These Thai Basil Noodles are perfect if you’re craving some bold flavor for dinner. The recipe is gluten-free, easy to make, and ready in about 30 minutes.
Thai food has become one of my favorite cuisines lately. I just can’t get enough of the bold flavors and liberal use of vegetables. Many Asian-inspired dishes are vegan-friendly or can be made vegan like my Teriyaki Tempeh, Chili Garlic Tofu, and Mongolian Soy Curls.
My Thai Basil Noodles came about when I was browsing around my local Asian market looking for some vegan hot sauce. After finding that and picking up my favorite rice noodles, I went over to the produce section to see if anything looked good.
I was excited to see lots of fresh mushrooms and bok choy so I grabbed those and then a huge bunch of Thai basil (for only $2 btw) caught my eye! I love basil sauces so I knew I needed to make a tasty dinner with it.
Thai Basil Noodles
My Thai Basil Noodles dish is full of veggies and has lots of flavor because of the basil. If you’ve never had Thai basil before, it’s a little different than the basil usually found in supermarkets which have rounder leaves and a sweet-ish, milder flavor.
Thai Basil has pointier leaves and purple stems with a slightly spicy, licorice-like flavor. But don’t let the idea of licorice scare you off if you don’t like it, I am not a fan of licorice myself but the basil tastes amazing.
I used rice noodles so the meal is both vegan and gluten-free. I also added some tofu for protein but feel free to use any other protein you might like or add extra mushrooms and bok choy for an even bigger hit of phytonutrients.
Thai Basil Noodles
These Thai Basil Noodles are perfect if you're craving some bold flavor for dinner. The recipe is easy to make and ready in about 30 minutes.
- 1 package of firm organic/non-GMO tofu drained, pressed, and cubed (or you can use any pre-cooked tofu of your choice)
- 2-3 TB olive oil (or sesame oil)
- 1 small onion chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic minced
- 2 cups mushrooms (I used shiitake), chopped
- 4 small bok choy
- 8 oz rice noodles
- 1/2 cup Thai basil cut into ribbons*
Heat 1 TB oil in a non-stick pan and add the tofu. Cook for a few minutes on each side until browned. Remove from pan and set aside.**
In a large saute pan, heat 1 TB oil and add onions and garlic. Cook for 3-5 minutes until onion is translucent.
Add mushrooms and bok choy (as well as another TB of oil if needed) and cook until tender.
Meanwhile, heat a large pot of water for rice noodles. When water is boiling, turn off heat and add rice noodles for about 4 minutes or until al dente. You don't want them too soft because they will cook more later on.***
When noodles are al dente, drain and add to pan.
Mix sauce ingredients, add to pan and cook everything for another 3-5 minutes.
Turn off heat and add basil and mix through,
Fold in tofu and top with sesame seeds.
*If you can't Thai basil, you can always substitute regular sweet basil, but it will be a little less "spicy".
**If you're using pre-cooked tofu, just heat it in the pan with the olive oil.
***You can also use any type of noodle if you're not using rice noodles and cook to package directions.
If you have some extra time before dinner and would like to make the tofu even tastier, you can double the sauce and use half to marinate the tofu for up to an hour before cooking.
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Mary Ellen Valverde MS, CNS, LDN is a Licensed Nutritionist and Certified Nutrition Specialist helping clients regain their energy, confidence and health through a plant-based diet. When she’s not reading up on the latest nutrition research, you can find Mary Ellen doting on her two rescue shih tzus, creating the perfect vegan mac & cheese, or exploring the world with her husband.