Spicy Udon Salad with Tofu and Vegetables

Our family enjoyed Spicy Udon Salad with Tofu and Vegetables – thanks to this month’s alphabet blogging challenge (U is for Udon). It was a nice change of pace from many of our usual dinner standbys. The recipe took us beyond our culinary comfort zones and pleased our tummies.


My hubby is home for a brief period before his next trip. P is for Perfect timing: he has an adventurous palate and loves international food, especially any variety of spicy Asian noodles. My four year old took a serious liking to tofu and udon after rigorous taste-testing. Oh, yes: this dish is flavorful, healthful and satisfying…noodle comfort food at its best.


See the delectable dishes my blogging friends have created using scrumptious udon noodles:


Anna at Anna’s Cuisine

Liz at Food for Fun

Ngan at Ngan Made it

Sofia at Papaya Pieces

If you would like to participate in the future, feel free to contact me. The more the merrier!

One great things about this recipe is the abundance of nutritious vegetables. My kids love to help wash, peel and cut veggies. I have found that the more they are involved in food preparation, the greater their enjoyment of the meal. My four-year-old helped with wash and cut the radishes.

Spicy Udon Salad with Tofu and Vegetables has a delicious sauce that uses nutty, delicious sesame oil. Of course, the grocery store was out. Fortunately, it’s easy to make your own sesame oil at home. I used this recipe, but feel free to simply buy it. The sauce doubles as a marinade for the tofu and also a sauce for the noodles and roasted vegetables; I love recipe components that do double duty. Less work for me!

The salad is delectable. The soft udon noodles and sweet roasted vegetables soak up the great flavors from the sauce. The baked tofu is crisp on the outside, soft inside and absorbs the tasty sauce while it marinates. It’s tofu bacon, if there is such a thing. Our family battled it out for the crunchy, salty tofu nuggets.



The recipe comes together in a flash; I lay out my ingredients before assembling the dish to streamline the process. The different vegetables are colorful, fresh and pleasing to look at. There is a certain allure about fresh produce!

You can garnish individual plates with cilantro, sesame seeds and cashews, as shown at the top of the page. Or, serve the salad in a large bowl and scatter the toppings on top, as seen below.DSC_3211First the noodles, vegetables and sauce are tossed…

Then the crispy “bacon” tofu is scattered on top.


Finally, lots of fabulous toppings cover the dish. A large bowl of this salad would be ideal for a picnic, potluck or large gathering of family and friends. It’s delicious served at room temperature or chilled.

The original recipe was found in Cooking Light. Of course, this dish is almost nothing like the original; it is a very loose adaptation. Casa Curls and Carrots is filled with cooking rebels! I hope you enjoy the myriad (yet well-married) flavors, textures and colors in the recipe.


A huge thank you to my fellow foodies for encouraging me to create a dish with Udon. I can’t wait to see what you guys have created this month. I am so glad I discovered something new and positively mouth-watering: U is for Udon Noodles.



Spicy Udon Salad with Tofu and Vegetables

Serves a crowd! Adapted from a Cooking Light recipe.

Sauce Ingredients:

3 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar

6 Tablespoons soy sauce

3 Tablespoons sesame oil, homemade or store-bought

6 Tablespoons peanut or safflower oil

2 Tablespoons natural peanut butter

2-3 tsp. laos chili paste, add less or more, to taste

1 Tablespoon red miso glaze

1 1/2 tsp. fish or oyster sauce

3 cloves garlic

2-4 Tablespoons fresh, chopped ginger, to taste

1 handful fresh cilantro

Dish Ingredients:

1 standard block of extra-firm tofu, cut into bite-sized cubes or strips, drained and pressed

3 black Spanish radishes, thinly sliced with a sharp knife or a mandolin

6 cups oven-roasted vegetables, such as Broccolini, eggplant, summer squash, red bell pepper and carrot* (use as many or as little vegetables as you prefer)

8 ounces Udon noodles, prepared according to package directions and rinsed with cold water

To garnish: roasted, chopped cashews; roasted sesame seeds; fresh, chopped cilantro (optional)


  • Combine all of the “sauce ingredients” in a food processor. Process until smooth. Taste and season with pepper, if necessary. The sauce will probably not need additional salt.
  • Marinate the tofu in the sauce for thirty minutes on the counter.
  • Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray. Use a slotted spoon or your fingers to arrange the tofu in a single layer.
  • Reserve the remaining sauce. Place the sauce in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Preheat oven to 400•F.
  • Bake the tofu until light golden and crisp on the outside, yet soft inside, 10-30 minutes, depending on the size of your tofu and oven accuracy.
  • If you are roasting vegetables, cook them in the oven while you are roasting your tofu.
  • Place the noodles, roasted vegetables and radishes in large bowl.
  • Toss with just enough sauce to lightly coat the vegetables and noodles, about one cup. Toss with less sauce, if desired, and serve extra on the side.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings (i.e. salt and pepper), if necessary.
  • Gently toss the noodle mixture with the tofu, or  layer the roasted tofu on top of the noodle mixture.
  • Garnish individual dishes or large serving bowl with desired toppings. Serve room temperature or chilled.

* I roasted two cookie sheets worth of vegetables, including: one small eggplant, two small patty pan summer squash, eight ounces each carrots and Brocollini and one large red bell pepper. Read more about roasting vegetables here or read a basic recipe here.

©Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward, shannaward.com (2013-2014), unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without expressed and written permission from this blog’s author, Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward, and/or owner is strictly and completely prohibited.


68 thoughts on “Spicy Udon Salad with Tofu and Vegetables

  1. I am still trying to get over the fact that you made your own sesame seed oil. I’ve never made oil, so you’re my idol! Your children are so cute, and already liking tofu at the age of four? Its obvious you have them so well trained at eating healthy foods. You’re udon looks fabulous Shanna, and for me, the spicier the better (ok, until it reaches a limit of spiciness…). Besos amiga!

    1. Hi, Sofia. Making any oil is easy… I love to infuse oil with garlic, rosemary, lemon, chiles, etc. 🙂 You are right, kids definitely eat what they are exposed to. Many countries that are not Westernized are proof of that. Thanks for your lovely comment! Besos, Shanna

  2. love how you assemble your photos, Shanna. Gorgeous! And thumbs-up for your DIY spirit on the sesame oil 🙂 Looks like a tasty salad. Spicy is good. This is exactly what I meant about you ladies being able to out-cook me 😉

    1. Thanks, Liz. The spice is so incredibly deep and not mouth-burning… I want a few jars of this chile paste. It is awesome! We did NOT outcook you. I mean UDON CHURROS? Get out of town; you are a rock star. So impressed by your udon dish, amiga!!!!

  3. Yum, Shanna! Such a lovely plate of udon and veggies, you cooking rebel, you! Thank you for inviting me to join in the challenge this month. I also managed to serve the udon with some tofu since I missed T for Tofu. We had very similar ideas I think, and your recipe looks great. I can’t wait to try this recipe and maybe my husband won’t give me such a quizzical look next time I serve udon. Snu Magoo is always such a cutie!

    1. Ngan, I noticed how similar our recipes were, but I expected this. Basically, whenever you post something, I make it that week. Both you and me and the hubbies love similiar things, from cheese to oodles of slurpy noodles. Thanks for your sweet comment, Ngan. The sauce is so yummmmmy, you could put it on any meat or fish and throw it on the grill, or drizzle it over rice. By the way, I also used the dry noodles – they really plumped up! I did not realize they were in bundles and accidently put the tied bundles in the first try! 🙂 I am so glad you joined the club. It’s a pleasure to be your blogging teammate!

      1. I noticed your noodles are much plumper than mine. I wonder if it has to do with the brand? I saw the brand you used at the market too so will have to try that next time with your recipe. The sauce looks amazing! I will take your suggestion and make it with fish rather than tofu, as Dr. J will not eat tofu. Oh well, more for me! I’m excited for next month’s challenge. (Food for thought: V is for vanilla, Valencia oranges, vine ripened tomatoes?)

      2. Or even venison! I am open to all that you listed and am excited, too. 🙂 The noodles I cooked according to the package: boil rapidly for eight minutes and then shock/rinse in very cold water. I am not sure if this makes the noodles plumper or not; I did feel like a culinary criminal rinsing the noodles, though! I think both of our dishes would be awesome with salmon or a delicate white fish, or even medium-rare tuna… 🙂

  4. This looks and sounds SOOOO good! I love the idea of the roasted vegetables and baked tofu tossed with the noodles. They would also be good rolled in spring (summer ) rolls with the sauce as a dip. I like spicy, too! I love that you called yourself a cooking “rebel.” As you know, I am one, too. 🙂
    I love the photo of your daughter with the tofu. That’s a keeper for sure!

  5. I’m so glad you are introducing your kids to foods that often kids don’t even want to try. One of my children has a bowl filled with slips of paper with the names of various countries of the world. Each week they draw a new slip on Sunday, do some homework during the week, and cook a meal representative of the country on Friday. Another good way to get kids to eat “strange” foods.

  6. Great, great post. I love it how I can just picture you in the kitchen… roasting, whizzing, marinading, stirring! So impressed about the homemade sesame oil too, fab idea!

  7. Wow, and I had Udon last night! But yours looks more delicicous than any I’ve had! I will surely try it some time! I agree with the commenter above. Your children are so lucky to be exposed to delicious/heathful foods. You would not believe how so many students here rely on instant/fast food day in and day out. Sometimes is okay, but I would not recommend for every day. 🙂

  8. This is fabulous. I love all the flavors of your ingredients and all together I’m trying to imaging what happens to your taste buds! Peanut butter, chili past, red miso glaze…fish sauce…oh my gosh, the list goes on Shanna. It’s delightful.

  9. Oh my, this looks absolutely delicious! I love how you married all the flavors and to top it off, you made your own Sesame oil. Wow! I bet it filled your house with the aroma. I love the crispy “bacon” tofu..and the sauce…mm…mm..good! Fabulous post, Shanna and beautiful model too. 🙂

  10. Shanna your dish is mouth-watering, and your husband is really lucky! Seriously I’d would have liked to join you…. I really love asiatic food but sometimes I’m too lazy for buying all the ingredients I may need for…
    Your daughter is adorable!

  11. Loving the idea of your baked/roasted tofu. But to find all of those ingredients would take me a week! Or a trip to London. Or overseas. Not even sure which would be the quickest! Joking aside, really must find some new ingredients, as I’ve been stuffing my face with stir-fries.

  12. That spicy udon salad couldn’t look better! I’m seriously impressed, Shanna. I don’t know whether I’m going to be able to find all these ingredients but the moment I do, you can bet I’ll get down to business 😉
    Thanks for sharing another delicious recipe (and story ❤ )
    All the best

    1. Thank you, Rosa. Feel free to use what you have and make this recipe your own. Sofia, in Spain, had a hard time finding UDON – it took her an hour of walking around Barcelona. Have a great weekend, amiga. Besos!

  13. What a great dish, Shanna! Such a great combo of flavors and textures. (Well, you know I’m going to like anything with noodles in it,) You really do serve your family a wide variety of dishes. You children will thank you later, when they’re grown and have adventurous palates like their Dad. That photo of your darling daughter with eyes closed should be used in a Wikidictionay, illustrating the word, “YUM”. 🙂

  14. Completely amazed that you made your own sesame oil. LEGEND! Did I mention that I’m amazed?! Love everything about this post, particularly the way you illustrate different points with your daughter and her awesome expressions. So cool. Glad that it was a little easier for you to find udon than poor Sofia in Barcelona, haha! The finished dish looks delicious… and I say that as a person who doesn’t particularly love udon noodles. Great post! x

  15. Yum, shanna! This is how I like to eat. Very creative take on udon noodles. Glad your hubz was home to enjoy it! Fresh cilantro and ginger are such great flavor combos. Well done!

  16. After reading this post, it makes us wanna try to make our own sesame seed oil too. Never thought about it. This spicy udon salad looks so delicious and flavourful! 🙂

  17. This recipe looks so delish! Just one question: what is red miso glaze? Can you buy it? I know you can buy plain miso…or do you use miso and add sugar or something? Thanks!

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