Meatless Monday Challenge

Spicy Peanut Noodles with Crispy Tofu

on August 7, 2020
last updated April 22, 2024
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These easy Spicy Peanut Noodles with Crispy Tofu are smothered in a creamy sauce that is expertly balanced between nutty, spicy, savory, and a little bit citrusy. Plus, the tofu has the best texture!
A shallow bowl filled with noodles with spicy peanut sauce and tofu.

Looking to spice things up for dinner tonight? These Spicy Peanut Noodles with Crispy Tofu bring great texture and depth of flavor to each and every hearty bite.

This delicious noodle recipe is nice and simple. Just noodles, tofu, and a sauce that is well-balanced between nutty, spicy, savory and a subtle sweetness from honey.

In this recipe, you will learn how to make crispy tofu in the oven, how to whip up a scrumptious spicy peanut sauce, and how to ensure your noodles retain their slippery texture.

2 bowls of spicy peanut butter noodles garnished with scallions, chopped peanuts, and lime wedges.


As an environmental scientist, I’m always looking for delicious meat alternatives to help me improve my ecological footprint, and this crispy tofu is a great source of protein in lieu of meat.

Tofu is a protein-rich food made from condensing soy milk. It’s a great addition to any meal because of its ability to readily take on any flavor.

Green tip: Industrial meat production has a huge impact on the environment, especially because of the amount of land it takes to sustain and its high amount of greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing your meat consumption is one great way to improve your ecological footprint.

Spicy Peanut Noodles Ingredients


Here’s what you’ll need for the noodles:

  • Extra-firm tofu.
  • Olive oil.
  • Cornstarch.
  • Rice noodles. Regular or brown rice.
  • Green onion. Aka scallions.

Here’s everything you need for the spicy peanut sauce:

  • Garlic.
  • Peanut butter.
  • Fish sauce. I like the depth of flavor this brings, but if you want to make this recipe veg-friendly, feel free to leave it out.
  • Rice vinegar.
  • Sriracha.
  • Soy sauce.
  • Honey. Or agave nectar or brown sugar.
  • Ginger paste. Or fresh or ground ginger.
  • Lime.
  • Water.
ingredients for spicy peanut noodles with crispy tofu - ginger paste, lime juice, rice vinegar, honey, sriracha, water, garlic, soy sauce, peanut butter, fish sauce
ingredients for spicy peanut noodles with tofu - olive oil, rice noodles, cornstarch,  tofu, green onion

Spicy Peanut Butter Noodles Tips and Tricks


How to Press Tofu for the Best Texture

If you struggle with getting your tofu crispy, have no fear! This simple tofu pressing method will help to dry out your tofu enough to avoid it staying soggy.

If you cook tofu often, it may be worth the small investment of a tofu press, but this is completely optional.

If you’re like me and have limited storage in your kitchen for gadgets, you can get creative and press your tofu with household items.

Drain the liquid that your tofu is suspended in and place it between two clean kitchen towels. Then, grab something heavy to place on top (I use a stack of cookbooks!). Let it sit for at least 5 minutes to allow the towels to absorb excess liquid from the tofu.

Green tip: Organic farms rely on biodiversity to generate rich soil, avoiding the use of pesticides and fertilizers, which means no toxic runoff. Consider organic tofu for this recipe.

How to Get Your Tofu Crispy

The key to crispy tofu is not only in the pressing! It’s also about coating it in olive oil and cornstarch.

After pressing the tofu, slice it into roughly 1-inch cubes and add it to a large bowl. Add the olive oil and cornstarch to the bowl and use your hands to toss.

Try to get your tofu fully coated in both the oil and cornstarch. Then, pour the tofu out onto a large baking sheet, leaving plenty of room between each piece.

Roast the tofu on the top rack for 25 minutes, flipping after 15 minutes. This technique should get your tofu a nice golden brown.

Tossing pressed and cubed tofu in olive oil and cornstarch.
Cubed tofu ready to get crispy in the oven.

How to Make Spicy Peanut Sauce

I like to use my Nutribullet for this recipe, but any blender or food processor works here!

Simply add the garlic, peanut butter, fish sauce, rice vinegar, sriracha, soy sauce, honey, ginger, lime juice, and water and blend on high until smooth.

Then, taste it to see if you want to add more spice. I typically add 1 tablespoon of Sriracha which feels like a nice kick and spicy finish without drowning out the other flavors. Still, if you really like spice, you can add up to an additional tablespoon of sriracha.

Garlic, peanut butter, fish sauce, rice vinegar, sriracha, soy sauce, honey, ginger, lime, and water in a blender cup.
Smooth and creamy spicy peanut butter sauce.

Toss Everything in the Peanut Butter Sauce

One your tofu is out of the oven, toss it in a generous amount of the spicy peanut sauce.

At this point, cook the rice noodles. They only take a few minutes to cook and are best fresh, so don’t cook the noodles until the tofu and sauce are ready (or a few minutes from ready if you’re confident in your multi-tasking skills).

Strain your cooked noodles and toss them in the sauce, too.

Crispy cubed tofu tossed in creamy spicy peanut sauce.

Serving Your Noodles with Spicy Peanut Sauce

I like to serve up my spicy peanut sauce noodles with some fresh green onion and a handful of chopped peanuts for some crunch. Some extra lime juice or lime wedges really brings out the flavor, too!

As for sides, a simple veggie side works great like this Roasted Broccoli and Carrots or these Roasted Asparagus and Mushrooms.

For something with an Asian-inspired flare, try these Teriyaki brussels sprouts.

Close up of spicy peanut noodles with tofu on a fork.

How to Properly Store and Reheat Leftover Spicy Peanut Butter Noodles with Tofu

Leftover spicy peanut sauce with noodles and tofu will last about 5 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. As for the spicy peanut butter sauce, leftovers will last up to a week in an airtight container.

If you have any extra leftover peanut sauce, add a little extra before reheating.

You can easily reheat in the microwave in 1-minute intervals, stirring in between until heated through.

You can also reheat in a frying pan, covered over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

Green tip: Of the billions of pounds of food wasted annually, it is estimated that 50% of it happens in our homes. Properly storing and enjoying leftovers is a great way to reduce your individual contribution to food waste.

Want to sharpen your kitchen skills?

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If you’re loving these Spicy Peanut Noodles with Tofu and want more noodle dishes, check out these Teriyaki Salmon Noodles and Vegetarian Ramen with tofu.

A shallow bowl filled with noodles with spicy peanut sauce and tofu.

Spicy Peanut Noodles with Crispy Tofu

5 from 3 votes
Marley Goldin
Print Save Rate
These easy Spicy Peanut Noodles with Crispy Tofu are smothered in a creamy sauce that is expertly balanced between nutty, spicy, savory, and a little bit citrusy. Plus, the tofu has the best texture!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
 
 

Noodles & Tofu

  • 14 ounces extra-firm tofu
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspon cornstarch
  • 8 ounces rice noodles
  • 1 sprig green onion (optional for garnish)
  • 1 handful peanuts (optional for garnish)

Spicy Peanut Sauce

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha (plus more to preferred spice level)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ½ teaspoon ginger paste (or ¼ teaspoon ground ginger)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • ½ cup water
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Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 425°F and bring 10 cups of water to a boil in a large pot. Either use a tofu press or place the tofu between two clean kitchen towels and place something heavy (I use a stack of cookbooks) on top to weight it down and press it for at least 5 minutes.
  • Slice your pressed tofu into 1-inch cubes and add it to a mixing bowl with the cornstarch and olive oil. Toss to coat.
  • Transfer the tofu to a large baking sheet, leaving plenty of space in between each cube. Roast for 25 minutes on the top rack, flipping after 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, make your spicy peanut sauce. Add all of the sauce ingredients to your blender. Blend on high until smooth. Taste to see if you want more heat. If so, add up to an additional tablespoon of Sriracha until your preferred spice level is achieved.
  • Once your water is boiling, cook rice noodles according to directions on the box.
  • Toss the cooked noodles and crispy tofu in the sauce. Garnish with chopped peanuts and diced green onion. Enjoy!

Pro Tips

  • One tablespoon of sriracha gives it just a little kick, but if you’re a fan of spice, I would recommend adding even more!
  • Don’t cook your noodles to early. Wait until the tofu is cooked (or nearly done!) and the sauce is ready to cook them. 
  • For more tofu-based recipes, check out this round-up of my best tofu recipes.

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Share This Recipe

Course Dinner
Cuisine Asian
Keyword Crispy Tofu, Noodles, Spicy Peanut Noodles, Tofu
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