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Close up of XO noodles with crispy tofu.

Vegan XO Noodles with Smoked Tofu

  • Author: Rachel Phipps
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2
  • Category: Dinner
  • Diet: Vegan


This saucy, deeply savoury dish of Vegan XO Noodles with Smoked Tofu and plenty of shredded cabbage and kale is the perfect plant-based winter noodle dish to clear out the vegetable drawer!



For the Noodles & Smoked Tofu

  • 2 nests egg noodles or a vegan alternative
  • 1 x 280g block smoked tofu
  • 1 tbsp light oil
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • large thumb-sized piece fresh ginger
  • 4 large spring onions
  • 4 handfuls shredded cabbage (I used purple kale and savoy cabbage)
  • 4 pickled walnuts
  • large handful fresh coriander

For the Vegan XO Sauce

  • 1 tbsp light oil
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 birds eye chillies
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • large pinch dried chilli flakes
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tsp maple syrup


  1. First, make the vegan XO sauce. Heat the oil in a small frying pan over a medium heat. Peel and finely chop the onion, and finely slice the birds eye chillies. Gently fry in the oil for 7-8 minutes or so until soft and slightly golden.
  2. Stir in the garlic cloves, again peeled and finely chopped, and once it has turned soft and aromatic, stir in the sweet smoked paprika and dried chilli flakes. Cook for a further minute before removing from the heat and stirring in the rest of the sauce ingredients. Set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the noodles as per the packet instructions and rinse under cold water to stop them sticking together. Set aside.
  4. Heat a large, non-stick frying pan or wok over a high heat and add the stir fry oil. Whilst it is heating up until shimmering, drain the tofu and pat it as dry as possible with kitchen paper. Cut into cubes and pat dry again.
  5. Fry the tofu until golden all over and reduce the heat to low. Meanwhile, peel and finely chop the garlic, ginger, and trim and finely chop the spring onions. Also slice the pickled walnuts, and finely chop the coriander.
  6. Stir in the garlic, ginger and spring onions and stir fry until the spring onions and the garlic are soft, and only just starting to colour.
  7. Turn the heat back to medium and add the cabbage, stir frying until just soft and wilted.
  8. Add the noodles and the vegan XO sauce to the pan, stirring everything together until the noodles are heated through and coated with the sauce.
  9. Remove from the heat and stir through the pickled walnuts and chopped coriander. Serve immediately in warmed bowls.


The vegan XO sauce can easily be made up to a couple of days in advance.