With cashews, spinach, and seared tofu, these saucy rice noodles are better than takeout. Fresh ginger gives the savory, creamy sauce a great kick of flavor. Hoisin Ginger Rice Noodles are vegan and gluten-free.
We’re back to the routine after the holidays this week, which means busy mornings and easy dinners are back in. I love a saucy noodle dish, but add fresh ginger, fresh garlic, and the rich flavor of Hoisin sauce, and it’s true love. I made this dish to fit all of my takeout fake-out cravings in a bowl that just happens to be vegan, gluten-free, and healthy enough for a cozy weeknight at home.
Here’s how to make it.
How to Make Tofu Rice Noodles
- Prepare the tofu - Drain the tofu well, pressing out as much liquid as possible. Slice it into small cubes.
- Combine the aromatics- In a large bowl, combine the ginger, garlic, red pepper flakes, and green onions (you’ll mix everything together in this bowl).
- Cook the rice noodles and spinach - Boil the rice noodles until tender, adding the spinach in the last minute so that it wilts. While they cook, whisk some of the hot cooking water into the aromatics.
- Make the sauce - Add the almond butter, tamari, and Hoisin sauce to the aromatics and whisk everything together to make the sauce.
- Cook the tofu - Sear the tofu in a skillet until deep golden brown.
- Combine everything - To the bowl with the sauce, add the noodles, tofu, and cashews. Mix everything together.
- Serve warm!
What to Serve with Ginger Tofu Noodles
These noodles are great on their own, but if you want to add something on the side, try them with Spring Rolls or with a simple vegetable like roasted broccoli or marinated cucumbers.
- Extra-Firm Tofu - Use extra-firm tofu for this recipe. It will hold its shape the best while cooking and will get crisp and golden on the outside.
- Rice Noodles - Use dried rice noodles that are the same type you use to make Pad Thai. They’re sometimes labeled Pad Thai Noodles.
- Fresh Ginger, Fresh Garlic, Red Pepper Flakes, Green Onions - If you don’t want the spice, skip the red pepper flakes, but the great flavor of this dish comes from the other aromatics. Fresh ginger, garlic, and green onions are must-haves. If you can't get enough flavorful ginger in your cooking, be sure to check out my Ginger Chicken Stir-fry recipe as well.
- Almond Butter - When I tested this recipe, the savory flavor that came from natural almond butter topped all other nut butters. But peanut butter and cashew butter were also great. Be sure to use natural, unsweetened nut butter or the sauce could be too sweet.
- Tamari - Gives savory flavor to the sauce and happens to be gluten-free. Soy sauce works just fine as a substitute.
- Hoisin Sauce - Look for this in the international aisle of any grocery store near the soy sauce. Hoisin adds so much flavor. If you need this dish to be gluten-free, be sure to check the label and get a gluten-free version.
- Baby Spinach - Baby spinach adds texture and color without any prep needed. Any other vegetable is great here too.
- Roasted, Unsalted Cashews - For crunch!
- Skip the tofu - You can skip the tofu and / or substitute another protein. Try it with chickpeas, seitan, or cooked shredded chicken. Or just skip it completely - the cashews and almond butter make this a protein-packed noodle that feels pretty hearty even without the tofu.
- Use peanuts - Use roasted peanuts in place of the cashews.
- Use another nut butter - Any nut butter works well in place of the almond butter. Natural peanut butter or cashew butter are great.
- Add vegetables - Try adding bell peppers or broccoli. These can cook in the same pot as the noodles just like the spinach.
Not all hoisin sauce is gluten-free. Be sure to check the label to confirm. Kikkoman makes a great gluten-free Hoisin sauce.
Yes. Double check the label, but rice noodles should be made with just rice and should be naturally gluten-free.
Yes. Any noodles will work here. These noodles are great when made with soba noodles or spaghetti.
Other Takeout Fake-Out Recipes
- Sticky Cashew Chicken
- Instant Pot General Tso's Chicken
- Beef and Broccoli Ramen Stir-Fry
- Ground Chicken Burrito Bowls
- Asian Chicken Lettuce Cups
Hoisin Ginger Rice Noodles Recipe
- Mixing Bowls
- Large Skillet
- 16 ounces Extra-Firm Tofu, drained well and cubed
- 1 Tablespoon Grated Ginger
- 2 cloves Garlic, grated
- ½ teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
- 3 stalks Green Onions, finely chopped
- 8 ounces Rice Noodles (look for Pad Thai-style rice noodles)
- 3 ounces Baby Spinach (about 3 cups of packed baby spinach leaves)
- ¾ cup Hot Water (scooped out of the pot while the rice noodles cook)
- 5 Tablespoons Almond Butter, preferably natural (can use natural peanut butter)
- 4 Tablespoons Tamari
- 2 Tablespoons Hoisin Sauce (use gluten-free if needed)
- 2 Tablespoons Cooking Oil
- ¾ cup Roasted, Unsalted Cashews, for topping
- Hot Sauce, for serving (optional)
- Slice the tofu in half lengthwise. Press between paper towels and then weigh down with a heavy pan. Leave tofu to sit for 10 to 15 minutes to drain as much water as possible. Cube the tofu.
- In a large bowl, combine the ginger, garlic, red pepper flakes, and green onions.
- Cook the rice noodles according to package directions. Once the rice noodles are simmering, scoop out ¾ cup of the cooking water and pour it over the ginger, garlic, and other aromatics (the hot water will draw out their flavor and form the base of the sauce).
- In the last minute of cooking, stir the spinach into the rice noodles so that it wilts. Drain the rice noodles and spinach well.
- To the bowl with the aromatics, whisk in the almond butter, tamari, and Hoisin sauce until smooth.
- Add the noodles and spinach to the sauce and gently stir everything together to combine. Cover the bowl to keep it warm while making the tofu.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When it begins to shimmer, add the tofu and let it sear on one side until golden brown. Keep turning until golden on all sides. Season it lightly with salt as it cooks.
- Add the tofu to the bowl with the noodles. If the sauce has thickened as it sat, add some hot tap water to loosen it up.
- Stir in the cashews. Serve the noodles warm, with hot sauce if you’d like.
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