Teriyaki Tofu with Peanut Noodles

I’m trying to do more meatless/vegetarian meals.

It took a very long time for me to get up the courage to eat tofu. It looks strange. It has a distinct texture…right? And it is practically flavorless.

Aha! That’s why it’s awesome. You can make it taste like anything you want it to. And if you can get past the texture thing (clearly I have issues with certain textures), then you’ll be set.

I’m still sort of new to tofu. We’ve started small and we’ll work our way up.

Tofu really needs to be in a flavorful dish because it is bland on its own. We like to marinate it. A quick saute in some hot oil in a skillet and you’re good. My kids even eat tofu this way.

Make sure to buy “firm” or “extra firm” tofu for this recipe. Silken or soft tofu is more for smoothies and pureed soups. You want to be able to cut the tofu into squares or slices and have it hold its shape.

Teriyaki Tofu with Peanut Noodles
original recipe


For tofu:
One 19 oz. package FIRM tofu in water
1/4 cup Polynesian soy sauce (regular soy will work, too)
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp. fresh ginger, finely grated
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
a few teaspoons of canola or grapeseed oil

For peanut noodles:
8 oz. linguine, cooked and hot (don’t use too much salt in the water)
1/2 cup creamy or chunky peanut butter
1/3 cup reserved pasta water (more or less to thin out the sauce)
1-2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1-2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/4-1/2 tsp. sambal oelek (go easy this stuff is hot)
1 tsp. fresh ginger (can use 1/2 tsp. ground ginger)
1/2 cup shredded carrots (buy these from the salad section at the store)
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
2-3 green onions, thinly sliced, white and tender green parts only
cilantro, for garnish


For tofu:
Remove tofu from the package and drain. Place the tofu between layers of paper towels on a plate, and place a heavy pan on top. Let sit for about 30 minutes. Remove tofu and cut into slices or cubes.
Mix soy sauce, sugar, ginger and garlic together.  Place tofu cubes into a shallow, large baking dish and pour marinade over the top.  Let marinate for at least 15 minutes, an hour is better, turning tofu over once so it marinated evenly.

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add a little oil. Cook the tofu on each side until golden brown, turning if necessary so they don’t burn.  Serve warm with peanut noodles.

For peanut noodles:
Whisk together the peanut butter, brown sugar, soy sauce, sambal oelek, and ginger. Add the water a little at a time until the sauce reaches desired consistency. Pour over the noodles and toss to coat. Add the veggies and toss again. Garnish and serve. Makes enough for 4-6 people as a side dish.

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  1. We went mostly meatless about a year ago and I have a similar recipe, but those peanut noodles look tastier than my current ones. I’ll have to give them a try. I’ve been surprised that my kids love tofu much more than my husband and I do. If my little guy sees it in the store he’ll beg me to buy it for him. Draining it well and marinating it are definitely the way to get it to taste good.

  2. Deborah Madison’s _Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone_ has an excellent assortment of modern recipes that feature tofu.

  3. mmm…this looks so good, and refreshing with all the raw cut up veggies in the noodles. Another recipe to try!! thx :-)

    jenny from KY!

  4. This looks so good…we all love tofu – I’m going to try this with some of the noodles I carted home from Japan!

  5. Oh you are the best, my girls eat tofu but I am scared I will try this :)

    Over at Petit Elefant next week I am guest posting on being a “Part Time Vegetarian” you will have to come read it!

  6. So excited to try this!! My kids and I LOVE tofu. Crazy – I know. Love, love, love it! ;)

    Thanks as always for great recipes. But your photos??! Oh Lindsey – your photos belong in a magazine, or in advertisement somewhere. Nothing makes me hungrier to try a new recipe than your delectable photos……..I can almost taste the food just looking at them.


  7. OH, wow! I can’t believe I forgot to mention what a cutie you have sittin’ in front of that big bowl of tofu!! :-) Adorable! what a perfect thing for nibbling.

    jennyfrom Ky!

  8. My stomach just grumbled in response to this post. No lie. I am gonna try the peanut noodles tonight….YUM!


  9. Linds, I love your wee one’s expression in this post. It seems to sum up how most of us feel about tofu.

    “WHAT THE?” about sums it up, no?

    Leave it to you to figure out how to make tofu edible.

  10. We have a great take out place, Papa Joe’s that serves something similar for $10.99/lb. Was talking about trying to recreate this myself and a passerbyer told me she worked there, and they reduced the Trader Joe’s bottled sauce by 1/2 and sauteed the tofu in that. The intensity of the reduced sauce really adds a lot of flavor to the bland (but healthy) tofu. Just a thought.

  11. I like this recipe. these teriyaki tofu are sure to taste great and are extremely nutritious as well. I am going to make it for the holidays when my kids will be at home. I’ll be sure that what they are eating is healthy.

  12. If you have not tried baking tofu, I would highly, highly recommend it. It definitely yields the best texture in my humble opinion. I put my marinated tofu on an oiled baking sheet and bake at 425 for around 20 minutes (more or less)- the desired appearance is much like the photo in this post. I usually flip it about half way through cooking. I hope you’ll give it a try.

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