color. Because tofu alone is rather bland, that quality—much like a plain unseasoned piece of fish or chicken—makes it extremely versatile because it takes on the flavor of whatever it is cooked with.
How to work with tofu:
Tofu is very easy to work with! It is generally packed in water and is available in the produce, dairy or natural foods section of grocery stores. You’ll find it in varying consistencies such as silken, soft, firm and extra-firm. This dish uses extra-firm which works well for stir-fries.
In prepping this dish, you’ll need to gently press some of the water out of the tofu:
- Cut the block of tofu into six even "slabs" widthwise.
- Line a baking sheet with a clean kitchen towel or double layer of paper towels.
- Place the slices of tofu flat on the towels then top with another clean kitchen towel or another double layer of paper towels.
- Place another baking sheet on top and weigh it down with a heavy object such as a cast-iron skillet or books.
- Let it sit there for 30 minutes or so to gently squeeze the water out.
- Cut into cubes for this recipe.
How to make Thai Sesame Noodles with Tofu and Vegetables:
- Combine the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
- After draining and cubing the tofu, give it a good browning.
- Cook pasta according to package directions.
- Do a quick saute of purchased "broccoli slaw" and thinly sliced scallions. To minimize the prep work in Asian-style dishes, I often use packaged “broccoli slaw" which has shredded broccoli stems, carrots and red cabbage. I then add in other things like scallions or peppers. This dish is very versatile and you can change up the veggies however you like!
- Add the sauce to the skillet and bring it to a simmer.
- Add the pasta and the tofu and heat through.
- Garnish with sesame seeds and voila!
Super satisfying, easy, flavor-packed Thai Sesame Noodles with Tofu and Vegetables!
If tofu is REALLY not your thing, this sauce works equally well with shrimp or chicken! Enjoy!
For more easy and delicious Thai-inspired recipes, try my:
- Pan-Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Thai Sweet Chili Orange Glaze
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Thai Green Curry Butter
- Vegan Thai Red Curry
- Thai Beef Lettuce Wraps with Mint Dressing and Vegetable Slaw
- Cold Thai Cucumber Avocado Soup with Cucumber Relish
- Thai Salmon Cakes with Basil - Lime Mayonnaise
- Shrimp Pad Thai with Zucchini Noodles
Thai Sesame Noodles with Tofu and Vegetables
- 1 container (14-ounce) extra-firm tofu
- 4 ounces linguine - regular, whole grain or gluten-free
- 2 tablespoons dark sesame oil - divided
- ⅓ cup vegetable broth
- ⅓ cup tahini
- ⅓ cup soy sauce - or tamari
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce - or to taste
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 2 cloves garlic - minced
- 1-2 tablespoons canola oil - or vegetable broth
- 1 bag (16-ounce) broccoli slaw
- 1 bunch scallions - thinly sliced diagonally
- Toasted sesame seeds - for garnish (optional)
- Start by draining the tofu. Cut the tofu into 6 even slabs widthwise.--Line a sheet pan with a clean kitchen towel or double layer of paper towels. Place tofu slabs flat on the paper towels.--Place another clean kitchen towel on top or another double layer of paper towels.--Place another baking sheet over the tofu.--Place a heavy item such as a cast-iron skillet or several heavy books on the top cookie sheet. Alternatively, use a tofu press. Set aside.
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain in a colander and toss with 1 tablespoon sesame oil.
- Whisk together vegetable broth, tahini, soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar, chili garlic sauce, ginger and garlic. Set aside.
- Cut tofu into cubes. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat.
- Add tofu cubes and brown well on all sides, tossing or stirring frequently, approximately 5-7 minutes. Transfer to a plate or into the colander with the drained pasta.
- Refresh oil if needed. Add broccoli slaw to skillet. Cook 1-2 minutes, stirring often until beginning to soften.
- Add scallion and cook 1 minute more.
- Add sauce combination and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low.
- Stir in pasta and tofu and toss to gently heat through.
- Garnish with sesame seeds if desired and serve immediately.
These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you're using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.
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