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Garlic Sesame Udon Noodles with Fried Tofu

Garlic Sesame Udon Noodles with Fried Tofu-delicious vegetarian, meatless-monday meal.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time6 mins
Total Time26 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: noodles
Servings: 4 servings


  • 8 oz udon noodles-dried
  • 1 package firm tofu- 15 oz
  • 2 oz canola oil- for frying tofu plus 1 tablespoon
  • 2 Tbsp sesame oil-
  • 2 tsp garlic- minced
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger- minced
  • 1/2 each yellow & red bell peppers- sliced julienned
  • 1 each carrot- peeled & thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce-
  • 1 tsp fish sauce*-
  • 1 tsp sambal oelek chili sauce-
  • 2 tsp sweet soy sauce kecap manis-
  • 2 Tbsp water-
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds- plus extra for garnish
  • 3 each green onions sliced on diagonal (reserve 1/3 for garnish)


Cook the noodles

  • Cook the udon noodles in a large pot of boiling water for about 10 minutes or until tender, but still a bit chewy. Drain and rinse under cool water until the noodles are cool. Set aside.

Prepare the tofu for frying:

  • Drain the tofu and press dry on paper towels to remove excess moisture. Turn the block on its side and cut in half width-wise so that you have two flat rectangles. Dry again with paper towel. Cut rectangles into 3/4" strips and then into cubes.

Prep the other ingredients:

  • Mince the garlic and ginger.
  • Cut the peppers, carrots, and green onions.
  • In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, fish sauce, sambal, sweet soy, and water.

Fry the tofu

  • Heat a large wok or heavy bottomed frying pan. Add the 2 oz canola oil. Carefully add half of the cubed tofu so the pan is not overcrowded. Keep it moving and fry the tofu until it is golden brown on all sides. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon or flat strainer and drain on paper towel. Repeat with the remaining tofu.

Make the noodles:

  • Once the tofu is done, pour off any remaining used oil and wipe out the wok. Replace the pan on high heat and add the 1 tablespoon of canola oil and the sesame oil. Add the minced garlic and ginger. Keep it moving in the pan so it does not burn.
  • After about a minute, add the carrots and stir. Add the julienned bell peppers and cook for another 2 minutes until the carrots and peppers are tender-crisp.
  • Add the bowl with the combined sauces, mix with the vegetables and then quickly add the tofu and then the noodles. Toss to combine. Add sesame seeds and green onions and combine.
  • Serve while hot, garnish with extra sesame seeds and sliced green onion.


*Leave out the fish sauce to make the recipe vegan.