Banh Mi Inspired Noodle Bowls

By Alexandra Caspero on February 29, 2024
If you like Banh Mi sandwiches, you will love these bowls!
Makes 4 bowls

Banh Mi bowls with tofu! These banh mi-inspired noodle bowls are packed with so much flavor. Fresh and delicious, and naturally vegan.

I am so excited for you to try this banh mi-inspired bowl! Spicy ginger lime noodles with pickled vegetables and garlic-ginger tofu, plus a generous garnish of scallions, sliced jalapenos, and cilantro. If you love a banh mi sandwich, then you are going to love this noodle bowl.

Scroll down to see more details and tips, or scroll all the way down for the full list of ingredients and directions.

Banh Mi Noodles

Ingredient Notes

I know it looks like many ingredients, but you are repurposing many of them to make the dressing and the tofu sauce. The noodle dressing, tofu marinade, and quick pickled vegetables can all be made ahead of time for ease.

  • Veggies: For the quick pickled vegetables, you’ll want at least a few different vegetables. I prefer cucumber, red onion, and carrots, along with radish and red peppers, but you can also choose just one or two with the red onion for ease.
  • Rice Noodles: Other noodles of choice or cooked rice can be used instead. We love brown rice noodles for this.
  • Cilantro: The cilantro adds a hit of freshness to the bowl. If you have fresh basil, then I love a handful of torn basil on top as well.
  • Avocado: The avocado is optional but adds a creamy layer like the mayo that’s usually in a banh mi sandwich.

Substitution Notes

Instead of the rice noodles, you can use other noodles of choice, like spaghetti, soba or udon noodles. Cooked rice can also be used. Whatever grain you use, you’ll still toss the cooked grain with the spicy lime dressing.

The avocado is optional, but adds a layer of creaminess to the bowls.

Instead of tofu, you can use tempeh or sub in another protein. For the tempeh, I like to finely crumble the tofu and lightly fry it in a skillet and then add in the marinade to coat.

Bowl With Banh Mi Tofu And Jalapenos

How to Make these Banh Mi Bowls

Make the pickled veggies

Pickled Veggies With Bahn Mi Bowl

Combine all ingredients together and mix well. This can be made ahead of time!

Make the Noodle Dressing

Dressing For Spicy Noodles

Whisk together all ingredients for the spicy lime dressing. Set aside.

Cook the Tofu

Banh Mi Tofu

Slice the tofu into triangles, then pan fry until crispy on both sides. Add the sauce and cook a few more minutes.

Cook the noodles

Banh Mi Bowls 2

Cook the noodles according to package directions, then toss with the dressing.

Assemble the bowls

Two Bowls Of Bahn Mi Bowls With Noodles

Divide the noodles into four bowls and top with the cooked tofu, drained pickled veggies, cilantro, scallions, jalapenos and sliced avocados.

Noodles With Tofu And Quick Pickled Veggies

Tips for Sucess

These banh mi bowls can be made ahead of time. When I make these for a weeknight dinner, I make the noodle dressing and tofu marinade in the morning along with the quick pickled veggies.

Then, when I go to cook it in the evening, I cook the tofu, cook the noodles and then quickly assemble everything together.

Noodle Bowls With Tofu And Cilantro

More Noodle Bowl Recipes

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Banh Mi Noodles

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Banh Mi Noodles

Banh Mi Inspired Noodle Bowls

  • Author: Alexandra Caspero
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: dinner, bowls, healthy, tofu, noodles
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: Thai Inspired
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Banh Mi bowls with tofu! These banh mi-inspired noodle bowls are packed with so much flavor. Fresh, delicious, and naturally vegan.


  • Author: Alexandra Caspero
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: dinner, bowls, healthy, tofu, noodles
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: Thai Inspired
  • Diet: Vegan
  • Author: Alexandra Caspero
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: dinner, bowls, healthy, tofu, noodles
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: Thai Inspired
  • Diet: Vegan
Scale

Ingredients

Quick Pickled Veggies*: 

  • 1 cup cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup radish, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon agave or maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Spicy Ginger Lime Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup lime juice (from about 2 limes)
  • 1/4 cup neutral oil
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sriracha
  • 2 cloves minced garlic cloves
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, minced

Tofu:

  • 1 block extra-firm tofu, drained, and cut into triangles
  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 3 cloves minced garlic cloves
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, minced

For assembly:

  • 12 ounces rice noodles**
  • 1 handful cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeno, sliced
  • 2 avocados, sliced (optional)

Instructions

  1. Make the quick pickled vegetables. Combine all ingredients and mix well. Allow to sit for at least 20 minutes while you make the rest of the meal.
  2. Make the noodles. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the noodles according to package directions, then drain and rinse with cold water. Mix together all ingredients for the dressing (or blend in a mini food processor/blender) and set aside.
  3. Make the tofu. Combine the soy sauce, oil, water, garlic and ginger and set aside. Slice the tofu into triangles. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the tofu and cook on both sides until crisp, about 2-3 minutes per side. Depending on the size of your skillet, you will probably need to do this in batches. Add the sauce and cook for another few minutes, until the tofu has absorbed much of the sauce.
  4. Assemble! Toss the dressing with the cooked noodles. Divide into 4 bowls and top with drained pickled vegetables, cooked tofu, cilantro, scallions, jalapeno, and avocado.

Notes

*I like all of these vegetables, but you don’t have to use all of them. I think the cucumber, red onion, and carrots are a must. The radish and red pepper are optional.

**You can use any noodle you’d like for these, or cooked rice.

***To make for quicker assembly, you can make the tofu sauce ahead of time, make the quick pickled veggies ahead of time and make the dressing. Then, cook the tofu and toss the noodles with the dressing and toss together.

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Meet Alex Caspero

Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, New York Times Bestselling Chef, and mom of two. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.

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