Homemade curry, crispy tofu, and noodles make this Indonesian Curry Tofu Noodles recipe irresistible!
Oh man, you guys. It’s hard to pull myself away from these slurpy noodle bowls long enough to even tell you about them.
If you’ve never made homemade curry, here’s your opportunity. I promise it’s a lot easier than you think it is!
The curry base is made from shallot, garlic, ginger, cashews, fresh and dried chilies, and a whole mess of spices. All you have to do is pop it in a food process and let the machine do the work.
Grinding it all together with a huge mortar and pestle would be the more authentic way, but ain’t nobody got time for that.
Either way, these Indonesian curry noodles come out entirely gorgeous and SO fragrant. At this part of the cooking process you might think nothing could possibly smell better than this paste, but just wait until you get it frying in some hot oil.
Before we get to that part, we need to talk tofu.
I’ve been partnering with House Foods this year, and they’ve been inspiring me to come up with some really fun new recipes. Remember the Vegetarian Korean Bibimbap Bowls? Or how about the Mediterranean Pasta Salad (using the often-feared but oh-so-amazing shirataki noodle)?
I absolutely adore their tofu, so I couldn’t wait for another chance to show it off in a Indonesian vegetarian recipe.
Sometimes I remember to press my tofu ahead of time to remove excess moisture, but most of the time I just don’t.
When this happens, I use a little hack instead.
I slice up the tofu the way I want to use it, place it in a colander, and pour boiling water over the top of the tofu. The boiling water helps the tofu expel it’s moisture and retain it’s shape. A bit anti-intuitive, but it works.
The tofu is ready for the frying pan after a quick toss in some soy sauce and corn starch.
This tofu holds it’s shape when being picked up by chopsticks, then just falls apart in your mouth and mingles with the luscious curry sauce. It’s the kind of thing I live for.
Okay, so once you’ve got the paste ground up and your tofu nice and crispy, it’s time to make that sauce.
Start by warming some lemongrass stalks, wild lime leaves, and cinnamon sticks in hot oil. The smell will bring people to the kitchen like weird Indonesian curry zombies.
Add the curry paste mixture to the hot oil, along with a can of coconut milk and a bit of broth.
Simmer the sauce, toss the tofu in it, then dump it all over a bowl of noodles.
Noodles are dealer’s choice here, but I like tender rice noodles or $0.25 ramen noodles. <– This might be food blog blasphemy, but sometimes you just need noodly comfort, and that’s what ramen noodles are all about.
Top this Indonesian tofu curry dish with some cilantro leaves and lime wedges for squeezing. DO NOT FORGET THE LIMES. So necessary, you guys. Trust me.
Here’s the Recipe!
Indonesian Curry Tofu Noodles Recipe
- 1 medium shallot - peeled
- 4 cloves garlic - peeled
- 2 inches fresh ginger root - roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup raw cashews
- 4 dried red chilies - stemmed and seeded
- 2 green Thai chilies - stemmed and seeded
- 2 teaspoons coriander
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 14-ounce package House Foods Firm Tofu, cut into thick rectangles
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons corn starch
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 3 3" lemongrass stalks
- 5 wild lime leaves
- 2 3" cinnamon sticks
- 1 14.5-ounce can unsweetened full-fat coconut milk
- 3/4 cup vegetable broth or water
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- Cooked rice or ramen noodles for serving
- Place the shallot, garlic, ginger, cashews, red and green chilies, coriander, cumin, nutmeg and turmeric in the bowl of a small food processor. Pulse until ground to a paste. Set aside.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Arrange the tofu rectangles in a colander set in the sink or over a large bowl. Pour the boiling water over the top of the tofu.
- Whisk two tablespoons of soy sauce with two teaspoons of corn starch in a large bowl. Add the tofu and toss well to coat.
- Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add the tofu and fry for one minute per side, until golden brown. Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate to drain.
- Add the lemongrass stalks, wild lime leaves, and cinnamon sticks to the remaining oil and allow to warm for one minute. Scrape the ground curry paste into the pan and fry for 2 minutes, mashing with a wooden spoon to break into small pieces.
- Stir the coconut milk and broth into the curry paste. Allow the mixture to come to a boil. Turn the heat down to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Remove the lemongrass stalks, wild lime leaves, and cinnamon sticks from the pan. Stir in the salt and brown sugar. Return the tofu to the pan and toss well to coat.
- Ladle the tofu and curry sauce into bowls filled with cooked noodles. Serve topped with cilantro leaves and lime wedges.