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Crispy Vegan Tofu Noodles with Pickled Cucumbers

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Yield 4 servings
Category Main Dish
Cuisine Asian/Korean

Description

Each bite of these Korean-inspired tofu noodles packs a punch. Saucy gochujang ramen lays the foundation for a pile of crispy tofu and quick-pickled cucumbers. A bold noodle dish for gochujang lover.

Ingredients

Crispy Tofu

  • 1 (16-ounce) package extra-firm tofu, cut widthwise into ¼-inch thick slabs
  • cup cornstarch
  • Morton kosher salt
  • ¼ cup avocado oil

Pickled Cucumbers

  • 5 Persian cucumbers, or 1 english cucumber, thinly sliced into rounds
  • cup white vinegar or rice wine vinegar

Noodles

  • 1 (9.5–10 ounce) package dry ramen noodles (Japanese wheat noodles), such as Hakubaku
  • 1 small onion or ½ large onion, cut into chunks (about 1 cup)
  • 2–3 tablespoons gochujang, depending on spice preference
  • 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1 2-inch knob ginger
  • Cilantro for serving

Instructions

  • Line a baking sheet with three layers of paper towels. Arrange tofu on paper towels then top with three more layers of paper towels. Set a second baking sheet on top and weigh down with something heavy, such as a Dutch oven or a few cans; let press for 15 minutes.
    planks of tofu on a baking sheet layered with paper towels
  • Meanwhile, for the pickled cucumbers, combine cucumbers, vinegar, ⅓ cup water, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt in a medium bowl. Let sit, scrunching with your hands every few minutes, until cucumbers are softened and lightly pickled, about 10 minutes or until ready to serve.
    sliced cucumbers in a large bowl
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season water with salt then add noodles and cook 1 minute less than specified by package instructions. Reserve ½ cup noodle cooking water; drain noodles and add back to pot.
  • Add onion, gochujang, hoisin, lime juice, toasted sesame oil, garlic, ginger and reserved ½ cup noodle water to a blender. Blend on high until completely smooth, about 1 minute.
    red-orange sauce in a cup
  • Pour sauce into pot with noodles and toss gently to coat. Keep warm over low heat, stirring occasionally, until tofu is ready.
    cooked ramen in a pot with an orange sauce poured over top
  • Whisk together cornstarch and ½ teaspoon kosher salt in a shallow dish. Cut tofu into ¼-inch thick strips. Dredge tofu in cornstarch to coat.
    sticks of tofu coated in cornstarch in a white bowl
  • Heat ¼ cup oil in a 12-inch stainless steel skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add tofu in an even layer and cook, without moving, until browned and crisp and naturally releases from skillet, about 5 minutes. Using tongs, flip pieces and continue cooking until golden brown, on bottom side, about 5 minutes more. Flip again and cook 5 more minutes until lightly golden browned all over.
    crispy tofu sticks in a skillet
  • Transfer tofu pieces to a paper-towel-lined plate and sprinkle lightly with kosher salt.
    crispy fried sticks of tofu on paper towels
  • Adjust consistency of pasta with addition pasta cooking water as needed; season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide noodles and tofu strips between 4 bowls, top each serving with a handful of pickled cucumbers and fresh cilantro.

Notes

In the test kitchen we use Morton Coarse Kosher Salt for recipe development. If you’re using Diamond Crystal, use this conversion: 1 ½ teaspoons Morton kosher salt = 2 teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt. You can learn more about kosher salt and conversions here
To make this recipe gluten-free, use rice noodles. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1/4 recipeCalories: 455kcalCarbohydrates: 65gProtein: 20gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 2gSodium: 780mgFiber: 4.5gSugar: 8g
Keywords tofu noodles
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