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Vietnamese Inspired Noodle Bowl with Tofu Skewers

Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Dairy Free
  • Gluten Free
  • Low Carb/Paleo
  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
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Why we love it:

This would be a contender for “Alison’s Perfect Meal,” especially in warmer months. The marinade is simple and jam packed with flavor. I love South East Asian cuisines because of the balance between sweet, tangy, sour, and umami (soy sauce here). I also love the balance between chewy soft noodles, the charred and spongy tofu, and the crispy raw veggies. I could go on; try this recipe and let me know what you think!


  • 2 Tablespoons Fish Sauce (look for vegan if that’s important)
  • 14 cup Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Fresh Ginger (optional, use fresh or pre-grated)
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 2 Limes (divided)
  • 1 package Firm Tofu (extra firm)
  • 1 pound Rice Noodles (thin rice stick)
  • 14 teaspoon Canola Oil
  • 1 head Romaine Lettuce
  • 3 Carrots
  • 1 English Cucumber
  • 12 bunch Basil (optional)
  • 8 Skewerss (bamboo)

Cooking Instructions

  • 2. SAUCE

    In a medium bowl, stir together the sauce ingredients: 2 Tablespoons fish sauce, ¼ cup soy sauce, 2 Tablespoons brown sugar. Mince or use a microplane to finely grate the ginger and garlic; add. Zest in one of the limes. Add the juice of 1 lime. Stir and taste the sauce; if it’s not tangy enough, you might want to add half or all of the second lime. Slice what’s left into wedges for serving. If not sweet enough for you, you can add a bit more sugar to taste.

  • 3. TOFU

    Open package, drain, and press the tofu gently in a clean towel to dry. Dice into 1” cubes. Pour off about 2/3rds of the sauce into a separate bowl. Add the tofu to the remaining third and stir to combine. Let marinate for 5 minutes, up to 2 days.

    Thread tofu carefully on skewers. Cook on an outdoor grill, or under the broiler on high, or on a hot grill pan on your stove top. Whichever method you choose, cook until the tofu is warmed and a bit charred on the edge.

  • 4. NOODLES

    Cook noodles according to package directions; usually that means boil for 3 - 5 minutes like pasta, or turn off the heat and let the noodles soak for up to 10 minutes in the hot water. When tender, drain and run under cold water for 30 seconds.

    Place noodles in a bowl and drizzle about a ¼ teaspoon of oil over them so they don’t stick.

  • 5. VEGGIES

    Wash lettuce and slice or tear into 3 inch squares.
    Slice carrots into rounds or grate.
    Dice or slice cucumbers.
    Tear or chiffonade basil.

  • 6. SERVING

    Serve a bed of noodles with vegetables arranged around. Top with hot tofu skewers. Spoon the remaining sauce over top to taste. Garnish with any sliced lime and generously with basil.

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  • VEGAN:
    use vegan fish sauce or omit if you don’t eat this
    put this marinade on a fillet of white fish like snapper, cod, or halibut. Shrimp work well too and can go on the skewers
    if not already in your pantry, look for Red Boat brand which is the best if you’re pescatarian! It’s really a versatile way to add salt and depth to a dish. If omitting, use a dash of anchovy paste or oyster sauce
  • HERBS:
    if you have cilantro, mint, and/or scallions these all taste amazing with the dish. Choose to add on one or multiple kinds of fresh herbs
    firm or even medium will work if your quite gentle. Consider not using skewers if you have one of these types and just broil the cubes
  • TOFU:
    mushrooms are perfect but mixed veggies work too - try sweet potato, zucchini, and tomato
    save time and ditch the skewers. They look great but can be annoying - grill or pan sear the tofu in strips, triangles, or cubes
    look for the thin ones, but thicker “pad thai” size would be ok too. Bean Thread noodles aren’t rice but also work well here

Prep Ahead & Use It Up

Make sauce/marinade; marinate tofu cubes for up to 2 days

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