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This carrot noodle stir fry packs a nutritional punch! It's carrot noodles, crispy tofu, and tender bok choy wok-fried in a ginger sesame sauce. It's a quick and easy vegan meal for weeknights, and it's ready in just 30 minutes!
This carrot noodle stir fry is the perfect plant-based dinner. It's a light but super satisfying meal with an irresistible Asian sauce that even a vegetable skeptic will enjoy. It's quick to make with simple ingredients and you can feel good about eating (and serving) it any day of the week!
What you'll love about this carrot noodle stir fry
You can probably tell from the pictures but this carrot noodle stir fry is jam packed with healthy goodness. Here's why you'll love it:
- It's a great way to take in a lot of veggies – even people who don't love carrots are intrigued by carrot noodles!
- When carrot noodles are cooked at high-heat they become sweet and nutty tasting.
- The crispy tofu makes it a good source of plant-based protein.
- It's a vegan, gluten-free, and low-carb meal.
- The sauce is so good!
This recipe has three components: the sauce, the tofu, and the carrot noodles.
- Rice vinegar + soy sauce: rice vinegar is mildly sweet and slightly sour, while soy sauce adds umami and saltiness to the sauce. Use gluten-free soy sauce if needed.
- Cornstarch, dark sesame oil, and minced ginger: cornstarch helps thicken the sauce to coat the noodles, dark sesame oil adds a rich toasted sesame flavor, and ginger produces a wonderful warming taste.
- Brown sugar + sriracha: brown sugar adds a bit of sweetness and sriracha brings the heat. You can also use chili garlic sauce in place of the sriracha, or omit it for a less spicy (aka kid-friendly) version.
- Juice from one lime
The crispy tofu:
- Coconut oil: coconut oil has a high smoke point, making it a good choice for frying.
- Tofu: we use medium organic tofu but firm tofu also works well.
- Soy sauce: soy sauce gives the tofu a bit of flavor.
The carrot noodle stir fry:
- Carrots: when making carrot noodles, we try to use the larger, longer carrots. Longer carrots equals longer noodles.
- Coconut oil: our choice of oil for sautéing the carrots.
- Bok choy: boy choy is a well-known Chinese green that cooks up tender and sweet. You can use baby bok choy or even spinach if that's what you have on hand.
- Cilantro, lime slices, and sesame seeds: optional, for serving. You could also add sliced green onions.
How to make carrot noodle stir fry
You're going to love how simple it is to cook a carrot noodle stir fry in just a few easy steps:
- Start by whisking all the sauce ingredients together in a bowl.
- Pat the tofu dry (this is key for crispy tofu). Toss it in cornstarch, and fry it until it's browned and crispy. Then toss the crispy tofu with the soy sauce.
- While tofu fries, prep your carrot noodles.
- Heat your wok to cook the carrot noodles and bok choy until just soft. Pour in the sauce and cook until it thickens to coat the carrots. Stir in the crispy tofu, garnish, and serve!
How to make carrot noodles
Don't worry, if you don't have a spiralizer you can still make carrot noodles. A spiralizer easily turns vegetables and fruits into noodles but you can also use a julienne peeler, or a regular vegetable peeler.
Simply lay the carrot flat on the cutting board, and hold the peeler in one hand and run it from the top of the carrot to the bottom. Rotate the carrot every few peels until the carrot gets too small to handle.
Count on 2-3 carrots per person, and if your carrots are organic there's no need to peel them! Carrot noodles are ready when they are al dente (or just begin to soften).
Can I make this refined sugar-free?
Yes! To make the sauce refined sugar-free, swap the brown sugar for maple syrup or honey.
Would zoodles work instead of carrot noodles?
Absolutely! Using zucchini noodles or other vegetable noodles will give this dish a slightly different taste but they work equally well.
How long do the leftovers keep?
For the best taste and texture, this meal is best enjoyed right away. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. The leftovers can be warmed up or eaten cold straight out of the fridge!
Can I use other vegetables?
For sure! Other quick-cooking vegetables like bell peppers, snow peas, mushrooms, edamame, cabbage, broccoli, and green beans work great in this stir fry.
Ginger Sesame Sauce
- 2 tablespoons EACH: rice vinegar and soy sauce (gluten-free, if needed)
- 1 tablespoon EACH: cornstarch, dark sesame oil, and minced ginger
- 1 teaspoon EACH: brown sugar and sriracha
- 3 cloves garlic (finely minced)
- Juice from 1 lime
The Crispy Tofu
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 16 ounce package of medium tofu (cut into squares)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce (gluten-free, if needed)
The Carrot Noodle Stir Fry
- 5 large carrots
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 3 baby bok choy
- Cilantro, lime slices, and sesame seeds (to serve)
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the ginger sesame sauce ingredients.2 tablespoons EACH: rice vinegar and soy sauce, 1 tablespoon EACH: cornstarch, dark sesame oil, and minced ginger, 1 teaspoon EACH: brown sugar and sriracha, 3 cloves garlic, Juice from 1 lime
- Dry the tofu with paper towels. Heat the coconut oil in a large, non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the tofu and cook until it's golden and crispy Remove the tofu from the pan, place it into a small dish, and toss it with soy sauce.16 ounce package of medium tofu, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- While the tofu is frying, use your spiralizer to make noodles from the carrots. You could also use a julienne peeler or cut the carrots into long, thin strips with a sharp knife.5 large carrots
- Heat the oil in a wok or a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the carrot noodles and baby bok choy and toss a few times. Cover the pan and let the noodles cook for about 2 minutes. Just when the noodles start to soften, add the ginger sesame sauce and toss to coat. Once the sauce thickens (in about 1 minute), remove the pan from the heat and stir in the crispy tofu. Serve topped with any or all of the garnishes.1 tablespoon coconut oil, 3 baby bok choy, Cilantro, lime slices, and sesame seeds
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.