Silken Tofu Noodles with Braised Mushrooms

Silken Tofu Noodles with Braised Mushrooms and Bamboo Shoots.
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There isn’t much in this world that I adore more than noodles. The chewy strands make me positively poetic. But I will spare you my romantic musings about this oh-so-special carb and get to the point. Noodles are my favorite and today’s Silken Tofu Noodles are my current reigning favorite noodles, making this dish my favorite-favorite. If that’s not a ringing endorsement for this bowl, I don’t know what is. So what are we looking at here? You’re looking at a tangle of Shanghai Noodles dressed in a creamy ginger-heavy silken tofu sauce topped with braised shiitake mushrooms and bamboo shoots, crisp cucumbers, sesame seeds, and chili crisp. In a word, this dish is divine. 

Shiitake mushrooms on a cutting board.

We’re going to kick things off with the shiitake mushrooms. Remove the stems from the mushrooms and set the caps aside. You can either discard the stems or you can save them for stock. They add a gorgeous layer of umami to any veggie stock. Once the mushrooms are prepped, pour sake, mirin, and soy sauce into a small saucepan. I added a little sugar for some added sweetness but that is optional. The mirin does bring a fair amount of sweetness to the party but I wanted to amp that up just a hair.

Braising shiitake mushrooms and bamboo shoots in a large skillet with soy sauce.

Bring the soy sauce mixture up to a spirited simmer while swirling the pan occasionally. Wait for the sugar to fully dissolve. Add your mushrooms and a can of bamboo shoots to the skillet. Make sure the bamboo shoots are drained and rinsed. We don’t want to introduce any extra liquid or salt to the braising mixture. Cover and leave the mushrooms to braise for 15 minutes.

Julienned cucumber on a cutting board.

While the mushrooms are braising, we’re going to prep the rest of the noodles toppings. Julienne a couple of mini cucumbers and finely chop three scallions. I like to prep the finishing touches at this point because once the mushrooms are done, we will be short on time. When something is delicious, hot, and ready it doesn’t pay to dawdle. And speaking of which, let’s prep some garlic and ginger for the dressing while we’re at it. And all you have to do here is peel a sizable hunk of ginger and peel a clove of garlic.

Braised bamboo shoots and mushrooms in a large slotten spoon in a skillet.
The braising liquid from the mushrooms in a glass.

A note about working with raw garlic. Some people find raw garlic to be overwhelming almost spicy on the palette. I quite like the slight burn of raw garlic but, if you don’t agree with me, feel free to sauté it briefly. This will give the dressing a slightly more mellow garlic note and add some caramelization as well. You can also sauté the ginger alongside the garlic if that is more appealing to you as well.

The creamy silken tofu dressing in a glass bowl.

Once the mushrooms are tender and the bamboo shoots have absorbed a solid amount of the braising liquid, drain them. Retain the braising liquid and transfer the mushrooms and bamboo shoots to a bowl. Try your best to keep them warm. Now, let’s put the silken tofu into these Silken Tofu Noodles. Place a block of silken tofu in a food processor. Add the garlic and ginger you prepped earlier and a 1/3 cup of the braising liquid. Add a couple of teaspoons of sesame oil and a couple of teaspoons of salt and blitz until a smooth dressing forms.

Silken tofu noodles in a large bowl ready to be tossed.

I kept the amount of braising liquid low in the dressing because I didn’t want to thin it out too much. We want a dressing that is viscous enough to cling to the noodles. I did find that the braising liquid alone didn’t bring enough salinity to the dressing, so I chose to add a little salt. I chose salt over other sodium bombs such as soy sauce so I wouldn’t introduce any more liquid to the dressing.

Silken Tofu Noodles with Braised Mushrooms and Bamboo Shoots.

Plop your cooked, drained, and rinsed Shanghai noodles in a bowl and pour the dressing over top. Add some toasted sesame seeds and a ton of fresh ground pepper. I mean it, really go to town with that pepper. It makes the noodles so much more compelling. A quick note about the noodles – the Shanghai noodles I used contain egg, which makes this dish vegetarian but not vegan. But if you are vegan, you can easily swap the noodles for an eggless variety and enjoy a vegan noodle bowl. Some noodle varieties that are commonly vegan are rice noodles, ramen, udon, soba, and somen. There are, of course, many more noodles to choose from. But be sure to always check the back of the packages you’re considering to make sure they are vegan. Okay, back to the bowls.

Silken Tofu Noodles with Braised Mushrooms and Bamboo Shoots.

Divide the noodles into bowls and top with a few shiitakes and bamboo shoots. Finish the bowls with cucumber, finely chopped scallions, and a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds. And finally, add a drizzle of chili crisp. This is totally optional by the way if you are heat averse.

And that’s everything you need to know about these Silken Tofu Noodles with Braised Mushrooms. This dish is divinely slurpable, vegetarian, and loaded with protein. In my humble opinon, these noodles are the perfect midweek nosh.


Silken Tofu Noodles with Braised Mushrooms and Bamboo Shoots.

Silken Tofu Noodles with Braised Mushrooms

These Silken Tofu Noodles feature chewy noodles dressed in a creamy silken tofu ginger dressing topped with soy braised mushrooms, bamboo shoots, and crisp cucumber.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Servings 4


  • 1 Large skillet
  • 1 Food Processor
  • 1 Large pot


  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup sake
  • ½ cup mirin
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 200g (7oz) shiitake mushrooms stems removed
  • 1 (199ml, 7fl oz) can bamboo shoots drained and rinsed
  • 1 block silken tofu
  • 1 clove garlic peeled
  • 1 (1-inch) knob ginger peeled
  • ½ lime juiced
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 400g, 14oz Shanghai Noodles**
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 2 mini cucumbers julienned
  • 3 scallions finely chopped
  • Chili crisp for drizzling, optional


  • Pour soy sauce, sake, mirin, and sugar into a large skillet and place it over medium heat. Bring the mixture up to a simmer, swirling the pan occasionally until the sugar dissolves. Add the mushrooms and bamboo shoots and reduce the heat to low. Cover and let braise for 15 minutes.
    ½ cup soy sauce, ½ cup sake, ½ cup mirin, 1 tbsp granulated sugar, 200g (7oz) shiitake mushrooms, 1 (199ml, 7fl oz) can bamboo shoots
  • Once the mushrooms and bamboo shoots are done, drain them retaining the braising liquid. Transfer the mushrooms and bamboo shoots to a bowl. Cover and keep warm until ready to serve.
  • Place a large pot of water on to boil. While you're waiting for the water to boil, place the tofu, garlic, ginger, lime juice, sesame oil, salt, and a ⅓ cup of the braising liquid in a food processor. Blitz until smooth.
    1 block silken tofu, 1 clove garlic, 1 (1-inch) knob ginger, 2 tsp sesame oil, 2 tsp salt, ½ lime
  • Your water should be boiling by now. Add the noodles and cook according to the package's directions. It should only take a few minutes. Drain and rinse the noodles in hot water.
    400g, 14oz Shanghai Noodles**
  • Place the noodles in a large bowl and pour the dressing over top. Add the sesame seeds and fresh ground pepper and toss to coat.
    2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds, fresh ground pepper
  • Divide the noodles across four bowls and top them with the mushrooms and bamboo shoots, cucumber, scallions, and additional toasted sesame seeds. Finish the bowls with a drizzle of chili crisp, if desired. Serve immediately.
    2 mini cucumbers, 3 scallions, Chili crisp


** If you want to make this dish fully vegan swap the Shanghai noodles for udon, somen, soba, or rice noodles. 
Keyword bamboo shoots, cucumber, ginger, noodles, shiitakes, silken tofu

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