Up front I want to apologize for calling this a noodle bowl, because I really hate this bowl nonsense. You can eat this from a plate or from a mason jar for all I care. The vessel a food comes in should not define it.
Because I am perpetually broke but also overspending, I eat a lot of instant noodles. On this path I’ve discovered I prefer dry instant noodles over instant noodle soup, especially during summer.
Because of this, almost all of the instant noodles I have left in my cupboard now are soup based. And I don’t want to buy more dry noodles cause that seems wasteful.
I wanted to eat something quick and easy and cheap the other week when this dish hit me. The inspiration comes from both my tahini noodle bowl with harissa tofu puffs as well as a banging recipe for tempeh from Vanja van der Leeden’s upcoming Indorock, which I tested for her (unfortunately only available in Dutch, for now).
Together their powers combined, with my hot-tingle mapo hot sauce, this is really something excellent and easy to make any day.
If you’d prefer a firmer tofu with these noodles try my recipe for crispy oven-baked tofu puffs.
Vegan Mapo and Silken Tofu Noodle Bowl
- 2 tbsp mapo hot sauce
see recipe link above or get a tangy store-bought hot sauce like sambal djeruk
- 1 bundle udon noodles per person, or whatever firm noodles you have laying around
- 1/2 pack silken tofu
- 1 tbsp peanut butter whatever you have laying around
- 1 tsp kecap manis Indonesian sweet soy sauce
- 1 tsp honey or palm sugar to make it vegan
- 2 spring onions finely chopped
- 1 tbsp salted peanuts coarsely chopped
- crispy chili oil to finish, optional
- Cook the noodles per the packet instructions.
- Cut the silken tofu into cubes and poach them for 3 minutes in boiling water. You can skip this step but I find poaching makes silken tofu hold its shape.
- Mix together the mapo hot sauce, peanut butter, kecap, honey and half of the spring onions together in a bowl.
- Drain the noodles and place them in the bowl with the sauce, mixing them together until the noodles are evenly coated.
- Top the noodle-sauce mixture with the poached silken tofu, remaining spring onions, peanut and a dash of crispy chili oil if you have it. You can either do this in the bowl you mixed the sauce in, to save on washing up, or get fancy and put it on a plate (or in a mason jar, but I will cut you).