These vegan Shanghai noodles are stir-fried with veggies, drenched in a savory sauce and served up with crispy pan-fried tofu.
Confession: this is a clean out the fridge meal. You might even recognize an ingredient or two from one of my recent posts. Getting snowed in has it’s advantages, one of them being that you have some spare time to devote to creating some new blog recipes. The catch is that you have to get creative when you didn’t give your snowed-in status some forethought and make a beeline for the supermarket like everyone else.
When it comes to using up odds and ends in the kitchen, Asian noodles are where it’s at. Stock up on some noodles and a few seasonings and you’ve got a delicious meal around every corner.
I ended up searching around a bit, and stumbling upon this recipe for Shanghai noodles, which I could totally work with. Score. I had to make quite a few swaps to get this dish ready completely vegan, so I can’t claim total authenticity, but I can claim that it’s absolutely tasty.
Also score because Chinese New Year is approaching, and noodles are considered a lucky thing to eat in celebration. Apparently red is lucky too, which I wasn’t even aware of when I snapped these photos. But cool, right? Apparently also, 2015 should have been a bad year for me, being born in the year of the goat (also known as the year of the sheep). I had no idea, but I’m glad I didn’t find out until today, when the year is almost over. Perhaps all my noodle eating has paid off.
If you’re in need of more recipes to celebrate the forthcoming lunar new year, well, I’ll probably get a hankering and post at least one more before the big day. (I’ll take any excuse for some Chinese food.) If you need lots of recipes, be sure to check out last year’s collection of vegan Chinese deliciousness.
Vegan Shanghai Noodles
- 9 1/2 oz. dried udon noodles*
- 2 tbsp. soy sauce
- 2 tbsp. hoisin sauce
- 2 tbsp. dry sherry or Chinese cooking wine
- 1 tbsp. sesame oil
- 1 tbsp. cornstarch
- 2 tsp. maple syrup or agave
- 1-2 tsp. Asian chili paste, optional, or to taste
- 2 tsp. freshly grated ginger
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 tbsp. vegetable oil, divided
- 1 lb. extra firm tofu, drained, pressed and cut into 1 inch cubes
- 4 cups shredded napa cabbage
- 2 medium carrots, julienned
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add noodles and cook according to package directions, until al dente.
Whisk soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sherry or cooking wine, sesame oil, cornstarch, maple syrup or agave, chili paste, ginger and garlic together in a small bowl. Set aside.
Coat the bottom of a large nonstick skillet with 1 tablespoon of oil and place over medium heat. Add tofu and cook about 10 minutes, flipping once or twice, until browned on multiple sides. Remove from skillet and transfer to a plate.
Add remaining tablespoon of oil to skillet and raise heat to high. Add carrots and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add cabbage and continue to stir-fry just until it begins to wilt and carrots are tender-crisp, about 30 seconds. Add noodles, soy sauce mixture and tofu to skillet. Flip a few times to coat the noodles and veggies in sauce. Cook just until noodles are heated throughout, about 30 seconds.
Remove from heat and divide onto plates. Serve.
Loosely adapted from Life Made Sweeter's Stir-Fried Shanghai Noodles with Ground Pork and Napa Cabbage.
*There's actually a type of noodle called a "Shanghai noodle" that you might be able to find in Asian markets, but as far as I know, you'd be hard pressed to find it in vegan form. If you can find them, by all means use them. If not, udon noodles are a close enough approximation.