I was craving a stir fry with those delicate little rice noodles and a salty, spicy, curry based sauce this week, so I revisited my original recipe for Singapore Noodles, increased the curry powder (because I wanted FLA-VOR), threw in some crispy pan fried tofu, and a bag of Slaw mix. <— That’s me being too exhausted from holiday madness to chop my own veggies, but the price wasn’t bad and now I don’t have leftover cabbage and carrots to contend with! The result was a huge batch of scrumptious Singapore Noodles with Crispy Tofu that has tempted me for lunch, dinner, and late night noshing sessions ever since.
This recipe makes a LOT, so it’s great for busy times like this pre-holiday week. The leftovers reheat really well, so I’ve got meals ready to go for a few days, at least. As with anything fried, the tofu doesn’t stay crispy upon reheating, but the flavor is so great that I don’t really even care. The noodles stay moist and flavorful, so it’s all good.
If you don’t want to do tofu, you could scramble 4-6 eggs in their place, or do both! And of course meat or shrimp are always options as well. Whether it’s tofu, eggs, meat, or shrimp, make sure to sauté your protein first, remove it from the skillet, then add it back in at the end. This does two things: it leaves room in the skillet so that everything stir fries properly and it prevents those proteins from over cooking.
Did I mention how good this curry stir fry sauce is? I’m tempted to mix up a jar of it and just keep it in my fridge for quick weeknight leftover stir fries.
Singapore Noodles with Crispy Tofu
- 14oz. firm or extra firm tofu $1.49
- Pinch of salt $0.02
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch $0.08
- 1.5 Tbsp cooking oil $0.03
- ¼ cup soy sauce $0.20
- 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil $0.33
- 1 Tbsp sriracha $0.05
- 1 Tbsp rice vinegar $0.11
- 2 Tbsp mild curry powder* 0.30
- 8oz. rice vermicelli or rice sticks $2.99
- 1.5 Tbsp cooking oil $0.03
- 2 cloves garlic $0.16
- 1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger $0.10
- 4 green onions, divided $0.20
- 9oz. bag shredded cabbage and carrots $1.99
- Remove the tofu from the package and wrap it in a clean, lint-free towel, or paper towels. Place the wrapped tofu between two cutting boards or plates, and place something heavy on top (books, a pot of water, etc.). Press the tofu for about 30 minutes to extract the excess moisture.
- While the tofu is pressing, prepare the stir fry sauce. In a small bowl, stir together the soy sauce, sesame oil, sriracha, rice vinegar, and curry powder. Set the sauce aside.
- Place the rice noodles in a casserole dish or large bowl and pour boiling water over top. Let the noodles soak for about 5 minutes, or until soft. Drain the noodles in a colander and set them aside until needed.
- Once the tofu has pressed, cut it into small cubes (3/4 to 1-inch). Place the cubes in a bowl and season with a pinch of salt. Sprinkle the cornstarch over top and gently toss until the cubes are coated.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add one to 1.5 Tbsp cooking oil and tilt the skillet to distribute it over the surface. Add the cornstarch coated tofu cubes and cook until golden brown and crispy on all sides. Remove the tofu from the skillet.
- While the tofu is cooking, mince the garlic and grate the ginger. Slice the green onions, separating the white ends from the green ends.
- After removing the tofu from the skillet, add a bit more cooking oil along with the ginger, garlic, and the white ends of the sliced green onions. Sauté for about one minute, or just until they begin to soften.
- Add the bag of shredded cabbage and carrots and continue to sauté for about one minute more. Only sauté the cabbage until it looks like it's just beginning to wilt.
- Add the drained rice noodles, prepared sauce, and fried tofu cubes back to the skillet. Carefully stir and toss the contents of the skillet until everything is combined and coated with sauce. Turn off the heat and sprinkle the green ends of the green onions over top.
Step by Step Photos
Start by pressing a 14oz. block of firm or extra firm tofu (either will work, but firm will be a little more delicate than extra firm). Wrap the tofu in a clean, lint-free cloth or a few layers of paper towel. Place the wrapped tofu between two cutting boards (or large plates), and place something heavy on top. Let it sit for 30 minutes to press out the excess moisture.
While the tofu is pressing, prepare the stir fry sauce. In a small bowl stir together 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil, 1 Tbsp sriracha, 1 Tbsp rice vinegar, and 2 Tbsp curry powder. Set the sauce aside.
These are probably the five ingredients that I most often have questions about, so here is a photo so you can see what they are. :) All of these can usually be found at any major grocery store, but will be less expensive at Asian food markets. That 365 soy sauce is extremely good, BTW, and inexpensive.
Now it’s time to prepare the rice noodles/sticks/vermicelli. This is what they look like in the package. This 8oz. pack was $2.99 at my local grocery store, but would have probably been about 1/3 that price at an Asian grocery store. So, keep that in mind.
Place the noodles in a large, heat proof dish or bowl and pour boiling water over top. Let the noodles sit for 5 minutes, or until tender (you could also just plop them into a large pot of boiling water, turn off the heat, and let them sit).
Once they’re tender, drain them in a colander and set them aside.
Once the tofu has been pressed, cut it into small cubes. Place the cubes in a bowl and season with a pinch of salt. Sprinkle 2 Tbsp cornstarch over top and gently toss until they’re well coated.
Heat a large skillet over medium flame until very hot. Once hot, add one to 1.5 Tbsp cooking oil. Tilt the skillet to coat the surface, then add the tofu cubes until they’re golden brown and crispy on all sides. Remove them from the skillet. The trick to getting them to NOT stick in a stainless steel skillet is to A) don’t add the oil until the skillet is hot and B) don’t try to stir or flip the tofu cubes until they’re browned. They will “release” from the surface once they develop a crispy crust.
While the tofu is frying (since you don’t want to stir it too often), mince two cloves of garlic and grate about 1 Tbsp fresh ginger. Slice four green onions, separating the white ends from the green ends.
After removing the crispy tofu, add a little more cooking oil to the skillet, along with the minced garlic, grated ginger, and the white ends of the green onion. Sauté for about one minute.
This is the bag of shredded cabbage and carrots that I used. Definitely a time saver and now I don’t have to try to use up leftover green cabbage, purple cabbage, AND carrots.
Pour the entire bag of shredded vegetables into the skillet and sauté very briefly (about 1-2 minutes, or JUST until it starts to wilt).
Immediately add the drained noodles, prepared sauce, and crispy tofu. Toss it all together until everything is coated in sauce and well mixed.
Sprinkle the remaining green ends of the green onions over top and enjoy!