Spicy tofu noodles (gluten-free + vegan) + exciting news!

And just like that, the summer holidays are over. The kids are back at school, the house is quiet, the dishes are done and I have a spare moment to myself to gather my thoughts and write up this surprisingly delicious recipe. I say surprising because well, sometimes when you are inspired by dishes that traditionally use meat as the main ingredient and fish sauce as the seasoning and you go adding in tofu and soy sauce in it's place, lets just say things don't always turn out quite as you'd hoped. 
This on the other hand, totally worked. As it was coming together I was happy enough with the flavours, even the 8 year old agreed! We sat down and ate dinner and it was only after I'd polished off my plate that I realised just how much I really did love it. So, being the food blogger that I am, I plated up another portion, stepped outside in the fading light and managed to snap a few quick, completely un-styled, but totally honest and real photos of this dish so I could share the recipe with you...
You guys already know the soft spot I have for noodles, of any kind, but this saucy little number has heat, texture and a beautiful depth of flavour thanks to the fermented tofu which I decided to add at the last minute. I know I'll be making them again, soon.


If you missed the news on social media late last week, I've got something exciting to share about my cookbook! It's being released in the UK on the 12th February (yep, just a little over a week away). It will be available in bookstores throughout the UK and can be pre-ordered now from Amazon.co.uk. It will also be available on sites like The Book Depository once released which means that everyone in the world can order and get it delivered free of charge. Whoop! I can't tell you how damn excited I am to finally have it available to everyone, not just to us lot here in Australia and NZ. (For my US readers, there's also a US edition in the works which will be released by Roost Books in August. I'll post links closer to that release date). 

Spicy tofu noodles
I actually used half this amount of chilli so my kids would eat it too, but then added some of my homemade sriracha sauce on mine when I ate it to make mine hotter! You can find fermented tofu at your local Asian grocer in small jars, often with chilli. It stores indefinitely in the fridge once opened and adds a beautiful depth of flavour to vegetarian Asian dishes. If you're hardcore like my mother-in-law, you can also just eat it as is with rice. I cooked about 1/2 a packet of thin rice noodles which served 4 (just follow the instructions on the pack), any leftovers will happily store in the fridge for a few days.
Serves 4

3 tablespoons olive or peanut oil
1 onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 teaspoons finely grated ginger
3 large tomatoes, finely chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon chilli powder
300g firm tofu, crumbled
3 tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce or tamari
1 tablespoon fermented tofu* see headnotes
1 teaspoon unrefined raw sugar
cooked rice noodles, to serve
chopped roasted peanuts and finely sliced spring onion (scallion), to serve

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic and ginger and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring, until tender and golden. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, turmeric and chilli and stir well. Cook 2-3 minutes or until the tomatoes start to break down, add 1/2 cup water and continue to cook for 10 minutes. Stir in tofu, soy sauce, fermented tofu and sugar. Add another 1/4-1/2 cup water if the mixture is looking a tad dry and season well with fine sea salt. Cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring well to dissolve the fermented tofu throughout the dish. Serve tofu hot or cool to room temperature and serve with cooked rice noodles, peanuts and sliced spring onions. Leftovers are just as good cold...

Inspired by a recipe for Shan Khaut Swe (Burmese spicy chicken noodles) found in the current issue of SBS Feast magazine.

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  • valentina | sweet kabocha
    February 2, 2015 at 7:54 am

    Yeah!! I've waited for your book on Book depository for months! 😀

    • emma
      February 2, 2015 at 11:28 am

      10 months to be exact! It feels like a lifetime, which makes me even more happy to finally have it available to the world! xx

  • london bakes
    February 2, 2015 at 9:41 am

    I was just thinking as I scrolled through this post how much I loved the simplicity and colours of your photographs. Honest + real is always the best way to go. I love the sound of this dish too – so full of flavour and I love the different textures going on.

    But clearly the most exciting part of the post is the news that your book will be coming out in the UK. CAN'T WAIT!!

    • emma
      February 2, 2015 at 11:29 am

      🙂 I know you've been waiting so patiently over there Kathryn! I can't wait for you to see my book, enjoy xx
      p.s thanks for the lovely words about my photos, to be honest I hardly ever 'style' my shots so I don't know what I was really talking about up top! Ha xx

  • Sini
    February 2, 2015 at 11:03 am

    These noodles look fantastic, and I absolutely love the no-styled pics! Also, congrats on the exciting news!

    • emma
      February 2, 2015 at 11:30 am

      Thanks so much Sini! xx

  • Agnes {Cashew Kitchen}
    February 2, 2015 at 11:36 am

    Looks so yummy! I'm in desperate need of a new quick lunch recipe that is not a salad, so this was very welcomed 🙂 I'll def try it soon! SO pretty pics too even though they we're snapped impulsively. Sometimes it doesn't have to be more complicated than that!

  • Ashlae
    February 2, 2015 at 3:19 pm

    OOOOH! I am totally making this for dinner tonight. And HIP HIP for your book being released in the UK (and soon the US)! <3 Big, big congrats and high fives to you, lady.

  • Abby
    February 2, 2015 at 3:52 pm

    What a lovely post, Emma! And yay!!! about you book 🙂

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    February 2, 2015 at 3:52 pm

    These noodles look fabulous!! Definitely a fun weeknight meal!

  • The InTolerant Chef ™
    February 3, 2015 at 3:16 am

    Sounds totally yummy, I've been getting into tofu lately 🙂 Great news on the book, fantastic! Xo

  • Kim Dillon
    February 3, 2015 at 9:58 am

    Fab Tuesday night dinner! It was delish. My meat eating partner in crime had no complaints! Thanks for keeping us on track and congrats on the book 🙂

  • reensstitcher
    February 3, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    Great. I have just logged into Amazon and pre-ordered the book. (can't have any moral scruples about Amazon when you live where I do!) My husband, who is passionate about 'hot' food and doesn't eat meat, is going to love this dish and as the coeliac in the household, I am going to love the book.

  • Carol
    February 3, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    This recipe sounds like a fabulous weeknight meal. 🙂 Congratulations on the upcoming worldwide release of your cookbook, so I'm glad it's coming to the US!

  • Jessica
    February 3, 2015 at 8:47 pm

    Can't wait to try this – will maybe do for meatless Monday!

  • Mary Frances
    February 3, 2015 at 10:30 pm

    This looks wonderful! Thank you for sharing your recipe!

  • Hannah Cordes
    February 3, 2015 at 11:40 pm

    These noodles look so delicious and I know my family will devour them. I'm so excited for your US edition of your book and can't wait for it in August!

  • The Life of Clare
    February 4, 2015 at 7:29 pm

    I love your real, honest and styled-free photography! Just beautiful! Congrats and how exciting on your book!

  • Anna
    February 6, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    This is so simple yet delicious!!! Love your style of cooking and taking pictures so inspirational <3<3


  • Gourmet Getaways
    February 9, 2015 at 7:29 am

    Love spicy plus love tofu and noodles, so this combo hits the spot! We love this dish!!!

    Julie & Alesah
    Gourmet Getaways xx

  • James
    February 9, 2015 at 9:55 am

    What an excellent sharing!will surely try at home!

  • Bec
    February 9, 2015 at 10:00 am

    This looks like a perfect meal for a chilly night or when you need something to perk you up – lovely! Bec

  • Renee Kemps
    February 9, 2015 at 5:13 pm

    Sooo exciting! Can't wait! And these tofu noodles look amazing!

  • Martyna @ Wholesome Cook
    February 11, 2015 at 10:37 am

    Love the fading light grain in the images Em… That's so exciting, congratulations! Fab news. Now for the follow up tome. 😀

  • Fabiana
    February 14, 2015 at 3:32 am

    I am definitely going to check out your book.
    Also this recipe sounds amazing!

  • Yemek Tarifleri
    February 17, 2015 at 10:00 am

    Spicy tofu noodles look charming. Thanks.

  • Lynn | The Road to Honey
    February 20, 2015 at 11:59 am

    Congratulations on your cookbook. That is exciting news. BTW, this dish looks amazing. I can't believe that it was an impromptu shoot.

  • mark gross
    March 9, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    This looks fantastic. Great vibrant colors. Excited to try this. I think I'll use coconut sugar instead of the raw refined. Thanks for posting.

  • Malayka
    March 16, 2015 at 5:28 am

    Just made this. Such a surprising but awesome mix of ingredients. Sadly we had no fermented tofu but it was still great. Thank you!

  • Becca Morgan
    January 14, 2016 at 3:27 am

    Made this and like every thing of yours it was amazeballs!! 10/10! Thanks Emma xox

  • tracey paterson
    January 19, 2017 at 8:38 am

    Lovely recipe Emma, just tried it for the first time tonight. Was delicious and simple to make – the perfect combination. Thank you for the introduction to fermented tofu, had not heard of it before and certainly think it added something special to the flavour.