Roasted Tofu and Vegetables with Sesame Noodles
A Quick Vegan Dinner with Roasted Tofu
I must first state that I make no claims about this dish being an authentic eastern recipe. That would be cultural appropriation, and some! However, it does use a few ingredients that pay homage to a cuisine that I thoroughly enjoy.
So, tofu. I love roasting it and that can make me feel quite smug. A strange response to food, I know, but recipes so often suggest frying tofu and this recipe definitely uses less oil because it’s cooked in the oven instead.
OK, so it’s healthier, but feeling smug? Well, just humour me…
Anyway, I’ve not always had the most positive feelings about tofu, but the last few years have seen our relationship bloom. Have a read of my ‘Cooking with Tofu’ article if you’d like to know how to get the best out of it.
Quick and Tasty Sauce for the Tofu and Vegetables
In this recipe, I first coat the thick(ish) tofu slices with a delicious paste made of a simple mixture of hoisin or teriyaki sauce with toasted sesame oil (and I use a commercially prepared one like Lee Kum Kee for speed). Then just roast the tofu in a hot oven for 10 – 12 minutes.
With the right tofu (and my preference for this dish is Cauldron Foods Original Tofu block), you get a slightly crisp top, but with the middle remaining soft and, well, unctuous. Actually, that last word is on my list of words never to be used, but it just fitted somehow.
Roasting the Vegetables
You also use the same sauce for the vegetables that is used for the tofu – easy! And if the thickness of the vegetables is just right, they will cook in exactly the same amount of time as the tofu, leaving the vegetables with a really pleasant ‘bite’.
That’s the beauty of this dish and why it is such a quick and easy vegan dinner.
Can there be anything quicker and more satisfying than instant noodles? Then you get to add in toasted sesame oil! Alongside pasta (not at the same time, obviously), this is my kind of comfort food. Truffle oil for pasta, sesame oil for noodles. Heaven…
I use Mama Instant Rice Noodles. They do a wholegrain version too which are the thinner vermicelli noodles, so go for those if you want that slightly healthier option of wholegrain. I personally prefer the thicker noodles for maximum comfort value.
Sesame oil has great health benefits too, including lots of antioxidants, Vitamin E and a great balance of Omegas 3, 6 & 9.
A Quick, Vegan Family Meal
Now there’s a cry that is heard in vegan households up and down the country, or am I the only one that seems to spend hours in the kitchen if I’m cooking from scratch and not using a meat substitute?!
Maybe, but this is definitely a quick and easy recipe that produces a well-balanced, nutritious vegan meal in minutes. And it can be easily dialled up in volume to make a great vegan family meal – just double, treble, quadruple the quantities as required.
I often double the quantities (and could quite possibly eat it all at first sitting!) because this meal also makes a great lunch the next day if you have some leftover – I would really recommend it.
There you go, not only is it a quick, easy and nutritious vegan tofu recipe, but it solves your lunch dilemma for the next day as well!
Toddlers, Children and Vegan Students
A lot of toddlers and older children will warm to this vegan meal because it contains many ingredients they generally love and the tofu, not a strong flavour on its own, tastes particularly yummy with this sticky sauce.
They also tend to like the texture because it doesn’t need huge amounts of chewing. And of course, it provides them with very good levels of complete protein in one sitting. Like they’re interested…
Equally, it can be an inexpensive vegan student recipe that will impress fellow students and feed them well at the same time! A winner all round.
You’ll notice that I have included some optional additions in the recipe below. Clearly, if you have the ingredients and the time, this will make the meal even more nutritious and tasty, but it’s still good without them.
I hope you enjoy it and as always, I’d love to hear about it and see your photos if you make it, or let me know if you have any feedback or useful suggestions.
Roasted Tofu and Vegetables with Sesame Noodles
- 1 Large Baking Tray Preferably lined with greaseproof paper
- 1 Large bowl or medium saucepan
- 400 grams Firm Tofu cut into ½cm slices I use Cauldron
- 100 grams Noodles Mama Instant Rice Noodles are good
- 200 grams Broccoli, cut into small florets - with the stalk Stalks should be pencil thick
- 2 medium Carrots, cut into 4-5cm batons
- 1 tbsp Teriyaki or Hoisin sauce Lee Kum Kee do great vegan ones
- 1⅓ tbsp Toasted sesame oil I use Clearspring or Mr Organic
- Dash Tamari or Soy sauce
- ½ Red pepper, sliced
- ¼ Cucumber, halved and sliced or cut into batons
- 3 Radishes, thinly sliced
- 2-3 Spring onions, sliced
- 1 handful Salad leaves Lettuce, rocket, or watercress etc
- 1 tspn Sesame seeds, toasted or raw Alternatively, use sunflower or pumpkin seeds
- ½ Lime
- Pre-heat oven to 200 °C / Fan 180 °C
- If using instant noodles, place in a large heatproof bowl and add a kettle full of boiling water. Make sure they're covered with water. Break them up with a fork a little then cover with a plate and leave for 3-4 minutes. If using other noodles, cook according to pack instructions
- Drain, then cool noodles (and pan) under cold running water. Return noodles to the cool pan and stir in 1 teaspoon of the sesame oil. Leave to one side
- Lay the tofu slices out on the lined baking tray and tumble the broccoli and carrots into a pile alongside - you can use a separate baking tray if you need to
- Mix the Hoisin or Teriyaki sauce in a small jug or bowl with the remaining tablespoon of sesame oil. You could add a teaspoon of water to make it go a bit further if you like
- With a teaspoon, blob the top of each piece of tofu with some of the sauce and spread it across the whole slice with the back of the spoon until you have about ½ a teaspoon left. Pour the remainder onto the vegetables and mix them around so they are thinly covered too, then spread them out flat
- Put in the oven and roast for 10 -12 minutes. Check on the broccoli after 10 minutes to make sure it doesn't burn - you can take the broccoli out early if you need to
- Divide the noodles across 2 bowls and add some tamari/soy sauce to taste
- Mix in the optional salad vegetables into the noodles at this stage if you are using them
- Place the slices of tofu on top of your noodles and share the vegetables between the 2 bowls too
- If using, you can sprinkle over the sesame seeds, finish with a squeeze of lime - and eat...