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A close-up shot of spicy noodles in a pan.

Spicy Vegan Fire Noodles with Crispy Tofu

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5 from 2 reviews

  • Author: erin wysocarski
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings
  • Diet: Vegan


Spice lovers, rejoice with this vegan fire noodles recipe, complete with crispy panko tofu! Dive into a world where creamy, spicy, and savory flavors meld perfectly over your choice of noodles, all topped with golden-brown, crunchy tofu. Ideal for pairing with grilled veggies, a sprinkle of crushed peanuts, and fresh scallions, this dish promises a delightful kick and a symphony of textures. Whether you’re a vegan or simply a fan of fiery, flavorful dishes, this spicy tofu noodle bowl is set to become your new favorite!


for the sauce

  • 1 TB coconut oil
  • 1 TB minced ginger
  • 1 TB brown sugar
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1/3 cup chunky peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup sambal (see spice guide above for modifications)
  • 13 thai chili peppers, sliced or left whole, dried or a mix of the two (optional, obvs)
  • 2/3 cup full-fat coconut milk

for the tofu

  • 1 block tofu, cut into 8 slabs (no need to press)
  • 1 cup panko
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds, white and/or black
  • 1/4 cup white rice flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • oil, for sauteing

to serve

  • 2 servings of noodles, any kind
  • broccoli or your vegetable of choice, sauteed
  • crushed peanuts
  • sliced scallions


to make the sauce

  1. Melt the coconut oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat.
  2. Add in the minced ginger and allow to fry for about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, then add in the brown sugar and stir to coat. Add in the rice vinegar, stir, then add in the peanut butter and stir until liquefied.
  3. Add in the sambal and thai chilis (if using), stir, then  pour in the coconut milk. Bring to a small simmer, stirring occasionally, then remove from the heat and cover.

to make the tofu

  1. Combine the panko and sesame seeds in one bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the white rice flour and water until smooth.
  2. Preheat a cast iron pan over medium heat. Add a thin layer of oil to the bottom.
  3. Dredge the tofu in the rice flour/water mixture, then press into the panko/sesame seed mixture until evenly coated.
  4. Place into the hot pan and allow each side to become golden brown, a few minutes on each side. Transfer to paper towels to cool. 

to finish

  1. Boil the noodles according to the package instructions. Drain, then toss them with the sauce.
  2. Transfer to serving bowls, topping with the vegetables, tofu, crushed peanuts, and sliced scallions.
  3. Serve immediately.


Noodles and Tofu, Better Apart:

To keep the crispy tofu from turning soggy, store it separately from the noodles. Place each in airtight containers in the fridge. The noodles will stay fresh for up to 3 days, while the tofu keeps its crunch best if enjoyed within a day or two.

Reheating Made Easy:

When it’s time for round two, sprinkle a bit of water over the noodles before warming them up on the stove over low heat. It helps bring back their original glory. For the tofu, pop it in the oven at 350°F for about 10-15 minutes to crisp it back up. Now, they’re almost as good as new!

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Dredged, Sautéed, Boiled
  • Cuisine: Asian, American