Laurens’ Tofu Steak, Spicy Dan Dan Noodles, and Spicy Cucumber Salad

I couldn’t think of a better person to kick off Dining with Dancers then my fellow foodie, Lauren Janeway. Lauren is a colleague of mine who not only knows how to deliver an epic performance but also an epic meal. Her food will definitely have you happy dancing. Here is her refuel, comfort food.

Lauren Janeway: Ballerina at the Estonian National Ballet. Photo by Stanislav Moshkov

“I like to make this meal when I’ve had a tough day and need a lot of carbs to refuel as well as something that tastes like comfort food but still has protein and vegetables. It’s sweet and spicy and gives me a kick of energy when I’m tired or cold. I also substitute the salad depending what I have in the fridge, sometimes I roast up some broccoli, or fry some red pepper instead. I also used to make this with chicken instead of tofu but in this case I actually like the taste of tofu more!” – Lauren Janeway, ballerina with the Estonian National Ballet



  • 1 tbs+ of chopped garlic
  • Cubed tofu 
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • Squeeze of lemon
  • About 1 tbs of Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbs of soy sauce
  • Pepper
  • (Add water until the liquid covers the tofu fully)

Dan Dan noodles:
(I can’t take credit for this because I got it from TikTok. It’s a Chinese comfort food and it’s so easy and so tasty!)

  • 1-2 tbs of chopped garlic
  • 1 tbs of pepper (fresh cracked is better, or if you have it Szechuan pepper is in the original recipe)
  • 2 tbs sesame seeds
  • Chilli flakes (as much as you can handle, the spicier the better!)
    1.5 tbs of brown sugar
    1 tsp of peanut butter
    1 tablespoon of black vinegar
    2 tablespoons of soy sauce

Cucumber salad:

  • Chopped lettuce and chunks of cucumber
  • Drizzle of sesame oil
  • A splash of soy sauce
  • Lime juice
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbs of white sugar
  • Generous
  • Chilli flakes (or sriracha if you have it)


1. Marinate the Tofu ingredients while you prepare the rest of the meal (or longer) for the most flavor.

2. Add garlic, pepper, sesame seeds and chili in a heat proof bowl. 

3. Then in a small saucepan heat a blend of sesame oil and either vegetable or olive oil about 4-5 tbs total, until smoking or when you drop a seed in it immediately bubbles. Then pour the oil over the previous ingredients and let it sizzle!

4. In the meantime bring water to boil in a separate pot. Once boiling add egg noodles and cook for about 4 minutes.

5. Now add in 1.5 tbs of brown sugar and a tsp of peanut butter into your previous mixture. 

6. Add 1 tablespoon of black vinegar and 2 tablespoons of soy sauce.

7.When your egg noodles are done cooking, add some starchy water to the mixture and stir well

8. Add the noodles to the sauce and mix up. 

9. At the end, fry up the tofu in a pan until golden brown, I like to add some of the marinade back into the pan near the end to make it extra saucy.

For the salad:

  1. Combine chopped lettuce and chunks of cucumber to a bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl mix sesame oil, a splash of soy sauce, lime juice, and apple cider vinegar with a tbs of white sugar and a generous amount of chilli flakes (or sriracha if you have it) I usually approximate these ingredients but heavier with the lime and less soy than in the other parts of the meal.
  3. Mix well to dissolve the sugar. 
  4. Stir in with lettuce and cucumbers.

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