Crispy Tofu Noodle Soup
A really simple yet comforting dish, this noodle soup with crispy tofu is deceptively filling. The soup is a thin, broth style but it makes for a substantial base to a meal. Using the marinade for the tofu to then create the soup, gives this dish lots of flavour and keeps it quick and easy to make. Marinade the tofu whilst preparing the rest of the ingredients or prepare it the night before and leave the tofu in the fridge overnight to let the flavours develop.
I’ve found this is a great starting point for people new to tofu. This vegetarian staple is often discounted as being flavourless and boring. However, with the marinade and crispy coating this tofu is really good and it’s a great introduction to how tofu can be the star of a dish. I would recommend buying organic tofu; as well as being made in a sustainable way, it tastes so much better than all of the non-organic options I have tried.
Firm tofu is best once it’s been compressed, to release any excess liquid in it so it can hold its structure. Put the tofu on piece of kitchen paper on a plate then rest a chopping board on top and place a weight on top (I use tins of beans) and leave it for 30 minutes to an hour. Discard the excess liquid on the plate and it’s ready to use.
This is also a great dinner for using up leftover vegetables. I’ve used purple sprouting broccoli, mushrooms and spring onions here, but it will work with most veg. Just adapt the cooking time to suit – harder vegetables, such as carrots, will need longer than softer vegetables, such as mushrooms.
Crispy Tofu Noodle Soup Recipe
200g firm tofu, drained and pressed (see above)
2 tbsp kecap manis (sweet soy sauce)
1½ tbsp tamari (or soy sauce)
2 tbsp rice vinegar
2½ tbsp vegetarian miso paste
3cm piece of ginger, grated
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 chilli, thinly sliced (optional)
800ml vegetable stock
100g udon noodles (dried)
80g chestnut mushrooms
50g purple sprouting broccoli
4 spring onions
1 Chop the pressed tofu into bitesize pieces. Whisk the kecap manis, tamari, rice vinegar, miso paste in a medium bowl until combined, then add the ginger, garlic and chilli. Add the tofu to the marinade and stir gently until the tofu is coated. Cover and set aside to marinade for 30 minutes or in the fridge overnight.
2 Slice the mushrooms, cut any thick stems of broccoli in half lengthways and cut the spring onions into 3cm lengths.
3 Tip the cornflour onto a large plate and roll a piece of marinated tofu through the cornflour to coat it on all sides. Shake off any excess and place at the edge of the plate whilst coating the rest.
After a minute or so it will look like the cornflour has disappeared as the tofu will absorb it. Don’t be tempted to roll them twice, they just need a light coating to crisp up.
4 Heat a glug of vegetable oil in a frying pan and shallow fry the tofu cubes on a medium heat, turning until crisp and golden all over. Transfer the crisp tofu to a plate lined with kitchen paper to catch any excess oil.
5 Meanwhile, bring the vegetable stock to the boil in a large saucepan and add the leftover marinade. Add the noodles and simmer for 7 minutes. After 3 minutes add the broccoli and the mushrooms and spring onions for the final minute. Serve the noodle soup with the crispy tofu on top.
This recipe is suitable for vegans, just make sure you buy vegan udon noodles.