Almond Butter Sauce with Crispy Tofu & Ramen Noodles

 

I won’t eat nut butter straight up (aka spread on toast) so I always dismissed it as a go-to ingredient but the more I experiment using nut butters in sauce-based dishes I’m convinced they need to be a staple in my vegan cooking arsenal 🙂.
This recipe for Almond Butter Sauce with Crispy Tofu & Ramen Noodles transforms almond butter from a somewhat gritty nut paste to a savoury cream sauce that will make you NUTS for this miracle spread.

 

How I’d describe this dish if I didn’t have my photographer extraordinaire husband snapping glamour shots of it:

*Oodles of noodles dressed in a creamy almond-butter based sauce and topped with crispy pan-fried tofu and fresh scallions.

Tip: I recommend letting the tofu marinade for at least 2 hours so plan ahead to ensure best results with this recipe

Three reasons why you should give this recipe a try

  • 1/The marinade itself is so good you may contemplate repurposing it as a chip dip!
  • 2/Creamy almond butter paired with fresh minced garlic, tamari sauce, rice vinegar and brown sugar = a divine tofu marinade and cooking sauce for fresh carrots and cremini mushrooms
  • 3/The pan-fried tofu has an addictive crispy exterior…the interior has a delicate nutty flavour with hints of garlic and tamari.

Inquiring minds want to know

Here are a few interesting factoids I came across during my research for this recipe:

  • *Peanuts, almonds, cashews, pecans, pistachios and macadamias aren’t actually nuts –  they are fruits and seeds – with the exception of the peanut (which is a legume). The only true nut you will find commonly made into a nut butter is the hazelnut.
  • *It takes roughly 372 nuts to fill a 16-ounce jar of pure nut butter.
  • *Health Canada considers two tablespoons of nut butter as one serving from the Meat and Alternatives food group.
  • *Almond butter is  a good source of monounsaturated fats (known as heart-healthy fats) and fiber.

 

Nuts for treats

  • *Looking for a quick yet wholesome treat? Try slicing a banana lengthwise. Spread some almond butter on each side and toss shredded coconut on top. Freeze and enjoy!
  • *Try our Nut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies made with a blend of cashew and almond butter. All the flavour without the guilt!

Enjoy~

 

Note: This recipe was made using a Thermomix appliance; however, it can easily be adapted using similar food prep tools (e.g. multi-function processor, immersion blender etc).

Preparation


1/Prepare tofu marinade; let tofu marinade (refrigerated) for at least 2 hours, overnight if possible
2/Cook ramen noodles as directed

Ingredients


Tofu Marinade

  • Two 350g pkgs extra-firm tofu (pressed & drained), cut into cubes
  • 6-8 garlic cloves, peeled (40g)
  • 1/2 cup almond butter (130g)
  • 1/2 cup tamari sauce (140g)
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil (20g)
  • 2 Tbsp + 2 tsp rice vinegar (40g)
  • 4 tsp brown sugar (20g)

Tofu Dry Batter

  • 2/3 cup organic cornstarch
  • 1 tsp Himalayan pink salt
  • 1 tsp dried marjoram
  • 4 tsp white sesame seeds
  • Olive oil (for pan-frying)

For serving (Note: Customize the quantity of each ingredient to your liking)

  • Pan-fried tofu
  • Ramen noodle nests, cooked as directed
  • 2 large carrots, thinly sliced
  • Cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • Snap peas (optional)
  • Sesame seeds (for garnish)
  • Scallions (for garnish)
  • Olive oil (for pan-frying)

Instructions

Prepare Tofu

  • 1/Rinse and dry 2 pkgs extra-firm tofu. Cut the tofu into 1-inch cubes (or to desired size); set aside.
  • 2/Prepare marinade: Add garlic to your Thermomix mixing bowl. Chop 5 sec/Speed 7. Using a spatula, scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl to collect the minced garlic at the base of the bowl.
    Note: Insert the butterfly whisk attachment to the Thermomix mixing blade before starting Step 3
  • 3/Add remaining marinade ingredients (almond butter through brown sugar) to the TM bowl. Whisk 45 sec/Speed 3. Your marinade is now ready.
    Note: Remove the butterfly whisk attachment from the Thermomix mixing blade before starting Step 4
  • 4/Transfer marinade to a shallow bowl. Toss cubed tofu in bowl and fold in marinade until the tofu pieces are evenly coated. Cover and let tofu marinate (refrigerated) for at least 2 hours.
    Important: Reserve as much marinade as possible when transferring the tofu cubes to the ZipLoc bag – the marinade  sautéing vegetables!)
  • 5/Add the dry batter ingredients (cornstarch through sesame seeds) to a ZipLoc bag. Toss the marinated tofu in the bag until evenly coated.
  • 6/Transfer the cornstarch mixture-coated tofu cubes to a skillet on medium-high heat. Pan fry the tofu (using olive oil) until well cooked and crispy; set aside.
    Important Notes:
    Pan fry in batches so you avoid overcrowding the skillet. Batch frying will yield better results.
    For added flavour try adding an additional Tablespoon of almond butter, tamari sauce, rice vinegar and/or brown sugar to the skillet.

Prepare vegetables

  • 7/Add the reserved marinade (from tofu) to a skillet on medium-high heat. Sauté the carrots, mushrooms and/or snap peas (using olive oil) until tender.

Assembly

  • 8/Plate your cooked ramen noodles. Top with sautéed vegetables and pan-fried tofu cubes. Garnish with scallions and sesame seeds. Serve immediately~

 

 



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About Meagan Lamontagne