Our Ramen Noodle Stir Fry is simple and quick to make, absolutely delicious, and will satisfy any take-out food cravings that you may have. Instant noodles are stir-fried with veggies, and tofu, and flavored with an umami-packed homemade sauce, the perfect weekend treat!
About this Stir Fry
We love noodles at home and you can always find a big stack of them in our pantry. Recipes like Vegan Pad Thai, Pho, Spicy Ramen, or noodle salads are made often at home. But this recipe uses Instant Ramen Noodles or wok noodles so it comes together quickly and can be twisted to your taste.
The instant ramen noodles are served with a delicious, umami-rich homemade sauce and veggies such as carrots and broccoli. Our Ramen Noodle Stir Fry recipe is vegan, using tofu as the main protein.
What people say about this recipe
"I came to really appreciate this recipe! This is the second time I prepare it and it just delicious!! Thank you!!!"
"Made it - loved it - will do again!"
"This is SUCH a great recipe!! Once you make it one time just to learn it, it’s so easy and quick (and cheap!) to make. It’s definitely a staple in my house we now have on a regular basis. Great job and thanks for sharing!!"
Our Ramen Noodle Stir Fry is:
- A main dish or side dish
- Asian-style meal
- Quick to make
- Easy to prepare
- Mildly spicy
How to make the best Ramen Noodle Stir Fry
Instant Ramen Noodles. At our local Chinese supermarket, we can find a pack of 5 portions that come with no seasoning packets, just the dried noodles. You can find these online as well. If you want to make sure you are using good instant ramen noodles, there are some brands that make great products such as What If Foods. Instant Ramen Noodles don't need to be an unhealthy ingredient.
If you are using classic instant noodles that come with a seasoning packet, you can discard the seasoning packet or keep it for another meal.
Another option is to use other types of noodles such as soba noodles, rice noodles, brown rice noodles, egg noodles (not vegan), or glass noodles.
Onion or Shallot. Choose a small onion as they tend to be sweeter or use shallot for the stir fry.
Garlic and ginger paste. We make a paste by crushing or pressing garlic and ginger.
Fresh vegetables. For this stir fry, we use carrots and broccoli. You can add as many different veggies as you want. We kept the recipe simple but other vegetables that go well in this meal are snow peas, red bell peppers, napa cabbage, bean sprouts, water chestnuts, bok choi, shiitake mushrooms, snap peas, or any other crunchy veggies you want to add to the meal.
Tofu. Our Ramen Noodle Stir Fry includes firm tofu or extra firm tofu. We pan-fry the tofu separately so it cooks firmer and doesn't fall apart when stir-fried with the rest of the ingredients.
Toasted sesame seeds and chili flakes. To finish the meal, we add some toasted sesame seeds and chili flakes. These are optional and you can add other toppings of your choice such as peanuts, cashews, chili oil, sesame oil, or others.
Homemade Sauce Ingredients
Soy sauce. Light or dark soy sauce can be used for this recipe, depending on your taste. If you want to make the sauce gluten-free, you need to use tamari.
Sesame oil. We use toasted sesame oil and before serving, we add some chili sesame oil to give the dish that last spicy touch.
Maple Syrup. We find that adding a bit of sweetness will improve the taste of the sauce. You can use maple syrup as listed on our recipe, honey (not vegan), brown sugar, or any other sweetener that you normally use.
Rice vinegar. Rice vinegar is slightly sweet, tangy, and packed with umami flavor.
Vegetable stock or water. We choose to use vegetable stock but feel free to use just plain water or salted water.
- Pan-fry the tofu. Heat some oil in a pan and pan-fry the tofu making sure all the sides are cooked. When the tofu starts to turn golden brown, add some of the stir fry sauce and leave it cooking for 2 more minutes.
- Cook the noodles. Boil the noodles for 1-2 minutes, drain the water, and rinse with cold water. You want to have the noodles still al dente, as they will finish cooking with the rest of the ingredients. If you are using another type of noodles, cook them following the package instructions.
- Prepare the stir fry. Heat some oil in a pan or large skillet and add finely chopped onion. After a few minutes add the garlic and ginger paste, cook for one more minute, and then add the broccoli florets and carrot cut into slices. After cooking for a few minutes, cover the pan with a lid for 3-4 minutes to slightly steam the veggies.
- Make the stir-fry sauce by combining soy sauce, sesame oil, sriracha, maple syrup, rice vinegar, and vegetable stock or water. Remove the lid and add the cooked noodles and the homemade sauce. Before serving, add some sesame seeds and chili flakes. Optionally you can add finely chopped green onions, or chopped coriander.
- Make it healthier. You can choose to use healthy ramen noodles, whole wheat noodles, or soba noodles for a healthier option. Add more veggies than simply carrots and broccoli and skip the sugar from the sauce.
- Add different vegetables. You can add other veggies such as red pepper, snap peas, cabbage, mushrooms, cauliflower, peas, green beans, spinach, bok choy, or any vegetable of your choice.
- Make a different sauce. Our sauce works perfectly for stir-fries and is really similar to the one we use for our Vegan Chop Suey, but you can prepare a different sauce to go with this ramen noodle stir fry. The classic Chinese Garlic Sauce or a peanut sauce would be absolutely delicious too. You can check a recipe for peanut sauce here.
- Use another type of noodles. Our recipe uses ramen noodles as they cook really fast and this is one of the reasons why we love this dish. You can, of course, use different noodles such as soba noodles, rice noodles, udon noodles, brown rice noodles, egg noodles (not vegan), glass noodles, vermicelli noodles, or even spaghetti if that is the only thing you have available!
- Serve it with another plant-based protein. Tofu is our favorite protein when it comes to stir-fries but you can use another type of plant-based protein. Tempeh is the healthiest option but I still know a lot of people (myself included) that doesn't enjoy eating it. It has a deep aftertaste but many people love it and is a wonderful protein source. Seitan, for a meatier option. Seitan is made out of gluten and it doesn't need much flavoring. Edamame. This last plant-based protein that we would use in a stir-fry is as well an amazing choice. Frozen or fresh, edamame will add more color and texture to your noodle recipe.
Our Ramen Noodle Stir Fry with Tofu makes for a great side or main dish.
Side dish. This Ramen Noodle Stir Fry makes for a great side dish to Thai Curries, Asian-style soups, or even summer rolls. You don't need to add tofu or another protein if your main dish already has a source of plant-based protein.
Main dish. Make this meal a main dish by adding protein. Our recipe contains tofu, as we normally enjoy this recipe as a main. You can complete this meal by serving some Spring Rolls or Edamame as an appetizer.
If you like spicy food, don't forget to add some chili flakes and some extra sriracha sauce before serving the meal.
Store and Reheat
This Ramen Noodle Stir Fry can be stored in an airtight container for 2-3 days. You can make this meal ahead but we recommend keeping the sauce in a different container and adding it to the stir-fry when heating it up.
To reheat this meal, you can use a pan or a microwave. If you saved the leftovers that were mixed with the sauce already, you may need to add a little water to get a perfect consistency again.
FAQ and Tips
Can I make this recipe gluten-free?
Yes! You can use gluten-free ramen noodles or another type of gluten-free noodles such as rice noodles. As well, you will need to swap the soy sauce for tamari sauce to make sure the stir-fry sauce is gluten-free as well.
Make it milder or spicier
You can make this recipe milder by leaving out the sriracha and chili flakes or make it spicier by adding more of both ingredients. Other ingredients you could add to make these noodles spicier are chili oil, white pepper, or chili powder.
What type of noodles can I use instead of Instant Ramen Noodles?
You can use any other type of noodles you like or have at home. Some examples are whole wheat noodles, rice noodles, brown rice noodles, soba noodles, glass noodles, pad thai noodles, egg noodles (not vegan), or even spaghetti. If you are not using instant noodles, make sure you follow the package instructions to cook them.
Are instant noodles healthy?
They can be. Nowadays it has become easier and easier to find good quality instant noodles. Every time we go to Asia, we make sure we get some What If Noodles to bring back home. A lot of instant noodles brands are not healthy and should be consumed just from time to time.
Ramen Noodle Stir Fry
- 2 packs instant ramen noodles
- 1 block firm tofu
- 1 small onion or shallot
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger
- 1 carrot
- ¼ broccoli
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon chili flakes
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon sriracha or Sambal Oelek
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
- 100 ml vegetable stock or water
- Prepare the stir fry sauce combining the soy sauce, sesame oil, sriracha, maple syrup, rice vinegar and vegetable stock or water.
- Boil the noodles for 1-2 minutes, drain the water and rinse with cold water. You want to have the noodles still al dente as they will finish cooking with the rest of the ingredients.
- Cut the tofu into triangles or cubes, depending on your taste. Heat some oil in a pan and pan-fry the tofu making sure all the sides are cooked. When the tofu starts to golden, add two tablespoons of the sauce and leave it cooking for 2 more minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside.
- Using the same pan, heat some oil and add finely chopped onion. After a few minutes add the garlic and ginger finely cut, crushed or pressed. Cook for one more minute and then add the broccoli cut into florets and carrot cut into medium-size strips. After cooking for a few minutes, cover the pan with a lid for 3-4 minutes.
- Remove the lid and add the cooked noodles and the stir-fry sauce. Combine well all the ingredients so all the noodles are coated with the sauce. Before serving, add some sesame seeds and chilli flakes.
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