Lemongrass Tofu and Rice Noodles (Bun Dau Hu Xao)

Refreshing vegetarian cold noodle salad...Dig in! | recipe from runawayrice.com One of my all-time favorite dishes is Lemongrass Beef and Rice Noodles.  It is so refreshingly light and flavorful with the aromatic lemongrass, fresh greens and herbs and springy noodles.  When I decided to focus more on a vegetarian diet, this was one of the first dishes I revamped by substituting the beef for tofu.  Believe me, you won’t miss the meat.  Using firm tofu makes the dish really hearty and gives it that meaty texture.  The seasonings enhance the tofu without making it overly salty and you can still serve it with a dipping sauce.  This vegetarian version is just as flavorful as the original recipe.  So if you’re looking for a new go-to vegetarian dish, you must give this one a try.   Enjoy!

Watch the video below for instructions.


14 oz firm tofu
1 small leek
1/2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 Tbsp minced lemongrass
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp vegetarian stir-fry sauce
4 oz bean sprouts
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
2 Tbsp crushed roasted peanuts
20 oz cooked rice vermicelli/thin rice noodles

1 bunch mint, plucked and washed
1 bunch cilantro, washed
2 cups chopped green leaf lettuce
1/2 cup carrot and radish pickles
red chilies
1 lime, cut into wedges


Trim off the end of the leek and discard.  Cut off a 1/2-inch section of leek, white part, and finely mince.  Set aside on a small plate.  Cut off a 2-inch section of leek, green part, and then cut into thin strips.  Set aside on the same plate.

Remove the tofu from its packaging and gently rinse with cool water.  Pat the tofu dry using paper towels.  Cut the tofu into strips.

Heat a wok over Medium High heat and when hot add vegetable oil.  Add the minced leeks and lemongrass and stir-fry for 20 seconds.  Add the tofu and pan-fry for 5-6 minutes or until the pieces are golden brown.

Add the remaining leeks.  Drizzle the soy sauce and vegetarian stir-fry sauce over the tofu pieces.  Toss everything together and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Turn off the heat and add the bean sprouts.  Toss together and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

Add freshly ground black pepper.

To assemble the dish, put the chopped green leaf lettuce into a salad bowl.  Add a layer of rice noodles and then the stir-fried lemongrass tofu on top of the noodles.  Add fresh herbs and a generous amount of carrot and radish pickles.  Top with the crushed roasted peanuts.

Serve with Honey Soy Dipping Sauce, a vegetarian dipping sauce or salad dressing.

Yields:  4 servings

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6 Responses to Lemongrass Tofu and Rice Noodles (Bun Dau Hu Xao)

  1. Meg January 11, 2019 at 2:30 pm #

    Yum, this was delicious! I added rice vinegar + tamari + lime juice + sugar to a jar and shook it vigorously to replace the stir-fry sauce. Loved this recipe!

    • Trang January 11, 2019 at 7:23 pm #

      Hi Meg,
      Your stir-fry sauce substitute sounds delicious and I am glad you enjoyed the recipe. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  2. Nienke September 27, 2017 at 5:06 am #

    This recipe looks great, it’s just that “vegetarian stir-fry sauce” doesn’t really give you much info. There are so many sauces used in stir-frying, each with wildly different flavours. Can you at least give an actual name of a kind of sauce?

    • Trang October 18, 2017 at 11:23 am #

      Hi Nienke,
      The brand I used is by Lee Kum Kee. Here’s a link: http://amzn.to/2zjpUVt
      Most vegetarian stir-fry sauces are a combination of water, soy sauce, starch and a mushroom extract for flavoring. Hope that helps!

  3. Bryan O'Blenis July 1, 2015 at 5:03 pm #

    I do believe that I would love to try this light tofu dish as a start on your menu list. Lemongrass is one wonderful herb that is both soothing to the nervous and digestive system that I remember as a kid – and, don’t all kids need nervous soothing and taming? lol.

    Please, don’t spare the huge warm smiles that go along with…

    Bryan O

    • Trang July 3, 2015 at 5:56 pm #

      Hi Bryan,
      I hope you give this tasty recipe a try especially since you’re a fan of lemongrass. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

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