Fresh, healthy and delicious, this grilled tofu noodle soup bowl is an original from a cooking class in Vietnam. This incredible, vegan soup is bursting with flavor from lemongrass, mint, kumquat, and chilis. It's easy to make and both refreshing and warming to eat at the same time!
Ahhhh, wonderful memories of Saigon. My daughter and I took a cooking class in Vietnam many years ago. It was amazing – the chef took us to the market first, and then we prepared the food we bought and shared everything together. This incredible noodle bowl is one of the delicious dishes we made that day.
I’ve made and remade this soup countless times since we’ve been home – it's easy, simple, and very flavourful. I wish I were back there right now, sipping this soup with my daughter.
Rice noodles swimming in spicy, kumquat-soya-sauce-garlic broth loaded with vegetables, greens, sprouts, and finished with the most awesome BBQ tofu marinated in garlic, shallot, lemongrass, soya sauce and pepper.
This flavourful soup has a few steps, but it's worth every single second you spend on it. I hope you enjoy it too!
More Vegan Tofu Recipe to Try
Spicy Satay Tofu Noodle Bowl - delicious peanut satay coated tofu, family favorite!
Taco Stuffed Sweet Potatoes - healthy, gluten free, and delicious!
Simply Delicious Vegan Tacos (2 ways) - on regular repeat at our house!
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Tofu Noodle Bowl Recipe
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Quick Vegetable Pickle
- 2 carrots, julienne (pickle recipe below)
Tofu and Tofu Marinade
- 240 grams tofu block, firm
- 2 tsp garlic, chopped
- 2 tsp shallot, chopped
- 1 stem lemongrass, finely chopped
- 3 tbsp sugar
- ½ tsp ground pepper
- 4-6 tsp soya sauce
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder (for colour)
- 1 tbsp oil
- 8 tbsp kumquat juice*
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp soya sauce
- 2-3 tbsp agave or maple syrup
- 4 tsp garlic, chopped
- 4 tsp red chili, minced
- 400 grams rice noodles
- greens, assortment
- 16 leaves mint, ribbons
- 16 leaves Vietnamese basil, ribbons
- 2 stems spring onion, sliced
- bean sprouts
- peanuts, rough chop
Quick Pickled Vegetables
- Pickle the julienne carrots (could use a combo of carrot and white radish) in 1 cup vinegar ⅓ cup water, 1 tbsp salt, 2 tbsp sugar.
- Mix and submerge the vegetables.
- Slice a brick of tofu into 3 through the width, press between paper towels with heavy books on top while you prepare the rest of the recipe.
Tofu Marinade **extra time needed for soaking
- Mix the marinade ingredients together. I used maple syrup for the sweetener (the original recipe from my cooking class in Vietnam called for honey).
- Cut the tofu into cubes and place in the marinate for 10-20 minutes.
- Right before serving, lightly grill or BBQ tofu over medium high heat until golden.
- Mix together the dressing ingredients. Stir well until the sugar is completely dissolved and set aside.
- Kumquats are not available where I live, so I subbed a combination of freshly squeezed tangerine and lime juice.
- Sub Sambal Olek when out of fresh red chili peppers.
- Prepare (wash, pat dry, and slice) a mixture of greens for your bowl, eg. watercress, spinach, big lettuce leaves - whatever is in season in your area. Go to the Asian market and try some new greens that might not be available at every grocery store.
- Prepare rice noodles according to package instructions.
- Prepare mint, basil, spring onions, bean sprouts.
- Rough chop a handful of peanuts.
- Into 4 bowls, place greens, then noodles, lettuce ribbons, bean sprouts, mint, basil, carrot (and radish if using).
- Divide grilled tofu cubes between the bowls then top with dressing and any leftover marinade.
- Garnish with green onions and sprinkle with peanuts.
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