This recipe is really all about the Crispy Black Bean Tofu. The noodle bowl component is optional but yummy. You could just as easily make this with rice, or just make the tofu to go alongside a bigger dinner with other side dishes.
- Extra Firm Tofu: You'll need extra firm tofu for the best results, and the trick is to really put loads of flavour into the tofu, so first you have to start out by squeezing it out well. I like to chop my tofu into slices, then wrap in clean tea towels & put a heavy board on it. This speeds up the process. Chopping the tofu into slices rather than trying to squeeze out a whole block is faster and safer than balancing a load of heavy things on a wobbly block of tofu.
- Black Bean Sauce: You can buy ready made black bean sauce from Asian grocery stores
- Corn Starch or Potato Starch: This creates the lovely crispy crunchy outer on the tofu.
- Chinese Black Vinegar : For a subtle but delicous tang.
- Soya Sauce: For the extra umami flavour hit!
- Rice Noodles: The noodles themselves can be whatever kind of noodle floats your boat. Udon, wheat or rice noods are all good
- Lots of crunchy veggies: Green beans, red peppers or carrot are all delicious. Some scallions or spring onions are also a great addition. You could also use broccoli, asparagus or pretty much any crunchy veggie that you fancy.
- Prep your tofu by pressing it.
- Make the marinade and add in the tofu. Marinate for at least half an hour, but preferably overnight.
- Prep your veggies and get your noodles ready according to the type of noodles you are using.
- Sprinkle cornstarch/potato starch over the tofu and shake the container to ensure that it is completely covered.
- Either wok fry the tofu OR airfry it in your airfryer for 5 minutes.
- Add a little water to the leftover marinade from the tofu.
- Wok fry the veggies, add the noodles and leftover marinade.
- Serve the tofu over the noodles and veggies. Make a little extra dipping sauce up with some soysauce, black bean sauce and black vinegar if you like.
- To finish, a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds is a great option, or just eat as it is..
I get my black bean sauce from my local Asian grocery store or online. You can choose either regular or the kind with chilli in it. Black Bean Sauce or marinade is usually also found in my local supermarket alongside all the other stir fry sauces.
Extra firm tofu is the best to use for this recipe. It won't work with soft or silken tofu.
This recipe is best made and eaten right away but can be eaten as leftovers for a few days. You can make the tofu ahead of time and reheat it along with fresh noodles and vegetables.
Crispy Black Bean Tofu Noodle Bowl
For accuracy, I measure all ingredients in metric as standard, then convert and test the recipe for American cup measurements etc.
(Heads up Aussie and UK readers- your measurements in cups are sometimes different, so please use metric or check you have the correct cup and spoon type!!)
For the Crispy Black Bean Tofu
- 200 g (7 oz) firm tofu
- 2 tablespoon Black Bean Sauce
- 1 tablespoon Chinese Black Vinegar (I)
- 1 tablespoon Soy Sauce
- 3 tablespoon cornstarch ((In the UK cornstarch is called cornflour) )
- 4-5 tablespoon oil (for frying. Use a neutral oil like sunflower or rapeseed)
For the Noodle Bowl
- 300 g (10½ oz) pre-cooked noodles (Either buy ready made, or follow the instructions to cook a portion prior to making the bowl. )
- 1 carrot (cut into batons)
- ½ red pepper (cut into thing slices)
- 6 spring onions (chopped into 3 cm lengths)
- 50 g (½ cups) green beans (a handful, chopped into 3cm lengths)
- the leftover marinade from the tofu
For the Crispy Blackbean Tofu
- Press the tofu by slicing it & sandwiching it between teatowels. Put something heavy on it & leave for half an hour-overnight.
- In a sealable container, mix together the Blackbean Sauce, Soya Sauce & Black Vinegar
- Dice the tofu and add to the container with the marinade. Give it a shake to distribut the marinade evenly
- Leave to marinade for at least half an hour. The longer you leave it, the tastier it will be!
- To cook the tofu, heat the oil in a wok. You want it hot so it sizzles
- Open up your container and add the cornstarch. Close the lid and shake it so that the cornstarch evenly coats the tofu
- Add a single piece of the tofu to the wok. If it sizzles, it's ready to cook with.
- Add the rest of the tofu in batches, removing them once crispy to a clean paper towel to drain.
- Don't throw away the rest of the marinade! You need it for the noodles!
For the noodles
- Once you have cooked the tofu, wipe out the wok with a paper towel.
- Add all the veggies so they sizzle and start to cook
- Add 2-3 tablespoons of water to the container you marinated the tofu in. Give it a swish.
- Add the noodles to the wok, and the contents of the marinade container. Cook for a minute or two.
- Distrubute the noodles onto your plates, and top with the crispy tofu.
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