This is an easy, healthy, vegan meal with mostly raw summer veggies that is perfect for a weeknight dinner that won’t heat up your kitchen and even amazing leftovers for work the next day. I made this just to have a quick meal because I didn’t feel like spending a lot of time cooking, but it quickly became our go to summer recipe, and now we eat it at least once a week.
Asian noodle bowls pack so much flavor, and are super healthy, especially when you serve with a low cholesterol vegan protein like tofu. You can switch up the veggies and use whatever you have on hand, making it easy, versatile, and really stinking delicious.
This easy, homemade recipe is:
ready in under 30 minutes
great for plan ahead meal prep
How to Make Chili Sesame Noodles:
The rice noodles:
This recipe could not be easier. It’s on the table in 30 minutes, making it a perfect vegan weeknight dinner. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil, and add the noodles. Turn of heat, and let noodles sit for 8 minutes in the hot water. Rice noodles are not very dense, so they don’t need to boil in the water. Boiling them in the water will result in over cooking them.
Wen noodles are done cooking, drain, and rinse with cold water to cool down, and then store in the fridge while you prepare the veggies and sauce.
The veggies and Sauce:
Slice onions and mushrooms, and add to a medium size sauce pan. Cook mushrooms and onions in a pan with 1 tbsp oil for about 5 minutes over medium heat, until you see the edges of the mushrooms begin to brown. Remove from heat and add to the refrigerator.
Slice cucumbers and avocado, julienne carrots, and shell peanuts. Cube raw tofu. See notes section for additional information about tofu. To make the sauce, simply whisk all ingredients in a bowl.
Remove cold noodles, mushrooms, and onions from the refrigerator when they are cold, and add to a bowl with noodles and other veggies. Drizzle with sauce, top with sesame seeds and peanuts if desired, and drizzle with a squeeze of lime
I used tofu for this noodle bowl, but you could sub in chick peas, vegan chicken, or even seitan. For tips on how to cook the perfect tofu, check out my resource page here. I used marinated soy ginger tofu, by Nasoya. I cubed and served raw with this dish because it was already flavored and cold. A few other options include:
You can cube and serve raw plain tofu if that is what you have available, since the sesame chili sauce is pretty flavorful.
You could cook the tofu in the pan with the onions and mushrooms if you prefer hot tofu. I’d add in a pinch of salt and pepper, and maybe some garlic powder or chili powder.
Another option is to marinate your own raw tofu in liquid aminos or soy sauce and a pinch of garlic and chili powder. Let this soak for at least and hour and then serve raw or bake for 30 minutes/air fry for 20 minutes to get an even crisp on the tofu. I’m partial to a crispy tofu, but didn’t opt for it for this dish in the effort to keep a weeknight dinner under 30 minutes.
Any veggie would be great in this dish. You could swap frozen peas for the fresh snap peas, as I often do if the snap peas aren’t in season or readily available.
Fresh carrots can be swapped with any summer veggie you could spiralize or julienne. Sweet potatoes, yellow squash, zucchini would all work perfectly well here and give this dish a great crunch.
If you don’t have peanuts, mix a teaspoon of peanut butter into the sauce if you prefer.
Sesame oil imparts a delicious, nutty flavor, but feel free to swap in avocado or olive oil if that’s what you’ve got handy.
These black rice noodles are only a touch spicy because of the amount of chili powder I included, but you can bet my husband doubled that amount in his sauce. You can add chili oil or just double the amount of chili powder to make yours extra spicy.
I used black rice noodles, but you could use udon, vermicelli, or ramen noodles to change it up as well. In the winter, you could even serve it hot, skipping the step to refrigerate.
Applications & Storage:
This is beyond perfect for meal prep because it is amazing cold. No waiting in line behind coworkers for the smelly microwave. This savory noodle bowl is ideal for lunch at the office, or even a make ahead dinner for when you know you have a busy day,since it stays good in the fridge for a few days.In my opinion, it’s even better after a few days because the flavors seriously blend and intensify over time. You can store it with the sauce already on the noodles, or in a separate container.
As always, if you make this vegan cold sesame chili noodle bowl recipe, tag me on Facebook or Instagram, and let me know how it goes! You can also check out my Pinterest page for more easy weeknight dinner inspiration.
If you liked this recipe, you might also enjoy some of my other favorite quick dessert and appetizer recipes to match! See some of my favorite recommendations below: