Umami bomb tofu noodle bowls
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This is the meatiest tasting vegan bowl you'll ever eat. The tofu tastes like ground pork thanks to a coating of powdered shiitake mushrooms and black sesame seeds.
Serves: 4 servings
  • 1 pound extra-firm tofu, cut into ¼-inch slices
  • For the umami powder:
  • 4-5 dried shitake mushroom caps
  • 3 tablespoons toasted black sesame seeds
  • For the carrot salad:
  • 1 carrot, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • For the tofu:
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot starch
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms, shitakes, cremini or button all work fine
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon chili garlic paste or sriracha (optional)
  • 4 ounces rice noodles or pasta of your choice, prepared according to package directions
  • For serving:
  • 2-3 radishes, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup fresh herbs (I used a combination of mint and cilantro)
  • 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds, toasted
  1. Arrange tofu in a single layer on a paper towel-lined plate and cover with a few more paper towels. Place another plate on top and a heavy weight (like a saucepan filled with water or a few cans of beans from your pantry) and let sit for 15-30 minutes to drain any excess liquid.
  2. To make the shitake sesame powder place the mushrooms and sesame seeds into a spice grinder and process until they form a fine powder.
  3. While the tofu drains prepare the carrot salad. Using a julienne peeler slice one carrot into thin strips and toss with ½ teaspoon sugar, salt, and the rice vinegar.
  4. Once the tofu drains, crumble the tofu into a medium bowl and toss with arrowroot starch and 3 tablespoons of the mushroom powder. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat until the oil starts to shimmer. Add the tofu and cook until it's browned and crispy, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Transfer tofu to a plate.
  5. Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the pan along with the sliced mushrooms and garlic and cook until the mushrooms have released all their liquid and start to brown slightly. In a small bowl combine the soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and honey, chili paste and stir to combine. Add the tofu to the mushrooms in the pan and pour the sauce over the top. Cook for just a minute or two until everything is coated.
  6. To serve, spoon the tofu mixture over the noodles and top with the carrot salad, sliced radishes, herbs and sprinkle with the sesame seeds.
Recipe by Scaling Back at