Cold Noodle Salad with Tofu

A quick weeknight dinner with Asian flavors. It has sweet, salty, spicy and satisfies! Pair it with Cucumber Sunomono for a light, bright addition.

  • Author: Laurie Kerr
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegan



4 1/2 cups water

3/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce

3/4 cup mirin

1 1/2 tsp sesame oil

8 oz firm or extra-firm tofu, cut into small cubes

8 oz uncooked, udon noodles (thick, round Japanese wheat noodles)

1 cup fresh or frozen English or Petit Pois peas

4 teaspoons green onions, sliced

3/4 teaspoon lemon rind, grated (optional)

2 teaspoons cilantro, chopped (optional) 

12 jalapeño peppers, seeded and thinly sliced or chopped (optional)

hot chili oil (optional)


  1. Combine 4 1/2 cups water, 3/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce, 3/4 cup mirin, 1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil plus the cubed tofu into a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  2. Next, add noodles. Cook just 3 minutes – you want them al dente.
  3. Pour noodles, tofu and broth from saucepan into a medium bowl. Set this bowl into a larger bowl of ice water. Cool noodles completely, about 10 minutes.
  4. Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Add peas and cook for just one minute.
  5. Drain peas and plunge them into ice water to stop cooking. Drain well.
  6. After cooling, drain noodles, tofu and broth over an empty bowl to save the broth. (See note below about saving the broth, which is an optional step.)
  7. Divide noodles and tofu between 4 bowls. Top with peas (or other vegetable of your choice), sliced green onions, grated lemon rind, cilantro and chopped jalapeño. Drizzle with chili oil, if you like.



  • Other vegetables that would work instead of or in addition to peas are baby corn, purple cabbage (lightly sauteed or raw and crunchy), snow peas or sugar snap peas, and sauteed broccoli.
  • Many times, I skipped the jalapeño pepper and lemon rind, and still loved this dish, so I have noted them as optional. If you are not fond of tofu or cilantro, you could leave those out as well.



  • Note the cooking time of the noodles. This is one time when you are going to undercook the noodles and it totally works. You want your noodles to be chewy, not mushy.
  • If you are new to eating and cooking tofu and are wondering if the process in this recipes cooks it long enough – don’t worry. You can eat tofu out of the package, because it is already cooked. When purchasing tofu, you will see that there is silken, firm and extra firm varieties. For this recipe I find that firm or extra firm works well.
  • This method of cooking the peas is called “blanching.” You cook the food (usually a vegetable) just a short time and then immerse it into cold water to stop the cooking.
  • The original recipe calls for sprigs of cilantro, and while this looks nice, I prefer to chop it up when eating it.
  • I am loath to just throw out all of that yummy broth, even if the noodles have cooked in it. Pasta water is often used to thicken sauces, so why not use this broth in a stir fry later in the week? I did it and it worked out great! Joel Gamoran, author of “Cooking Scrappy” would be proud, I think. Just be sure to refrigerate the broth and use it within a week.
  • The original recipe serves two, but you don’t need to double all of the ingredients in order to make four servings. I played with the amounts, buy using the same ratios for the broth, until I found the right amounts.


Keywords: Asian noodle, vegan noodles

A note to our visitors

This site uses cookies to give you a great user experience.  By using this site, you agree to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our

Cookies Policy