When someone asks me what my favorite food is, I always say Asian food. Seriously, I could eat Asian food every day of my life, and I could live happily ever after. Today, I was looking for a quick and easy dinner, without a lot of fuss. So, I made a quick and easy Garlic noodle recipe I whipped up!
Of course, I wanted more than just garlic noodles, so I added some of my favorite vegetables, but the true beauty of this garlic noodle recipe is it all happens in one pan.
One of my other favorite recipes is my Vegan Spicy Thai Drunken Noodles with Seared Tofu recipe, but this time I wanted thinner noodles and a less spicy sauce. Also, I chose to skip the tofu today in favor of a few vegetables.
WHAT TYPE OF NOODLES ARE USED TO MAKE A GREAT GARLIC NOODLE RECIPE?
Traditionally, garlic noodles are generally made from linguini, spaghetti or angel hair pasta. Instead, I am using gluten-free fettuccine noodles. Also, my favorite Asian gluten-free thin rice noodles are fabulous with this dish. But, in a pinch, any thin pasta you prefer works just as well.
Whether you are allergic to gluten or simply want a healthier pasta option, gluten-free fettuccine noodles are a good choice. Chewy in texture, and subtle in flavor, noodles absorb the flavors of a great garlic sauce.
In the past, gluten-free pasta would fall apart and become gummy when cooked. Today’s gluten-free pasta cooks exactly like regular pasta, with healthier benefits. So, more often than not, I choose gluten-free pasta when I cook.
WHAT VEGGIES ARE IN THIS GARLIC NOODLE RECIPE?
Although most garlic noodle recipes are just noodles, veggies make me happy, and since this is my recipe, I am adding veggies. Similar to all my recipes, you can add your own favorite veggies, or follow my veggie lead. And, if you prefer an easier recipe, and you just want noodles, the veggies are optional, not required.
Because the focus of this garlic noodle recipe is obviously garlic, I chose vegetables I think to enhance and work well with garlic:
- Red bell pepper
- Thai basil
But, if you want to add additional veggies, I might add:
- Bok choy
- Bean sprouts
- Green peppers
However, the trick to cooking vegetables perfectly when making stir-frying is simple. I call to call it cooking it layers, for example. First, I saute the garlic and the onions together. Then, I add the mushrooms, and in the end, I add the red peppers.
As a result, the red peppers stay al dente instead of overcooking. Also, one of my favorite kitchen hack tricks is to cook the broccoli with the noodles, in the same pot, while you cook the noodles.
LIKE ALL GOOD RECIPES, THE SECRET IS IN THE GARLIC NOODLE SAUCE
- 4 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar
- 1/4 cup Tamari, Liquid Aminos, or Soy Sauce
- 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
- 4 cloves, garlic, minced
- 1 Tablespoon chili paste
- 1 Tablespoon vegan oyster sauce
- 1 Tablespoon freshly grated ginger
So, the trick I have found with noodles, sauce, and vegetables, is less is more. Once the noodles are cooked with the broccoli, I toss them in the sauce and plate. Then, I add the other sauteed vegetables. Because the broccoli is so porous, it holds the flavors in the sauce and doesn’t make the other vegetables soggy.
IF YOU ARE A TOFU FAN, CHILI GLAZED MARINATED TOFU FOR GARLIC NOODLE RECIPE
Extra-firm tofu is my go-to tofu for most recipes because it’s easy to handle and contains less water. Again, for me, it’s all about convenience. Not only does extra firm tofu take less time to press, but it also stays together when grilling, baking, or sauteeing in a pan.
And then, there is sprouted tofu, the Cadillac of all tofu in my opinion. Sprouted tofu, for example, doesn’t need to be pressed. As a result, I chose extra-firm tofu to use for my chili marinated tofu recipe.
For years I avoided eating tofu. Every time I made tofu, I ended up moving it to the side of the plate, because it was either fried or mushy. Most restaurants fry it, which doesn’t interest me, and those who bake and grill it seemed to have the same issues I did; soft tasteless tofu.
Then, I figured it out with the help of my EZ Tofu Press. I bought it on Amazon, and in the beginning, I made the same mistakes. I didn’t follow the directions ( a problem I have haha); I was in a hurry as I usually am, and I got the same results….tasteless tofu I didn’t like.
Not only is the E-Z Tofu Press easy to use, but it is also the cheapest one on the market! And, I have owned it for years, and never had to replace it with a new one. So, if you are looking for a quality tofu press, that won’t break the bank, this one is a great deal.
FOLLOWING THESE SIMPLE STEPS, HOWEVER, AND BEING PATIENT, IS WHAT GOOD TOFU IS ALL ABOUT.
STEPS FOR PERFECTLY PRESSED TOFU EVERY TIME:
- First, carefully remove the tofu from the package, discarding the fluid from the package. It’s delicate, though, so be gentle.
- Then, place the tofu in the middle of the press and turn both knobs equally about four turns.
- I usually place the tofu press in the sink on its side to drain properly.
- Turn the knobs every two minutes, equally until the tofu is about an inch or inch and a half thickness.
- Most people stop here….NOT YET. Keep turning until the knobs are screwed as far as they can to almost touch the opposite end.
WHAT’S IN THE CHILI GLAZED MARINATED TOFU RECIPE FOR GARLIC NOODLES?
- 1 inch of fresh ginger, minced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 Tablespoon chili paste
- 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
- ½ Tablespoon white wine or distilled white vinegar
- 2 scallions, chopped
- 1 red chili pepper, seeded and sliced finely
- black sesame seeds for garnish
Once the tofu is marinated overnight, simply fire up the grill, and grill the chili marinated tofu to add to the top of the garlic noodles.
CHOOSE YOUR COOKING METHOD: (PICK ONE BELOW)
- Pre-heat grill to 400 degrees or medium-low
- You can place the marinated tofu directly on the grill or I use a grill basket
- Grill for 4 minutes on each side, flipping 4 times (total 16 minutes)
- Let cool slightly
BAKED VERSION (If you don’t have a grill)
- Follow the same directions for marinating
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
- Place tofu pieces on a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mats; I used my copper crisper pan
- Dip the marinated tofu on each side with cornstarch
- Place large pieces into the basket, not touching each other
- Cook on 370 for 10 minutes
- Open the basket and turn large tofu pieces over
- Bake for 10 more minutes
Regardless of how you choose to cook your tofu, I then cut it into cubes, so I can add it to my garlic noodles.
And, don’t forget to add a generous amount of basil and some black sesame seeds for an added touch of color.
If you meal prep and plan ahead, garlic noodles can be made ahead of time and reheated for a quick and easy lunch. So, if it’s a quick weeknight meal you are looking for, or you are making lunches for the week, garlic noodles are it!
LOOKING FOR QUICK AND EASY DINNER IDEAS OR LUNCH MEAL PREP, CHECK OUT THESE RECIPES:
- Vietnamese Noodles
- Vegan Spicy Thai Drunken Noodles with Seared Tofu
- Vegan Thai Tahini Veggie Noodle Bowls
- Skinny Veggie Miso Ramen Stir Fry
- Asian Coleslaw
- Grilled Asian Sesame Tofu with Vegetable Slaw
- Kale Asian Pasta Salad
- Spicy Tofu Asian Salad with Skinny Peanut Dressing
- Skinny Thai Green Curry
- Curried Cauliflower
- Thai Red Curry Vegetables