This Thai curry with noodles is the perfect healthy-ish weeknight comfort food. Faster than take-out and packed with healthy vegetables.
If you get my monthly newsletter (if not, sign up here!) or follow me on Instagram, you already know this March is the month of new favorites. With spring just around the corner, I’m feeling a burst of renewed energy and inspiration, and my mind is just racing with new ideas.
I’m dedicating the coming weeks to updated versions of classic recipes, as well as new-to-me dishes I’ve recently fallen in love with. I can’t wait to share them all with you – starting with these creamy curry noodles with veggies and crispy tofu.
Until a few weeks ago, that is, when I was pondering about what to make for dinner and couldn’t decide between creamy tomato pasta and veg curry. I wanted both, so I combined them and boom, a new favorite was born.
The dish consists of lightly cooked veg – zucchini, bell peppers, carrots, and broccoli – in a creamy, spicy coconut broth, along with crispy tofu, served over slippery sesame noodles. The contrast between the nutty noodles, chewy tofu, crunchy veg, and the rich sauce is just so satisfying and fun to eat. Healthy-ish comfort food at its finest.
Now I know Thai curry with noodles isn’t exactly an earth-shattering idea, since you can get a curry noodle soup at almost any Thai takeout place. What does make this concept new-ish (to me, anyway) is that this curry acts more like a ragu on spaghetti – in that you put the sauce on the noodles, instead of cooking them in the soup.
It’s also different in that veggie curries are typically served with plain rice – here, sesame noodles take things to the next level.
How to Make This Thai Curry with Noodles
The tofu, curry, and noodles are all cooked separately. Don’t let this deter you – it’s all very simple and relatively fast.
You start by pressing the tofu (as always), cutting it into small cubes, and frying them til they form a golden brown crust. While the tofu’s going, you can bring a pot of water to a boil for the noodles and start the curry.
The curry begins by briefly sauteing the vegetables. The goal is to get them lightly browned while retaining their bright color and crunch. Remember, this is not a soup and you don’t want to cook these vegetables to death.
Then you add a couple of aromatics (Thai curry paste being the star) and simmer everything with coconut milk for just a couple of minutes. Again, do not overcook the vegetables.
Lastly, you stir the crispy tofu into the curry and serve it over noodles.
I like to cook the tofu and curry in separate vessels so I can do it simultaneously and save time. But, if you prefer to wash less dishes, do these steps in the same pot; fry the tofu first, take it out, then cook the curry.
Feel free to mix-and-match the vegetables here. Aside from those listed below, you can toss in some mushrooms, shallots, green beans, and even Brussels sprouts. If you want to use greens (spinach, kale, or collard greens), add them in step 6.
Fresh ramen (found in the refrigerated section of the supermarket, or in Asian markets) is the perfect noodle for this sauce. But, you can also use what you already have – be it rice noodles, udon, bucatini, or plain ol’ spaghetti. (The chewier the noodle, the better.)
More comfort food this way…
- Creamy Miso Polenta with Mushroom Ragù
- Peanut Miso Noodles with Mushrooms
- Cauliflower Rice Curry with Sweet Potatoes
- Tempeh Bolognese
This Thai curry with noodles is the perfect healthy-ish weeknight comfort food. Faster than take-out and packed with healthy vegetables!
- One 14-ounce block extra firm tofu
- About 4 tablespoons avocado, refined coconut, or organic canola oil
- Fine sea salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 medium zucchini, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
- 1 bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
- 1 medium red or yellow onion, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
- 2 small carrots, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1-inch knob of ginger, peeled and minced
- 1 to 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste, to taste
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 cups bite-size broccoli florets
- One 13-ounce can full-fat coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, or more to taste
- 16 ounces fresh ramen noodles (See Note)
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- Basil, cilantro, or scallions, for serving (optional)
- Start by pressing the tofu: Drain the tofu and squeeze out some of the water by pressing on the block with your palms. Place the tofu on a plate then top it with another plate or cutting board and weigh it down with something heavy (like a couple of cans) to squeeze out as much water as possible. Let stand for 15 to 30 minutes, periodically draining off the excess water.
- Cut the tofu into 1/2-inch cubes and season with salt and pepper on one side.
- In a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, heat enough oil to generously coat the surface. Add the tofu in a single layer, seasoned side down, then season the top-facing side. Cook the tofu until it forms a golden brown crust, turning the cubes periodically to brown most of the sides, about 12 minutes total. Set tofu aside.
- Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil for the noodles.
- In a large high-sided saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons oil over high heat. Add the zucchini, bell pepper, onion, and carrots, and cook until the vegetables are starting to brown in places, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Stir in the curry paste, tomato paste, garlic, and ginger, and cook for 1 minute. Then add the broccoli, coconut milk, and lime juice. Bring to a simmer and cook covered until the broccoli is bright green, about 3 minutes more. Turn the heat off, taste, and adjust the seasonings if needed. Stir in the tofu.
- Cook the noodles according to package directions. Drain and immediately toss with the sesame oil.
- To serve, divide the noodles among bowls and top with the curry. Sprinkle with herbs if you want.
Fresh ramen (found in the refrigerated section of the supermarket, or in Asian markets) is the perfect noodle for this sauce, but you can also use whatever you have: rice noodles, udon, bucatini, or spaghetti.
- Serving Size: 1/4 of the recipe
- Calories: 590