Mary+Flowers

Ciao!

My name is Mary.  I love cooking healthy food for family & friends, making specialty coffee, wine tasting, finding great beauty products, traveling, and organizing everything. I document it all here! xo

buckwheat soba noodles with crispy tofu & veggies

buckwheat soba noodles with crispy tofu & veggies

{vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free, vegetarian}

buckwheat soba noodles with crispy tofu & veggies
buckwheat soba noodles with crispy tofu & veggies

I usually turn to pasta for a simple mid-week dinner, but things changed a couple weeks ago when my friend Amber came over with a soba noodle recipe from A Modern Way to Eat. She also taught me how to knit that same evening, but I'll save that story for another time. Anyhow, since then, I've been exploring different recipes and enjoying the fresh flavors and crisp texture unique to soba noodle dishes.

buckwheat soba noodles with crispy tofu & veggies
buckwheat soba noodles with crispy tofu & veggies

Another plus is that soba noodles can be served warm or cold--meaning you can make this recipe, or recipe of your choosing, ahead of time.  Olympic dinner party with soba noodles and white wine anyone???

buckwheat soba noodles with crispy tofu & veggies
buckwheat soba noodles with crispy tofu & veggies

Did you know that soba just means buckwheat in Japanese? Most soba noodles are naturally gluten-free given they are made from 100% buckwheat flour.  However, some are mixed with wheat flour so if you have a gluten sensitivity, be sure to check the ingredients on the package.   Amber suggested these 100% buckwheat noodles, and I've been using them ever since.   You can get them at Whole Foods and most natural grocers, or other brands of 100% buckwheat soba noodles from any local Japanese market.

buckwheat soba noodles with crispy tofu & veggies
buckwheat soba noodles with crispy tofu & veggies

This recipe was inspired by Sylvia Fountaine's jade noodles. Her blog, Feasting at Home, has countless recipes that tend to be healthy, straight forward and always delicious.  I made a few adjustments, including directions on making homemade baked tofu.  Additionally, I left out the asparagus as I have that gene...I also swapped out snow peas for sugar snap peas for some extra crunch.

buckwheat soba noodles with crispy tofu & veggies
buckwheat soba noodles with crispy tofu & veggies

Be sure to keep an eye on the noodles as you're boiling them--you don't want to over cook them.  I found that cooking the noodles a minute or so less than the suggested time made them perfectly al dente.  You can make this recipe simpler by purchasing pre-baked tofu as Slyvia suggests, but I will say that the homemade baked tofu recipe below yields an incredibly crispy and delicious texture and flavor...so, you decide. 

Bon appetit!

buckwheat soba noodles with crispy tofu & veggies
buckwheat soba noodles with crispy tofu & veggies
buckwheat soba noodles with crispy tofu & veggies

Total: 40 min (tofu drains for 30 min)| Prep: 20 min | Cook: 15-20 min | Serves 2


//Tools//

large pot

large strainer

large spoon

saute pan

sheet pan

parchment paper

measuring cups & spoons

medium mixing bowl

deep serving bowls

chopsticks (or forks if you prefer)

 

//Ingredients//

baked tofu

16 oz of extra firm tofu (1 package)

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

1 tablespoon soy sauce (I used gluten-free tamari)

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

*2 teaspoons peeled, minced fresh ginger

1 tablespoon water

**1 teaspoon chili paste plus more for a spicier flavor and to serve

1-2 tablespoons arrowroot flour or cornstarch

 

Ginger dressing

1/3 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

1/3 cup tamari soy sauce, or soy sauce of choosing

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

2 teaspoons maple syrup or agave

2 tablespoons peeled, minced fresh ginger

1 tablespoon chili paste

juice of one lime

 

other ingredients

1 pack of buckwheat soba noodles (I used Eden Selected); learn more about cooking buckwheat noodles here!

1 bunch (about 8 oz) broccolini, ends cut off (about one-inch)

3/4 cup steamed and shelled edamame (they sell it prepackaged or frozen at most grocery stores)

1 cup sugar snap peas

1 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced

4 cups spinach

black toasted sesame seeds, about 2-3 tablespoons

1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped

1 lime, sliced

 

//Directions//

Slice the tofu block in half lengthwise.  Place each piece side by side, between two folded dish towels. Put a cookbook or heavier object on top to help press the water out of the tofu.   Let sit for at least 30 minutes or longer. Next, whisk together the ingredients for both the tofu marinade, save the arrowroot, and ginger dressing in separate dishes. 

Preheat the oven to 450 F and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.  Once the tofu has drained, slice it into one-inch cubes and place into a deep bowl.    Pour the marinade over the tofu and toss until evenly coated.  Next, mix the arrowroot into the tofu.  Spread out evenly onto the lined sheet pan; save the remaining marinade to add to the noodles later if desired, or when sauteing the mushrooms.  Bake  the tofu for 15-20 minutes, flipping it over after about 10 minutes. 

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil.  At the same time, heat the saute pan over medium-high and add in the sliced mushrooms.  Cover for a minute or so to allow the mushrooms to release their moisture.  Then, add a few tablespoons of the ginger dressing to the mushrooms and/or the left over tofu marinade.  Continue to cook on medium heat until the mushrooms are tender, about 5-7 minutes, adding more dressing as necessary.  Check on the tofu and remove when it has a browned and crispy texture.

Once the water is boiling, cook the noodles as directed (I usually cook them at least one to two minutes below the suggested time, as they will continue to cook once drained) .   In the last minute of cooking the noodles, throw in the broccolini and sugar snap peas.  After one minute, or when the veggies turn bright green, pour all the contents through a large strainer and rinse with cold water. 

Return the noodles and blanched vegetables to the pot. Immediately add in the edamame and spinach, one handful at a time. Pour about half the ginger dressing into the pot.  Mix and taste, adding more dressing as desired.  Dish the noodles into deep bowls and top with the tofu, black sesame seeds, plenty of cilantro, squeeze of lime and some extra chili paste.

 

//Notes//

*Here's a trick for peeling ginger that my dear friend Amber taught me.  In a nutshell, cut the ends off the ginger knob.  Prop up the ginger vertically and, using the tip of a spoon and medium pressure, peel the skin of the ginger knob from top to bottom.  Continue peeling vertically and rotating the ginger knob until all skin is removed. 

**I like things super spicy so I used about one heaping tablespoon. 

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