It’s easy to fall into the trap of eating instant noodles for dinner. Laziness, exhaustion or an unwillingness to do anything more elaborate than boil water makes them all the more appealing. (Especially because you know that the tiniest modicum of effort will guarantee a delicious result.) But a hankering for something creamy and delicious had yet to be satisfied by any packaged noodle available in my pantry – until I began making this.
I’ve found tofu to be terribly represented in the Western world – often haphazardly scrambled or thrown in a stir-fry. Tofu has much more to offer than just being a substitute for meat. For me, its appeal lies in its fragile texture – soft, silky curds that give to the gentlest pressure.
Here, the smooth tofu wraps the noodles in a weightlessly creamy blanket, cooling your tastebuds through the salty, spicy dressing.
It’s as easy as any instant noodle you’ll ever make.
Rosheen Kaul’s creamy tofu noodles
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes
400g thin dried wheat noodles*
1 x 300g pack of firm tofu (you can substitute silken tofu if you can’t find firm, but firm tofu has a more robust flavour, which is preferred)
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp caster sugar
1 tbsp light soy
1 tbsp water
1 tsp Chinkiang vinegar
1 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp grated garlic
1 red chilli, chopped
1 green chilli, chopped
1 spring onion, chopped
2 coriander stems, chopped
½ tbsp sesame seeds
*I use the Jinmailang noodles that can be found in the Asian section of Coles and Woolworths – it’s a flat, dry wheat noodle with a wonderful springy texture. However, this dish takes very kindly to whatever noodle substitution is most convenient for you. Dried soba noodles and udon work well, as do instant noodles.
Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook the noodles per the instructions. Drain and set aside.
Remove the tofu from the packaging, leaving behind any water. Break it into pieces and place into a blender or food processor. Blitz with the salt, sugar and tablespoon of water. Blend until completely smooth.
Drain the noodles thoroughly and toss them through the blended tofu. Mix all of the ingredients for the dressing together in a small bowl, then spoon the dressing over the top of the noodles. Serve immediately and mix thoroughly before eating.
Chef Rosheen Kaul (Lee Ho Fook, Dinner by Heston) is the author of the The Isol(Asian) Cookbook, which she developed with friend and artist Joanna Hu. See her recipe for vibrant, salty chilli oil here and Sichuan-style potato salad here.