That curry laksa I shared last week really put me in the mood for more curried noodles. To be honest, I always have an appetite for curry and noodles. After the pie making extravaganza recently, I’ve gotten a bit lazy with cooking dinners. Thirty-minute meals are all I want, and stir-fry rice noodles are my go-to dish right now. So when I was stir frying some rice noodles last week, I got the sudden inspiration to toss in some coconut and red curry.
Love at first bite.
The coconut milk flavor shines through very well in the noodles and the red curry provides just the right flavor balance in these noodles.
COOKING NOTES FOR THE COCONUT CURRY STIR FRY
- Cooking Time for Noodles: DO NOT overcook the noodles. Leaving the noodles in hot water for too long will cause it to break down and turn to pieces with the slightest touch. Trust me on this—I’ve eaten too many goopy noodles over the last year, and I don’t want you to make the same mistake I did. Since we’re stir-frying these noodles, leaving them in hot water for 4 to 5 minutes should be long enough. If you prefer softer, gummier noodles, leave it in for 6 minutes. But let me warn you, the noodles may start to break down when you stir fry them.
- Use Tongs for Browning Tofu: There’s nothing wrong with using chopsticks or a spatula to help flip tofu cubes, but tongs are so much easier to work with.
- Cooked Red Cabbage Bleeds: You may know this already, but red cabbage, when cooked, tends to bleed into other food. For these photos, I cooked the noodles and vegetables separately to prevent the cabbage from releasing bluish hues on the noodles.
LOOKING FOR MORE NOODLE DISHES?
- Vegetable Mung Bean Stir Fry Noodles
- Sesame and Olive Soba Noodles
- Hot & Sour Coconut Noodle Soup
- You can also visit my complete noodles archives here.
Easy Coconut Curry Stir Fry Noodles with Glazed Tofu
For the Tofu
- 1 14-ounce (400g) package of extra-firm tofu
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons [tamari], use soy sauce if not gluten free
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar, or any sweetener of choice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons water
For the Noodles
- 8 ounces (225g) [flat rice noodles]
- 3 tablespoons coconut milk, full fat or light coconut milk works
- 1 tablespoon [red curry paste]
- 1/2 tablespoon tamari
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1/3 cup sliced red onions, about 1 ounce/30g
- 1 tablespoon chopped tender lemongrass stalk, optional
- 4.5 ounces (130g) red cabbage, thinly sliced (about a heaping cup)
- 1 large carrot, peeled and cut to matchsticks or julienned (1/2 cup shredded carrots works also)
- salt, to taste
- sesame seeds
- red pepper flakes
Prepare the Tofu
- Slice tofu block into 6 slices, along the long side of the tofu. Press tofu slices into a paper towel to soak up some water. Chop each slice into 8 cubes. In a small bowl, mix tamari, brown sugar, cornstarch, and water. Set aside.
- Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add 1 tablespoon of sesame oil.
- Add tofu cubes and cook for 8-10 minutes, until the cubes are well browned. Flip tofu cubes periodically so that you get browning on more than one side. Tongs work very well for this. Pour in tamari sauce and watch it sizzle. If the sauce turns thick immediately, add a splash of water. Stir for a minute and dish up the tofu to a plate.
Prepare the Noodles
- Bring 5 cups of water (just over a liter) of water to boil. Salt the water. When water has boiled, turn off the heat and throw in rice noodles. Let them sit in there for 5 minutes. The noodles should be al dente. Drain water and rinse noodles under cold water. Set aside.
- Mix coconut milk, curry paste, and tamari together and set aside.
- Wipe down sauté pan. Heat pan over medium heat and add another tablespoon of sesame oil. Add onions and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until it softens. Add lemongrass, if using, and stir for about 30 seconds. Stir in red cabbage and cook for a minute. Toss in shredded carrots and a pinch of salt and cook for another minute. Add cooked rice noodles and coconut milk mixture. Stir everything for a minute, and mix in tofu cubes. Turn off heat and serve. Garnish with cilantro, sesame seeds, and red pepper flakes if you like.