clock clock icon cutlery cutlery icon flag flag icon folder folder icon instagram instagram icon pinterest pinterest icon print print icon squares squares icon
Zen Noodles

Zen Noodle Bowl

  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2
  • Category: Main, Bowl,
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Japanese


Zen Noodle Bowl- loaded up with fresh seasonal veggies and a delicious Ponzu Dressing, this healthy bowl can be made with seared ahi tuna or sesame ginger tofu. Vegan and Grain-free adaptable! ( Try it with zucchini noodles!) 


  • 4 ounces dry soba noodles  ( or rice, rice noodles, GF noodles, or cooked zucchini noodles)
  • 6 ounces ahi tuna or tofu ( see notes)
  • 12 tablespoons coconut or high temp cooking oil
  • 2 radishes ( watermelon radishes are pretty)
  • 1 Turkish cucumber, sliced ( or carrot, shredded)
  • ½ avocado, sliced
  • garnish- scallions, chives, chive blossoms
  • handful sprouts- sunflower or daikon are nice
  • other options: grated veggies like carrots, cabbage, kohlrabi, beets, snow or snap peas, edamame, fresh peas, daikon, baby spinach or greens.

Sesame crust

  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon granulated onion or garlic
  • ¼  teaspoon sugar ( optional, helps caramelize)
  • ¼ teaspoon chili flakes

Ponzu Dressing:

  • ¼ cup orange juice ( juice from ½ an orange)
  • ⅛ cup soy sauce or GF Liquid Aminos or coconut aminos. ( Smoked shoyu is nice too)
  • ¼ cup mirin ( or sub a mix of 2 teaspoons honey and 3 tablespoons water)
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • ⅛ cup toasted sesame oil
  • ¼ teaspoon hondashi granules ( optional- adds a nice smoky depth, but not vegan)
  • pinch salt and pepper


Cook noodles according to directions, drain and set aside.

While noodles are cooking, pat dry tuna. Mix the Sesame Crust ingredients together on a small plate and coat all sides of tuna, pressing it firmly into the flesh. See notes for tofu.

Make the dressing, set aside.

Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet until smoking hot. You want the pan to be very hot- in order to create the golden crust, without cooking the ahi all the way through.  Sear all sides of the tuna for 45-60 seconds on each side, or until the crust is golden. Remove from heat and place on paper towel. Let stand 5 minutes. With a sharp chefs knife, slice across grain into 6-8 thin pieces. The goal is to have the inside nice and rare and but the outside seared and crispy. The secret is the very hot pan. 🙂

Divide the noodles among two bowls. Divide the ahi, cucumber, radishes, avocado and sprouts among the two bowls. Sprinkle veggies and noodles with a little salt. Top with scallions or chives or chive blossoms.

Spoon a generous amount of  Ponzu dressing over top and serve ( you most likely won’t need all the dressing)


If keeping this vegan, serve it up with Sesame Ginger Baked Tofu  or simple pan-seared tofu, seasoned with salt and pepper.

Keywords: noodle bowl, asian noodles, sesame ahi, zen bowl, zen noodle bowl