This Can’t Be Tofu: Stir-Fried Noodles with Fresh and Baked Tofu

Transform your dishes with tofu

| January/February 2004

Serves 4 to 6
You’ll need a big wok or two skillets to hold this large stir-fry. Here’s a recipe where you can put that very dense, baked tofu to good use. Choose tofu that’s been flavored with star anise or five-spice powder, available in natural food stores. It has an entirely different texture than fresh—it’s quite meaty, actually. I find it tastes best if you slice it thinly and stir-fry it with the ginger and garlic.


  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin or oyster sauce
  • ¼ cup stock or water
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine or sherry
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped cilantro, plus long, pretty sprigs for garnish


  • One 8- to 10-ounce package Chinese wide-cut egg noodles
  • 1 carton firm tofu, drained and cut into large cubes
  • 2½ tablespoons roasted peanut oil
  • 1 heaping tablespoon chopped ginger
  • 1 heaping tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 jalapeño chile, seeded and diced
  • 2 chunks baked tofu, thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 6 shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded, thinly sliced
  • 1 large broccoli, the head cut into florets, the stem peeled and sliced
  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper, cut into narrow strips, then halved
  • 2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Salt
  • 4 ounces snow peas, trimmed
  • 1 bunch scallions, including the firm greens, cut into 1-inch lengths
  1. Mix sauce ingredients together and set aside.
  2. Bring a pot of water to a boil for the noodles and tofu. Reduce it to a simmer, add cubed tofu and simmer gently for 4 minutes. Lift out the tofu with a strainer and set aside. Return water to a boil, add noodles and cook until tender but firm, following the package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water. Toss with 1 tablespoon of the oil and set aside.
  3. Set a wok or skillet over high heat. Add remaining oil and swirl it around. When hot, add ginger, garlic, chile and baked tofu. Stir-fry for 1 minute, then add onion, mushrooms, broccoli, bell pepper and carrots. Season with a few pinches of salt and stir-fry, rapidly tossing the vegetables in their pan, for 3 minutes.
  4. Now add snow peas, scallions and boiled tofu. Stir-fry for 1 minute more, then add noodles and sauce. Reduce heat, toss so everything is evenly mingled, then cover and cook until noodles are heated through, a matter of just a few minutes. Turn onto a large platter and garnish with sprigs of cilantro.

From the book This Can’t Be Tofu! by Deborah Madison, ©2000 by Deborah Madison, published by Broadway Books, a division of Random House, Inc.

Click here for the original article, This Can’t Be Tofu.

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