Sticky Baked Tofu Noodle Bowl

sticky baked tofu noodle bowl
Patsy Catsos, MS, RDN, LD
Total Time: 75 min
Prep Time: 40 min
Cook Time: 35 min
Servings: 4

Nutrition Highlights (per serving)

478 calories
12g fat
72g carbs
19g protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving  
Calories 478
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 15%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 685mg 30%
Total Carbohydrate 72g 26%
Dietary Fiber 4g 14%
Total Sugars 14g  
Includes 10g Added Sugars 20%
Protein 19g  
Vitamin D 0mcg 0%
Calcium 139mg 11%
Iron 5mg 28%
Potassium 452mg 10%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Noodle bowls can be easily adapted to make use of any vegetables you have on hand. It's a must to have the vegetables for this recipe cleaned and cut well ahead of time before beginning to cook.

Firm and extra-firm tofu are low in FODMAPs because the fiber from the soybeans has been reduced during the tofu-making process. The tofu is then packaged in a water bath, and any remaining oligosaccharides likely soak out of it. Pressing out this water before marinating the tofu helps it absorb the sauce and improves browning.

Tofu is a low-fat and cholesterol-free protein source for those who avoid meat or wish to reduce their meat consumption. What's more, consuming tofu may help reduce your risk of developing breast cancer, according to research.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tbsp. water (divided)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce (reduced sodium)
  • 3 tbsp. light brown sugar (packed)
  • 2 tsp. ginger root (minced and peeled fresh)
  • 1 tbsp. mirin
  • 1 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1 14-oz. package tofu (extra firm)
  • 8 oz. rice Pad Thai noodles (uncooked)
  • 2 tsp. canola oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, fresh, slightly crushed
  • 1/4 lb. green beans, fresh, trimmed, and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup shelled edamame (frozen)
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and cut diagonally into 1/8-inch thick ovals
  • 1/2 medium red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1 x 1 1/2 -inch pieces
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil (toasted)
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Spray a rimmed baking sheet generously with baking spray or coat with canola oil.

  2. In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of water and cornstarch; stir until smooth and set aside.

  3. In a small saucepan, combine soy sauce, remaining 1/3 cup water, brown sugar, ginger, mirin, and rice vinegar. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring periodically.

  4. Boil for 2 minutes. Turn heat down to a simmer, re-mix the cornstarch and water, and drizzle the cornstarch mixture into the hot sauce, stirring constantly. Simmer until the mixture thickens, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and set aside.

  5. Over a sink, place the palms of your hands flat on both sides of the tofu block and squeeze gently with even pressure, like squeezing a sponge, until it becomes more difficult to see water coming out. Cut tofu in half lengthwise, then crosswise into a total of 16 pieces about 1/3-inch thick.

  6. Place tofu on the prepared baking sheet. Brush each piece with a thin layer of sauce on both sides. Bake until the bottom edges of the tofu have caramelized, 14 to 16 minutes. Turn the tofu pieces over and return to the oven to bake until the bottoms have browned or caramelized on the edges, 8 to 10 minutes more.

  7. While tofu is baking, in a large, covered stockpot, bring about 4 quarts of water to a rolling boil over high heat. Add the noodles and return the water to a boil, stirring gently several times to separate the block of noodles into strands.

  8. Begin testing for doneness after noodles have boiled for about 2 minutes and continue testing at 1-minute intervals. When noodles are tender, pour them into a strainer and rinse with cool water.

  9. In a wok or large skillet on medium-high heat, warm canola oil, swirling to coat the pan. When the oil is hot, add garlic, green beans, and edamame, and stir-fry for 1 minute.

  10. Add carrots and bell pepper and stir-fry for 4 more minutes, or until vegetables begin to become tender. Remove the garlic cloves and discard (this keeps the dish low-FODMAP).

  11. Add the remaining soy sauce mixture to the wok, stir to coat vegetables, and cook about 1 more minute. Remove from heat and stir in sesame oil and crushed red pepper flakes, if using.

  12. Divide noodles into four bowls. Top each bowl with a quarter of the vegetables and 4 pieces of tofu. Serve with extra soy sauce, if desired.

Variations and Substitutions

For a rice bowl, replace the noodles with 4 cups of cooked rice.

You can use any type of noodle you like here. Wide or thin rice noodles will work, although wider is best to support the larger pieces of protein and vegetables.

If you don't have mirin, try using dry sherry, sweet marsala wine, or try a dry white wine or rice vinegar combined with 1/2 teaspoon of sugar per tablespoon of substitute.

Substitute 3/4-pound of chicken or steak for the tofu. Instead of baking, dice the raw chicken or steak and stir-fry it in 2 teaspoons of oil until fully cooked. Set it aside, and return it to the stir fry along with the sauce just before serving.

To make this recipe gluten-free, use gluten-free soy sauce or tamari.

Cooking and Serving Tips

  • Serve topped with toasted sesame seeds, green onions, or cilantro. Add some sriracha sauce if you prefer it spicy.
  • For extra convenience, use grocery-store prepared fresh or frozen green beans, peppers, and carrots, or a pre-made stir fry veggie mix.
  • The sauce can be prepared earlier in the day and refrigerated until it is needed.

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1 Source
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Wang Q, Liu X, Ren S. Tofu intake is inversely associated with risk of breast cancer: A meta-analysis of observational studies. Zeeb H, ed. PLoS ONE. 2020;15(1):e0226745.