When I'm in the mood for Thai food, I make my favorite, Vegan Drunken Noodles Recipe. I love all Thai food, but most Thai restaurants cook with a ton of oil. So despite having my favorite "go-to" Thai restaurants near my house, the best Thai is the Thai food I make at home, at least nutritionally.
HOW TO MAKE SURE YOUR THAI FOOD IS VEGAN AT A THAI RESTAURANT
Although most Thai dishes are made with fish sauce, if you eat Thai food at a Thai restaurant, you need to request no fish sauce or order a vegan dish. If you say "no oil," most restaurants will accommodate your wishes.
Another quick tip is to ask if the Thai restaurant has a vegan menu.
Sometimes, there is a secret, hidden menu. One of my favorite Thai restaurants, for instance, has just such a menu, which I ask for every time I go to eat there.
WHY COOK THAI FOOD AT HOME
Not only is cooking at home a guarantee of the ingredients in your dish, but it's also cheaper. So instead of going out, save some money, and stay in with this Vegan Drunken Noodles Recipe.
Even more important than cost, making Thai at home is easy and healthier.
The rice noodles, for instance, highlight this dish, and the tofu is used as a condiment. Similarly, the fresh Thai basil and lime juice cool down the Thai chili peppers, while the sweet soy and brown sugar add a sweet element.
It's the perfect marriage between sweet and spicy with a hint of savory.
HOW SPICY IS SPICY? KNOW YOUR TASTE BUDS AND ADD SLOWLY
However, this Vegetarian Drunken Noodles Recipe is actually "drunk" with various flavors and spices. As a result, these fat-free rice noodles are hearty and filling. But, if you are spice sensitive, add the spicy slowly.
Tasting while you cook is a great way to gauge your taste buds. Remember, you can always add more spice; you can't take it away.
TOFU PREPARATION MAKES OR BREAKS DRUNKEN NOODLES
To choose the best tofu for this dish, always choose extra firm tofu. I only select soft tofu when making a dressing or pie.
So, when in doubt, get extra firm tofu. For instance, sprouted tofu is even better than extra firm tofu, as it is already pressed and much more firm. Sometimes, though, sprouted tofu is challenging to find.
For that reason, extra firm tofu must be pressed using a tofu press.
HOW TO PRESS TOFU FOR SEARING, BAKING, GRILLING OR AIR-FRYING
First, carefully remove the tofu from the package, discarding the fluid.
Then, place the tofu in the middle of the press and turn both knobs equally about four turns. I usually put the tofu press in the sink on its side, but I placed it on a plate to drain for this visual post.
- Turn the knobs every two minutes, equally, until you have the result.
- Most people stop here….NOT YET. Keep turning until the knobs are screwed as far as they can almost to touch the end like this:
- Although I have never tried this, I decided on this press to measure the amount of water I got from the bottom of the plate at the end.
- The amount was ¾ cup fluid.
- Now, remove the press from the plate, and I give it another press with a paper towel for excess fluid removal.
The finished product, for instance, should be pressed entirely and look similar to this picture.
Indeed, correctly pressing the tofu makes or breaks your tofu experience. Moreover, pressed tofu marinates, cooks, and tastes better.
THE MAGIC MARINADE FOR VEGAN DRUNKEN NOODLES
Of course, the goal is to make marinade or sauce that absorbs into the tofu and noodles. The tofu marinade differs slightly from the sauce for the entire dish, so the flavors marry together in the end. As a result, marinading the tofu separately first is essential.
- Mix all ingredients and pour half the marinade into a large deep container to make a single row of tofu on the bottom.
- Place a single layer of tofu on the marinade, and then pour the remaining marinade on top of the tofu.
- Seal and place in a refrigerator overnight.
Before cooking, combining the sauce and the noodles gives it the added absorption of the sauce. The sauce soaks into the noodles like a sponge and then cooks. Similarly, the tofu already has its flavors, so it is a marriage of flavors in your mouth.
HOW TO COOK THE TOFU FOR VEGAN DRUNKEN NOODLES
Although this recipe calls for searing the tofu in a pan, some people prefer the different textures to their cooking tofu. There are other options if you prefer a different method for this Vegan Drunken Noodles Recipe.
Grilled tofu, for example, has a harder exterior and charred grill lines. But, despite having a few more steps, grilling tofu is my favorite way to cook tofu.
With this method, the tofu is cut into larger slabs to make grilling easier and cut into cubes after cooking.
- Preheat the grill to low
- Place a grill mat on the grill (you can also use a grill pan, or if you are careful, place the tofu directly on the grill.
- Cook for about 8 minutes on each side
- Remove from the grill and place back in the marinade until ready to use.
- Then, cut it into strips or cubes.
AIR-FRYING TOFU FOR VEGAN DRUNKEN NOODLES
Another great and fast way to cook tofu is in the air-fryer. Initially, I didn't want an air-fryer because I'm "old school." But, my husband twisted my arm, and now I love my air-fryer.
- Follow the same pressing and marinating process.
- Set air fryer temperature at 375 degrees
- Cook 10-15 minutes, shaking the basket a couple of times through the cooking process.
BAKING TOFU FOR VEGAN DRUNKEN NOODLES IS JUST AS EASY
Choose a silicone baking mat or use my Copper Crisper Pan to bake tofu. The tofu gets crispy on top, but it also cooks underneath as well.
- Follow the same pressing and marinating process.
- Then, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Place cut or uncut tofu on a silicone baking mat or parchment paper
- Cook for 15 minutes
- Remove from oven and flip tofu over; cook for an additional 15 minutes.
RICE NOODLES; THE PERFECT NOODLE
In my opinion, Taste of Thai Wide Rice Noodles is the best noodles for many recipes. But more importantly, rice noodles are gluten-free, fat-free, oil-free, high in protein, fiber, zinc, and iron.
As a result, I call them the perfect noodle for this Vegetarian Drunken Noodles Recipe.
Vegan Spicy Thai Drunken Noodles with Seared Tofu
Drunken Noodle Sauce
- 1 Yellow Onion diced
- 6 cloves Garlic minced
- 1 lime juiced
- 1 cup fresh, chopped Basil
PREPARE TOFU IN ADVANCE:
- Press tofu ( using a tofu press) thoroughly BEFORE cutting into cubes
- Cut tofu into small cubes.
- Marinate by covering with the specified tofu marinate indicated above.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour
- Rice noodles are much more delicate and fragile than a typical spaghetti noodle.
- Place all your rice noodles in a wide mixing bowl.
- Bring 4 cups of water to boil.
- Pour the boiling water over the rice noodles until they are completely submerged.
- Stir to loosen the noodles every few minutes, so they don't stick together.
- When they are completely limp, give them a taste to see if they're cooked through.
- The flat rice noodles might take upwards of ten minutes, depending on thickness.
- Pay attention and test the noodles frequently because they'll become mushy if they overcook.
- The noodles are being stir-fried for the drunken noodles, so you want to under-cook them.
- They will absorb more moisture and cook the rest once in the stir fry. If your noodles are perfectly cooked to start, they will turn to mush in the stir fry.
- Once the noodles are tender, drain them and run them under COLD water to stop the cooking.
PREPARE THE DRUNKEN NOODLE SAUCE
- Whisk Drunken Noodle sauce ingredients together.
- When noodles are drained and rinsed in COLD water, pour the sauce over the noodles before cooking.
- Stir sauce into the noodles and let sit while you cook the tofu.
COOKING IN THE WOK
- Heat wok to medium-high.
- Add onion and garlic, and cook until translucent.
- Add red Thai chili pepper.
- Add tofu and sauce, and sear tofu.
- Let it cook before tossing it around in the wok.
- Add rice noodles and sauce to tofu.
- Add ¾ cup basil, reserving ¼ cup for garnish.
- Add noodles mixture to a bowl.
- Sprinkle with extra basil.
- Serve with a wedge of lime.
- Serve with a side of red pepper flakes for those who want to add more heat.
- I also serve Sriracha on the side because I like it hot.
Hi! My name is Kathy, I am a retired high school English teacher & vegan enthusiast and blogger. My entire blog is fully plant-based vegan. I truly believe what we eat & how we live determines our health & the preservation of our planet! 🙂