The 5-Minute Dinner I Turn to When It's Been a Loooong Day|Recipes Spots

The 5-Minute Dinner I Turn to When It's Been a Loooong Day

Bowl of noodles with Lahtt Sauce
Simply Recipes / Megan O. Steintrager

With my work as a food writer, a major construction project in my apartment, and lots of activities, my life has been a bit hectic lately. That means dinner needs to be quick and fuss-free. I’ve been turning to my favorite 5-minute meal when it’s been a long day: quick-cooking noodles with veggies, tofu, and an amazing umami-packed jarred chili oil from the brand Lahtt Sauce.

The phrase “faster than takeout” gets thrown around a lot in food media, but it’s not an exaggeration in the case of these delicious noodles. Bonus points for the fact that it is healthy and relatively inexpensive, too.

The Jarred Sauce That Makes My Dinners Faster and Better

I first discovered Lahtt Sauce poking around Thrive Market, but it’s also available on the company website, at Whole Foods and Sprouts, and online from Amazon and Umami Cart. There are several versions, including one made with shrimp and bacon and spicy and medium vegan variations.

I use the medium vegan variety, which gets its umami-rich flavor from shiitake mushrooms, tamari soy sauce, garlic, onions, tomato paste, fermented black beans, chilis, sesame seeds, and sesame oil. It beautifully coats noodles, veggies, and tofu, so no other sauces, spices, or aromatics are needed for a fast, flavorful, and satisfying dinner. 

Lahtt Sauce jar
Lahtt Sauce Co.

How To Make Noodles With Tofu, Vegetables, and Lahtt Sauce

Making these noodles is incredibly easy. I typically only make it for myself, you can scale it up for more people. Here are the ingredients you’ll need for one serving:

  • 1 portion quick-cooking noodles such as soba, lo mein, ramen, udon, or rice noodles
  • About 4 ounces of tofu (any firmness)
  • About 1 cup of fresh or frozen vegetables such as broccoli, asparagus, green beans, or snow peas
  • 1 tablespoon Lahtt Sauce, or more to taste

Set a pot of water to boil for the noodles. While the water is coming to a boil, chop the vegetables and tofu into bite-size pieces. Place the vegetables in a microwave-safe bowl with about 1 teaspoon of water, cover tightly, and zap until crisp-tender, about 2 to 3 minutes for fresh vegetables, and follow the package instructions for frozen vegetables.

When the water boils, add noodles and cook until just tender, then drain and rinse under cold tap water, or follow the package instructions.

Return the noodles to the pot and set it over medium-low heat. Add the vegetables, tofu, and about 1 tablespoon of Lahtt Sauce. Stir until everything is coated in sauce and warmed through, 1 to 2 minutes. Taste, add more sauce if desired, and enjoy! 

Bowl of Noodles with Lahtt Sauce
Simply Recipes / Megan O. Steintrager

10 Ways To Make the Quick Noodles Even Better

While my Lahtt Sauce noodles are super tasty as-is, I do have a few variations for when I’m feeling fancy. Here are some of my favorite add-ins and spins:

  1. Sprinkle the noodles with sesame seeds, togarashi, or furikake before serving. 
  2. Add homemade or store-bought crispy shallots, garlic, or onions.
  3. Add thinly sliced, minced, or grated ginger along with the sauce. I keep ginger in the freezer for this purpose.
  4. Use flavored tofu or baked tofu instead of plain tofu.
  5. Add sesame oil before serving.
  6. Mix in chili crisp for a spicier version. 
  7. Garnish with fresh cilantro before serving.
  8. Use leftover roasted vegetables instead of steamed veggies.
  9. Add sautéed or roasted shiitakes or other mushrooms for even more umami. 
  10. And finally, a classic: top with a fried egg. 

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