Experience the fusion of Asian flavors and the convenience of a slow cooker with this Slow-Cooker Tofu Lo Mein recipe. Lo Mein is a popular Chinese dish known for its savory sauce, tender noodles, and a medley of vegetables.
This vegetarian version substitutes tofu for meat, making it a delightful meatless option. By using a slow cooker, you’ll achieve a delicious and hassle-free Lo Mein that’s perfect for busy days. Let’s embark on this culinary adventure to create a delectable Tofu Lo Mein.
For the Lo Mein
- 8 oz of lo mein noodles or any other Asian-style noodles of your choice
- 1 block (14 oz) of extra-firm tofu, cubed and pressed
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 carrot, julienned or thinly sliced
- 1 cup of broccoli florets
- 1 cup of snow peas, trimmed
- 1/2 cup of sliced mushrooms (any variety)
- 1/2 cup of sliced green onions
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil (for sautéing tofu)
- Sesame seeds and additional sliced green onions for garnish (optional)
For the Lo Mein Sauce
- 1/4 cup of soy sauce (or tamari for a gluten-free option)
- 2 tablespoons of hoisin sauce
- 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon of sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes (adjust to taste)
- 1/2 cup of vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
Steps to Make
- Cube the extra-firm tofu and press it to remove excess moisture. You can use a tofu press or wrap the tofu in paper towels and place a heavy object on top for about 20-30 minutes.
- After pressing, cut the tofu into bite-sized cubes.
- In a skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat.
- Add the tofu cubes and sauté until they turn golden brown and crispy on all sides. This should take about 5-7 minutes.
- In a bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, sesame oil, ground ginger, crushed red pepper flakes, vegetable broth, and cornstarch until well combined.
- Place the sautéed tofu, red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, carrot, broccoli florets, snow peas, sliced mushrooms, sliced green onions, and minced garlic in your slow cooker.
- Pour the prepared Lo Mein sauce over the ingredients in the slow cooker.
- Cover your slow cooker and set it to low heat.
- Allow the Tofu Lo Mein to cook for 2-3 hours, giving the flavors time to meld together and the vegetables to become tender.
- Cook the lo mein noodles according to the package instructions until they are al dente. Drain and set aside.
- About 15-20 minutes before serving, add the cooked lo mein noodles to the slow cooker and gently stir to combine with the tofu and vegetable mixture.
- Once the Tofu Lo Mein is hot and well combined, it’s ready to serve.
- Garnish with sesame seeds and additional sliced green onions if desired.
Slow-Cooker Tofu Lo Mein is a flavorful and convenient way to enjoy the classic Asian dish with a meatless twist.
The combination of sautéed tofu, vibrant vegetables, and a savory sauce creates a delightful meal that’s both satisfying and convenient to prepare. Using a slow cooker simplifies the cooking process, making it ideal for busy days.
Can I use different vegetables in this recipe?
Absolutely! You can customize the vegetable mix to your liking. Bell peppers, carrots, broccoli, snow peas, and mushrooms are just a starting point. Feel free to add or substitute with your favorite veggies.
Can I use other types of noodles?
Yes, you can use udon noodles, rice noodles, or even whole wheat spaghetti if you prefer.
Can I make this dish spicier?
Adjust the amount of crushed red pepper flakes to your desired level of spiciness.
Can I use firm tofu instead of extra-firm tofu?
Extra-firm tofu is recommended for this recipe as it holds its shape better during sautéing and slow cooking.
Can I make this recipe gluten-free?
Yes, use tamari instead of soy sauce and ensure that your hoisin sauce is gluten-free.