Spicy Tofu Tahini Noodles

January 16, 2022

My tahini obsession continues with my latest creation: my Spicy Tofu Tahini Noodles. These noodles are a little creamy, a little spicy (or a lot spicy, if you want them to be!) and are loaded with tons of veggies and baked tofu. Plus, they’re totally vegan, refined sugar-free, and can easily be made gluten-free, too! This is not-your-traditional noodle dish, but I promise, you’re going to love it!

These Spicy Tofu Tahini Noodles were created with my social media manager, Hannah. In case you missed it over on Instagram, Hannah began working for me back in April, and we’ve had so much fun creating content together and strategizing for ways to grow Kalejunkie. So when I asked her if she wanted to create a recipe with me, she immediately said “yes”, and I’m so glad, because we were able to come up with this fun recipe together!

When we were figuring out what to make, Hannah was remembering a almond butter stir-fry recipe that she loved. And we thought, what if we replaced the almond butter with tahini… and put it over noddles (because let’s be honest, who doesn’t love noodles)… and make it spicy, since we both love spice?!

These noodles were born from a combination of everything that we love. It’s spicy, it’s creamy, it’s noodle-y, it’s vegan-friendly. And it’s beyond delicious. Trust me when I say that you’re going to die for the sauce, and you’re going to want to put it on everything!

What You Need to Make These Spicy Tofu Tahini Noodles

While this may look like a unique amalgamation of ingredients at first (it is) and a blending of several different cultures (it is), each ingredient plays a special role in making this dish burst with flavor!

  • Tahini: Would it really be a Kalejunkie recipe without tahini?! I’m kidding, but also, am I? Tahini is the star ingredient of this sauce, and really, any tahini will work here. I love this brand since it’s a more liquid-y tahini (Sprouts or Whole Foods 365 brand(s) are also good). If your tahini is on the thicker side, that’s okay; you’ll just need more coconut milk!
  • Maple Syrup: Lots of Asian-inspired recipes use brown sugar to add some sweetness, but we’re using maple syrup, both for the liquid factor and for that sweetness, sans the sugar!
  • Soy Sauce: Traditional soy sauce is perfectly fine, or you can use Tamari or Liquid Aminos! Just note that Coconut Aminos makes the sauce too sweet, so I don’t recommend it as a substitute.
  • Lime: fresh juice really cuts through the tahini, and adds a nice balance of acidity!
  • Rice Wine Vinegar: Like the lime juice, rice wine vinegar adds some acidity and trust me, it makes a difference!
  • Vegan Fish Sauce: The brand “Ocean’s Halo” makes a wonderful vegan fish sauce. You could likely use regular fish sauce if you prefer, but just note that this recipe has not been tested with it, so the flavor / proportions may need to be tweaked.
  • Gochujang: Gochujang is a spicy, slightly sweet, fermented Korean hot sauce. Hannah is obsessed with it (and admittedly, finds a way to sneak it into everything). Traditional gochujang has fish, so make sure the one you’re using is vegan-friendly. I like the “Mother in Law’s” brand, or this one off of Amazon (which is also gluten-free!)
  • Coconut Milk: Canned coconut milk will make this sauce creamy, especially if you use a thicker tahini!
  • Garlic Achaar: Aachaar is a slightly spicy, super fragrant, delightfully-pickled Indian condiment. Hannah is Indian, and this flavor comes familiar to her. Now this may seem weird to mix with Eastern Asian flavors (like gochujang) but don’t knock it until you try it. Somehow, it really works. If you don’t want to venture out to your local Indian grocery store for some achaar, Trader Joe’s makes a pretty decent one.
  • Sesame Oil: A little splash of sesame oil brings depth and flavor!
  • Black Pepper: This sauce is fairly salty as it is, so just a dash of black pepper is needed!
  • Udon Noodles: A thick udon noodle is perfect for this recipe! You could also use a wide rice noodle to keep it gluten-free.
  • Carrot: Carrots are rich in Vitamin A, and provide a nice color and texture in this recipe! Plus we’re preparing them in a super easy way.
  • Shiitake Mushrooms: I love shiitake mushrooms, and Hannah loves them too. Her favorite preparation is sautéing them in butter and gochujang, which we’re doing in this recipe. It makes them spicy, buttery, umami, and delicious!
  • Green Beans: Green beans add some vibrancy and crunch to this recipe!
  • Onion: Any onion works great in this recipe!
  • Vegan Butter: We’re using vegan butter in this recipe (specifically, Miyokos Vegan Butter, which is our favorite!) but you can also use normal butter if you prefer.
  • Crushed Red Pepper: A little crushed red pepper adds an extra kick of spice. This is optional, but we really like it!
  • Tofu: You’ll want to use firm or extra-firm tofu in this recipe, to get your tofu perfectly crisp.
  • Garnishes: we love garnishing our noodles with green onion / scallions and sesame seeds!

How to Make These Spicy Tofu Tahini Noodles

  1. Start by preparing the tofu. Preheat your oven to 425 F and line a baking sheet with parchment. 
  2. Cut your tofu into cubes and line on the baking sheet. Toss with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper (if desired) and bake for 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  3. While the tofu is baking, prepare the sauce. Mix all of the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl, until fully combined. Depending on the thickness of your tahini, you may require more coconut milk to thin it out. I use a rather liquidy tahini, but if yours is thicker, you can add in milk 1 tsp at a time until it reaches your desired consistency.
  4. Next, prepare the vegetables. Remove the ends from your green beans and chop in  half. Set aside in a small bowl. Peel your carrot into ribbons and place them in another bowl. Finally, prepare your shiitake mushrooms by removing the stems and chopping the caps in half (note: you can discard the stems or fry them in a little butter at the very end!)
  5. Heat a pan on the stove and melt the butter, being careful not to brown it. Add in your onion, green beans, and mushrooms, and cook for about 3 minutes, moving constantly. Cover with the lid, and cook for another 2 minutes.
  6. Next, add in the carrots and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  7. Once your vegetables are fully cooked, season generously with salt, pepper, and gochujang. You can vary the amount of gochujang depending on your spice preference.
  8. Finally, prepare your noodles according to the package; udon noodles cook fairly quickly, within 2-3 minutes. Once cooked, strain the water from them and add them to the pan with the vegetables.
  9. Add your tofu to the pan and then pour the sauce over the noodles, veggies, and tofu, making sure everything is evenly coated.
  10. Garnish with green onion and sesame seeds, and enjoy!

How to Make Oil-Free Crispy Tofu

While I have a recipe for crispy tofu that I LOVE, there’s also another great way to make crispy tofu that doesn’t involve deep frying or using oil!

To make this tofu, simply cut your tofu into cubes and line them on a baking sheet – no pressing needed! Season generously, and bake at 425 F for 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway through. Your tofu will get crispy in the oven, and the best part is, you can practically “set it and forget it.”

A Note on the Veggies

While Hannah and I both agree that the shiitake mushrooms are a non-negotiable part of this recipe, you can feel free to swap out the carrots and green beans with whatever veggies you’d like! These noodles would also be great with broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potato, or even bok choy!

How to Serve These Noodles

While these noodles are plenty substantial on their own, here are some of my other recipes that they would pair well with!

Miso Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Cucumber Avocado Salad

Paleo Cashew Chicken

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and rating below! And since I practically live on Instagram, be sure to tag me in your creations so I can see them and repost on my IG stories! Enjoy! xx

Spicy Tofu Tahini Noodles

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Nicole Modic
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 55 mins
SERVES 4 Servings
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My tahini obsession continues with my latest creation: my Spicy Tofu Tahini Noodles. These noodles are a little creamy, a little spicy (or a lot spicy, if you want them to be!) and are loaded with tons of veggies and baked tofu. Plus, they're totally vegan, refined sugar-free, and can easily be made gluten-free, too! This is not-your-traditional noodle dish, but I promise, you're going to love it!

Ingredients

For the Sauce

  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Tahini
  • 1 Teaspoon Maple Syrup
  • 3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 Lime juiced
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 1 Teaspoon Vegan Fish Sauce
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Gochujang
  • 1/3 Cup + 1 Teaspoon Coconut Milk
  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic Achaar
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Sesame Oil
  • Black Pepper to taste

For the Noodles

  • 1 Package Udon Noodles
  • 1 Large Carrot peeled into ribbons
  • 1 Package Shiitake Mushrooms about 1/2 oz
  • 1 Package Green Beans chopped
  • 1/4 Onion diced
  • 3 Tablespoons Vegan Butter
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Gochujang
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

For the Tofu

  • 1 Block Extra-Firm Tofu cut into cubes
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Crushed Red Pepper to taste (optional)

Garnishes

  • Green Onion diced
  • Sesame Seeds

Instructions

  • Start by preparing the tofu. Preheat your oven to 425 F and line a baking sheet with parchment.
  • Cut your tofu into cubes and line on the baking sheet. Toss with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper (if desired) and bake for 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  • While the tofu is baking, prepare the sauce. Mix all of the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl, until fully combined. Depending on the thickness of your tahini, you may require more coconut milk to thin it out. I use a rather liquidy tahini, but if yours is thicker, you can add in milk 1 tsp at a time until it reaches your desired consistency.
  • Next, prepare the vegetables. Remove the ends from your green beans and chop in half. Set aside in a small bowl. Peel your carrot into ribbons and place them in another bowl. Finally, prepare your shiitake mushrooms by removing the stems and chopping the caps in half (note: you can discard the stems or fry them in a little butter at the very end!)
  • Heat a pan on the stove and melt the butter, being careful not to brown it. Add in your onion, green beans, and mushrooms, and cook for about 3 minutes, moving constantly. Cover with the lid, and cook for another 2 minutes.
  • Next, add in the carrots and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Once your vegetables are fully cooked, season generously with salt, pepper, and gochujang. You can vary the amount of gochujang depending on your spice preference.
  • Finally, prepare your noodles according to the package; udon noodles cook fairly quickly, within 2-3 minutes. Once cooked, strain the water from them and add them to the pan with the vegetables.
  • Add your tofu to the pan and then pour the sauce over the noodles, veggies, and tofu, making sure everything is evenly coated.
  • Garnish with green onion and sesame seeds, and enjoy!

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