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Entrees/ Recipes/ Vegan Recipes/ Vegetarian Recipes

Singapore Noodles with Pan-Fried Tofu

Singapore Noodles with Pan-Fried Tofu Recipe

Photos by Emily Caruso

I don’t cook with curry powder nearly enough, and I’m reminded of that fact every time I do use it. Because you’ve got so many spices mingling in one blend, it doesn’t take much else to make a dish delicious. That’s why I love Singapore noodles. Clarification: that’s why I love to make Singapore noodles. The fact that I love to eat Singapore noodles should require no explanation. I’ve ordered the dish dozens of times in restaurants, always thinking it had to be really complex, because it’s such an amazing array of flavors and textures. All that complexity is actually in the curry powder. One spice, which is actually a blend of a bunch of spices, all powdered up and ready to sprinkle on your food and transform it into something delicious. That’s what curry powder is, and that’s exactly what it does to these Singapore noodles.

Madras curry powder is the variety I opted to use in this dish. It’s a particularly spicy blend, resulting from the copious amounts of chili powder contained therein. I happen to like spicy, but if you don’t, I’m sure any basic curry powder would be equally delicious.

Singapore Noodles with Pan-Fried Tofu
So, just how simple is this dish? It’s about as basic as a simple veggie stir fry. In fact, it is a simple veggie stir fry, just with noodles and curry powder. The noodles require just a short soaking time, so it doesn’t take as long as many other pasta dishes do. After soaking, they’re stir fried with the veggies and curry powder, along with a little garlic, ginger and soy sauce. I added a little turmeric, which, I’ll be totally honest and say was for the heightened yellow color it adds (because that’s the Singapore noodles trademark, right?). For the veggies I decided to go with napa cabbage for crunch, and red bell peppers for just a touch of sweetness, and for heft and protein I threw in some pan-fried tofu.

Singapore Noodles with Pan-Fried Tofu Recipe

Singapore Noodles with Pan-Fried Tofu

This vegetarian take on Singapore noodles is made with spicy curried rice noodles, stir fried with crunchy napa cabbage and red bell pepper slices.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings


  • 8 ounces rice vermicelli noodles
  • 4 green onions
  • 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil or other neutral flavored vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 pound extra firm tofu drained, pressed at least 20 minutes and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger
  • 1 red bell pepper sliced into strips
  • 3 cups shredded napa cabbage
  • 2 tablespoons Madras curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro


  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Remove from heat. Submerge the noodles in the water and soak until al dente, about 3 minutes (but refer to package instructions). Drain the noodles in a colander and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
  • Separate the white and green parts of the green onions. Finely chop the white parts, then cut green parts into 1-inch sections. Set aside.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of grapeseed oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the tofu cubes and season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 10 minutes, flipping once or twice to achieve browning on multiple sides. Transfer the tofu cubes to a paper towel-lined plate.
  • Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil and 1 teaspoon of sesame oil to the skillet. Raise the heat to medium-high. Add the white parts of the green onions, garlic, ginger and bell pepper. Stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add the napa cabbage and continue to stir-fry until wilted, about 1 minute. Sprinkle with curry powder and turmeric. Stir fry another 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the noodles and soy sauce. Stir fry 1 minute more, using a fork to separate noodles. Add the cilantro, remaining green onions and tofu cubes. Use a fork to distribute ingredients evenly and season with additional salt and pepper, if desired.
  • Remove from heat. Divide the noodles onto plates and serve.


For a less spicy version, replace some or all of the Madras curry powder with a milder curry powder. For a spicier version, add a few teaspoonfuls of Asian chili paste.
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  • Reply
    Abby @ The Frosted Vegan
    March 4, 2015 at 10:32 am

    I agree, I always kind of forget about curry powder, but when I use it I love it! The pan fried tofu in this is calling to me! : )

    • Reply
      Because Yum
      March 5, 2015 at 1:41 pm

      My 14-year-old daughter has decided that fried tofu is her favorite food and I’ve got some extra firm in the fridge just waiting for a good recipe. This is truly serendipity!

      • Reply
        March 5, 2015 at 6:51 pm

        Nice! I hope you get to try this dish out with your tofu, and I hope you and your daughter enjoy it. 🙂

    • Reply
      March 5, 2015 at 6:48 pm

      I’m glad this recipe reminded me of how good curry powder is! 🙂 I might be putting it in everything for a while…

  • Reply
    chrysta @ noshed
    March 5, 2015 at 10:53 am

    Ive been on a curry kick lately. It is so good. I sometimes get lazy and just sprinkle it on my veggies and rock it out that. This dish is so up my alley!. Looks delish!

    • Reply
      March 5, 2015 at 6:49 pm

      Thanks Chrysta! This dish definitely set me off on a curry kick of my own!

  • Reply
    March 5, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    This looks AMAZING! I am going to attempt to make this tonight!

    • Reply
      March 5, 2015 at 6:50 pm

      Thank you! I hope you enjoy it!

  • Reply
    Savita @ ChefDeHome
    March 5, 2015 at 5:51 pm

    I’m all for cooking with tofu and this plate of noodles with fried tofu looks so tempting! love that you used Madras curry powder! tempting! would love to try! pinned!

    • Reply
      March 5, 2015 at 6:52 pm

      I’m all about spicy food, so I love the kick it gets from Madras curry powder. I hope you get a chance to try it!

  • Reply
    March 8, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    I have a thing for Asian cuisine, specially for all sorts of stir fries recently. I really liked the recipe above. Quick, easy, and yet full of flavours. There are some small changes I made. I added some steamed green beans and I used marinated tofu strips, as that’s what I had at hand. I will definitely make it again. 🙂

    OMV is one of my favourite websites when I look for inspiration and interesting, flavoursome recipes. I look forward to exploring and trying the new recipes. 🙂

    • Reply
      March 9, 2015 at 5:35 pm

      This recipe is definitely customizable – green beans and marinated tofu both sound like great additions. I’m glad you enjoyed it! Thank you so much for sharing. 🙂

  • Reply
    Joanne Bruno
    March 10, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    Pretty sure I could eat curry powder every DAY and never get bored. I actually don’t think I’ve ever had Singapore noodles though, which is a shame! Must try!

    • Reply
      March 11, 2015 at 12:20 pm

      Definitely a must try – especially if you’re a big fan of curry powder! I hope you give it a shot – and enjoy. 🙂

  • Reply
    Rachel @ The Conscious Dietitian
    March 10, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    yummmmmmm Singapore noodles is an old childhood favourite! Definitely like the looks of it with tofu!

    • Reply
      March 11, 2015 at 12:25 pm

      Thanks Rachel! The tofu really does pair nicely with the curried noodles. 🙂

  • Reply
    May 26, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    Although I am from Singapore and this is just totally baffling because there’s just no noodle dish called Singapore noodles here. But this is an amazing dish to whip up here on our sunny island! A mixture of multi-racial spices indeed! 😀

    P.S. Alissa, if you had not step foot into our tiny island, you would always be welcome to try our diverse range of food! 😉

    • Reply
      May 27, 2015 at 2:58 pm

      I’ve heard that this dish didn’t come from Singapore. I agree that it’s pretty amazing though, so I’m glad it did come to be, whatever the origin. 🙂
      I’m sure you’ve got some amazing cuisine in Singapore, and I really hope to get there some day and give it a try!

    • Reply
      May 27, 2015 at 10:56 pm

      same here. I’m Singaporean and I’ve absolutely no idea what Singapore Noodles is. I had to Google it up ><

  • Reply
    September 15, 2015 at 7:30 pm

    Did any of you actually try this mess? The portions are waaay off. 2tblsp of curry powder and of soy sauce is waaaay too much and the end result was ridiculous. *sigh*

    • Reply
      September 8, 2016 at 4:38 am

      I’m glad that I read this message before I made the recipe.

  • Reply
    March 6, 2016 at 8:36 am

    Is it possible to get the nutrition information for the recipes?

    • Reply
      March 6, 2016 at 10:26 pm

      Hi Kelly! We don’t have the nutrition info on hand, but this is a great tool if you’d like to take a crack at it yourself.

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