This vegan Panko Tofu 'Meat' Noodle Bowl is the perfect weeknight dinner. The whole family will enjoy this easy and flavorful dish. Tofu adds plant-based protein and heart healthy fats to this Asian-inspired recipe.
Crispy toasted panko takes this noodle bowl to a whole new level. The combination of slurpy noodles, umami tofu crumbles, and crispy panko is nothing short of divine. Make this dish once, and I guarantee it will be on repeat for the long haul.
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🥣 Why This Recipe Is Fabulous
- Tofu crumbles add heart healthy fats and plant-based protein to this budget-friendly meal.
- It's a dinner the whole family will enjoy. My teens are addicted to this dish.
- It takes less than 30 minutes to make.
- The recipe uses pantry-friendly ingredients.
- Make this dish even more healthful with buckwheat soba or whole grain noodles, low-sodium soy sauce, and a side of vegetables.
📖 How to Make this Recipe
Start by pressing one 14-ounce block of extra firm tofu for 15 minutes. I use the Tofuture tofu press and love it! It's easy to use and does a great job. Plus, it's a jazzy green color.
Next, crumble the tofu into pieces resembling ground meat.
Cook the noodles according to the packet directions. Most types of noodles will work in this recipe. Set aside.
Mix the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sriracha, sesame oil, maple syrup, and chili garlic sauce to make a tangy, slightly sweet and spicy sauce.
Toast the panko in a large skillet over medium-low heat until golden brown. You will need to pay attention as they burn easily! Keep tossing them as they cook. You can add a little oil to the skillet to make them even more crispy. Transfer the panko to a bowl.
Heat the sesame oil in the same skillet and add the tofu crumbles. Sauté the crumbles until they are browned. Add soy sauce to the skillet and cook for another couple of minutes to flavor the tofu.
Move the crumbles to the side of the skillet and add a little more oil to the center. Cook the garlic and scallions for another minute until fragrant before adding the sauce, and noodles. Cook until warmed through.
Fold in the toasted panko. Add hot chili oil to taste.
👩🏼🌾 Ingredients & Nutrition
Tofu is a healthy plant-based source of protein, containing all nine essential amino acids. It's made from soybeans which are naturally gluten-free and low in calories. Plus, it's a good source of iron and contains no cholesterol. It's also rich in heart-healthy isoflavones and good fats.
In addition, it's very versatile and easy to cook with, readily taking on the flavor of sauces and marinades.
Tamari is used as a gluten-free substitute for soy sauce. Soy sauce contains wheat, where as tamari is made with no (or very little) wheat. However, be sure to double check the nutrition label as it varies by brand. Both sauces are similar in color and flavor, but tamari is less rich and usually lower in sodium.
There is a popular misconception that eating soy products, including tofu, can increase cancer risk, but studies indicate that soy does not increase cancer risk. In fact, eating tofu and other soy products can have health benefits, including supporting heart health.
Use rice noodles, and gluten-free tamari. Omit the panko.
👩🏽🍳 Made this recipe?
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Panko Tofu 'Meat' Noodle Bowl
- 14 ounces noodles
For the sauce:
- ⅓ cup soy sauce or tamari (preferably low sodium)
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sriracha
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 ½ teaspoons maple syrup
- 1 ½ teaspoons chili garlic sauce
- Cook the noodles as per packet directions. Set aside.
- For the Sauce: In a medium bowl, mix the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sriracha, sesame oil, maple syrup, and chili garlic sauce. Set aside.
- Toast Panko: Add the panko to a large non-stick skillet. Cook over medium-low heat until golden brown, stirring frequently. Transfer to a small bowl. Set aside.
- Cook Tofu: Heat the oil in the same skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tofu and cook for about 7 minutes, or until dark golden brown. Add the tamari and cook for 2 minutes more.
- Aromatics: Move the tofu to the side of the skillet and add the garlic and scallions. (Add more oil as needed.) Cook for 1 minute.
- Combine: Add the sauce, and the desired quantity of noodles. Mix to combine. Cook until warmed through.
- Mix: Remove from the heat and stir in the breadcrumbs. Add hot chili oil to taste.
- Noodles: Most types will work in this recipe.
- For extra crispy panko, add a little oil to the skillet when toasting . Be careful not to let them burn.
- For non-spicy, omit the sriracha and hot chili oil.
This information is provided as a courtesy and is an ESTIMATE only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased can change the nutritional information in any given recipe.