Asian Noodle Bowls

So I’m going through a meal-in-a-bowl sorta phase right now. For some reason, meals in bowls taste better, look prettier, and just are all around better?! I don’t understand it myself. But somehow…some way…food in a bowl is better. Riddle me that, my friends.

You know those nights where you scavenge throughout your fridge, find random vegetables and leftovers and sauces you’ve forgotten about that are nearly dead, and then try to combine them and eat it so you don’t feel guilty for wasting food?? Maybe I’m the only one. That’s what I like to call a “clean-out-the-fridge” type of meal. This one’s a liiiiitle bit like that, except there’s a bit more rhyme and reason, and it’s definitely more delicious. But still – extremely customizable!

First, we have a bed of brown rice noodles (any sort of rice noodle will work!). Then, layered on top is truly any sort of vegetable you’d like. (Like I said – clean out the fridge! Find what you have on hand, roast/steam it, and throw it in!) I personally love this bowl with edamame, roasted sweet potato, and avocado. Then we add some herbs, like cilantro and green onions, asian-style tofu, and a super simple peanut sauce to drown it all in.

But let’s talk for a hot sec about the tofu. In the past week I’ve made the same sauce recipe (the one listed below) with tofu, beef, and chicken. To be totally honest with you, I prefer the beef over the chicken or tofu any day with that sauce – something about that red-meat, umami flavor just tastes the better with the sauce than all the others. But, I’ll leave the meat of choice up to you! Feel free to find what you like best. But I recommend starting with the beef 🙂

Asian Noodle Bowls
Author: Lucia Wright
Ingredients
  • 8 oz brown rice noodles
  • For the marinade/sauce:
  • 1/3 c soy sauce
  • 1/3 c light brown sugar
  • 1 T toasted sesame oil
  • 2 t minced garlic
  • 1/2 t ginger paste
  • 1/2 t crushed red pepper flakes
  • 14 oz extra firm tofu, drained & patted dry with a paper towel, OR beef (my personal favorite) OR chicken**
  • For the peanut sauce:
  • 1/4 c creamy peanut butter
  • 3-4 T hot water
  • 2 T sweet chili sauce
  • 1 t soy sauce
  • Suggested toppings/add-ins:
  • roasted sweet potato
  • cilantro
  • green onion
  • edamame
  • avocado
Instructions
  1. Prepare rice noodles according to package directions. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together marinade/sauce ingredients. Carefully pour into a gallon-sized plastic bag.
  3. For the tofu, cut into chunks. Place into the plastic bag, sealing the top, and shake it all up.
  4. Heat a large, nonstick skillet to medium-high heat. Fry the tofu until golden brown, being sure to turn them all over to brown them evenly on all sides.
  5. In another bowl, whisk together peanut sauce ingredients.
  6. To assemble the bowls, place the noodles on the bottom, followed by veggies, herbs, and peanut sauce on top.
  7. Note: if you want to use beef or chicken, follow the same method for the tofu, using about 1-2 chicken breasts or thighs, or 1 lb of beef sirloin steak.
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