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ASIAN ZUCCHINI NOODLES + CRISPY TOFU

Asian Noodles made of zucchini with colorful veggies, crisp tofu and tossed in a spicy peanut dressing is and easy and delicious lunch, dinner or meal prep!

a white bowl filled with a serving of thai zucchini noodles and crispy tofu.

I’m super excited to bring to you this light and refreshing Asian zucchini noodles with crispy tofu and peanut dressing. It’s something along the lines of pad Thai, which I love so much, and great for summer dining!

In this Asian inspired zucchini noodle recipe the vegetables will be cooked quickly over high heat. The result will be brightly colored, al dente vegetables, which are my favorite kind!

The tofu will be cooked separately and added at the end, along with the dressing. It comes together fairly quickly once the tofu is pressed and vegetables are prepped.

The end result is an abundance of vibrant vegetables to keep you fueled and feeling at your best. I know you’re going to love this one!

side by side picture of crispy tofu in a pan, next to peanut dressing for the thai zucchini noodle salad.

How To Cook Crispy Tofu

First, cook the tofu and mix the peanut dressing.

Tofu tips:

  • I only used 1/2 of a 14 oz. block. It wouldn’t hurt to cook up the whole block and save the other half for later. You can always add the remainder to a salad or stir fry within the next couple days.
  • If using firm or extra-firm tofu, you may need to cook it slightly longer to remove excess water and get the golden color, about 8 minutes each side. If using super-firm tofu, you can get away with 4 – 5 minutes on each side.
  • And if adding oil to the pan before cooking, go light on it if you can because there’s nothing worse than oil soaked tofu!

top down view of freshly sprialized and julienned zucchini noodles on a white plate.

How To Make Zucchini Noodles

Next, prepare the zucchini using a spiralizer or julienne tool (<affiliate links). The zucchini on the left has been spiralized and the zucchini on the right has been julienned. Either way will work great here! You can also spiralize or julienne your carrots if you like.

side by side pictures showing the process of prepping and cooking veggies for thai zucchini noodle salad bowl.

How to Make Asian Zucchini Noodles

  • Cook the tofu, make the dressing, and spiralize the zucchini as noted above.
  • Prep the other veggies and heat up your wok or pan over medium-high heat. Add a tad bit of oil if not using a coated pan. Toss in the bell peppers, green onions, carrots, red cabbage and snow peas. Cook for 2 minutes. We just want them to soften ever so slightly over the high heat.

top down view of cooked thai zucchini noodle with crispy tofu in a wok.

  • Add in the zucchini noodles and cook another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and toss in the tofu and chopped cilantro (I forgot the cilantro here and added it after these photos), give a good toss.
  • Add the dressing and toss well to coat.
  • Serve right away!

Say hello to deliciousness!

It’s a bright, colorful meal that’s full of wholesome goodness and lots of love. Enjoy!

top down, up close, view of thai zucchini noodles with crispy tofu.

More Zucchini Noodle Inspiration

side angle view of a serving of thai zucchini noodles with crispy tofu in a white bowl.

If you try this zucchini Asian noodle recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.

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RAINBOW ASIAN ZUCCHINI NOODLE BOWL + CRISPY TOFU

Abundant with colorful vegetables, crisp tofu and dressed with a spicy peanut dressing. It’s light, healthy and perfect for summer dining!

  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 20 min
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2 - 3 1x
  • Category: Entree
  • Cuisine: Vegan, Raw

Ingredients

Scale
  • 7 oz. organic tofu, use firm, extra-firm or super-firm
  • 1 1/22 teaspoons sesame oil (or other neutral oil)
  • dash of garlic powder
  • 2 large zucchini, spiralized or julienned
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 23 green onions, sliced into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 cup shredded carrots or 2 carrots julienned
  • large handful snow peas
  • 1/8 red cabbage, thinly shredded
  • 1/41/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • handful bean sprouts, optional
  • chopped peanuts, to serve
  • lime wedges, to serve

Spicy Peanut Dressing

  • 3 rounded tablespoons almond butter or natural peanut butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or good pinch of garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons tamari, coconut aminos or soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger or 1 teaspoon freshly grated
  • 2 limes, juice of
  • 1/41/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes or 1/21 teaspoon sambal oelek
  • water as needed to thin, about 2 – 3 tablespoons

Instructions

Press & cook tofu: If using firm or extra-firm tofu, you’ll most likely want to press it a bit to remove excess water (if using super-firm tofu you can skip this step). Place tofu between a clean, double folded kitchen towel. Place a heavy book or pot over top to use as a press. Let set for at least 10 minutes, and up to 30 minutes. Once done, slice tofu into 1 inch pieces, about 1/4 inch thick. Heat a pan over medium heat, with 2 teaspoons of oil, twirl the pan to coat with oil. Place tofu in pan and cook about 4 – 5 minutes, flip, sprinkle with a little garlic powder and cook another 4 – 5 minutes. The time given here is for super-firm tofu. If using firm or extra-firm, you’ll most likely need to cook about 4 minutes longer on each side. Tofu will be ready when golden on both sides. Set aside.

Mix dressing: In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the dressing and mix well. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time to thin as needed. If dressing becomes to thin, add a little nut butter. Taste for flavor and set aside. Keep in mind that the flavors will mellow into each other as it sits. If using coconut amino’s, you may want to add a pinch of mineral salt. Taste again for flavor before mixing with vegetables.

Prep and cook vegetables: Once vegetables are prepped, heat wok or pan over medium-high heat. Add the bell peppers, carrots, green onions, cabbage and snow peas, cook stirring constantly for 2 minutes. We just want them to become ever so slightly softened (not too much). Add zucchini noodles and cook for 2 more minutes, stirring constantly to ensure everything cooks evenly. Remove from heat. Toss in tofu and cilantro, give a good stir. Add peanut dressing over top and mix well to coat.

Serve: Place portions in bowl and serve with lime wedges, chopped peanuts and optional bean sprouts. Easy, peasy – delicious!

Serves 2 generously or 3 smaller portions

NOTES:

If you’re a vinegar lover, feel free to add 1 tablespoon apple cider or rice wine vinegar to the dressing ingredients.

If allergic to peanuts, use sesame seeds instead (or cashews).

12 Comments

  1. Does this recipe keep well if it’s prepped ahead of time?

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Great question! Yes, it will keep well if made ahead. Enjoy!

  2. just made this recipe for lunch today and it was so tasty!! I was wondering if the juice of 2 limes would be too much for the dressing and decided to follow the recipe anyway, but if i made it again I would use only 1 lime. It ended up being quite liquidy and quite limey!! But still very tasty.

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      I’m glad you liked it! Definitely make your adjustments next time and it will be perfect. If you still find it too liquidy next time, add a little extra nut butter to help thicken it. Cheers, and I you enjoy it often! :)

  3. Little Vegan Bear says:

    Lovely colours! I love purple cabbage – it makes things so pretty :)

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Thank you and I agree! Cheers :)

  4. This time of year sure is “salad post season”. But hey! – I’m not complaining in the slightest, as for some reason I find looking a beautiful and colorful food unbelievably satisfying :P So, Julie, thanks for this beautiful and fresh post, and I hope you have a stellar weekend xx

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      You’re so welcome Pia! And as always thank you so much for the kind words and well wishes. I hope you have a wonderful weekend as well! Cheers :)

  5. I love the idea to add crashed Peanuts in this salad. The salad Looks really fresh. Such a great idea for a healthy summer meal.

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Thank you Janine! They add a nice texture and flavor. Cheers :)

  6. Oh my, now I’m hungry again :-) Looks delicious

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Lol, I guess that’s the idea! Cheers :) xo

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