“Noodle Bowls” are coming out on top as the new trendy health choice for a lot of people who are looking for an easy and nutritious way to satisfy their hunger. There are tons of variations that you can find now, that are inspired by flavours from all over Asia and beyond, using ingredients you can find right in your local grocery store. They’re delicious, comforting, fresh, and can be customized to fit even the pickiest of palettes.
This one we’ve put together for you is the perfect smorgasbord of cheap and flavourful. Incorporating Vietnamese flavours with fresh veggies and marinated tofu, this noodle bowl packs a punch without bruising your wallet in the process. Today we were feeling pretty fond of cilantro, but of course, if you are one of those people who can’t handle the taste, you can absolutely substitute it for fresh mint, or thai basil. Also, if you want to make this recipe vegan, you can opt for vegan fish sauce (yes, it exists) or just cut it out altogether.
1/2 a small onion
1 clove of garlic,
1/3 cup of firm tofu
1 ½ tbsp of lime juice
2 tbsp of hoisin sauce
½ tsp fish sauce
1 tbsp grapeseed oil (or any cooking oil of your choice)
1 pinch of salt
2 chopped cilantro stems
½ tsp of minced lemongrass (fresh or re-constituted dry lemongrass)
½ tsp sriracha
Quick Carrot Pickle
1 medium carrot
1 tbsp rice vinegar
½ tsp fish sauce
½ tsp granulated sugar
Toppings & Noodles
1 4 inch piece of cucumber
¼ of an avocado
¼ of a lime
1 green onion
1/3 cup chopped cilantro leaves
1/5th of a pack of rice vermicelli noodles
The first order of business is our quick pickled carrots. All you’ll need to do for these is peel and shred your carrot, throw it into a bowl, and mix it with 2 tsp of rice vinegar, ¼ tsp of fish sauce, ¼ tsp of granulated sugar, and a pinch of salt. Now set that aside to soak in while we prepare to marinate the tofu.
For the tofu, finely chop the garlic, onion, lemongrass, and cilantro stems and add them to a small bowl. Thinly slice your tofu and also add that to the bowl, along with your wet ingredients and salt. Now set that aside.
Next, chop up the rest of your fresh ingredients into bite sized pieces, and boil some water to cook your rice vermicelli according to the instructions on the package. We used the super thin kind that can be softened by submerging them in hot water and letting them sit until they become soft. Once your noodles are soft enough for your liking, rinse them in cold water to stop the cooking process and put them into a bowl.
In a small pan on medium heat, toss in your marinated tofu and stir fry it until both sides are nicely browned. Arrange your tofu, carrot pickles, and chopped vegetables on top of your noodles and drizzle with more sriracha and hoisin sauce to your taste.
If you do end up making this noodle bowl, or any of our other recipes, take a pic and tag us in it using the hashtag #themondaymunch. We’d love to see your creations!