The very first food blog I ever read was 101 Cookbooks. Wasn’t it everyone’s first food blog? Heidi has a unique sense of ingredients, and the way she photographs and writes about her dishes makes it seem like you’re in her kitchen eating with her.
One of the ingredients she introduced me to was Soba Noodles. It bears repeating that until college, I mostly ate a non-exploratory diet, so something as wild as Chinese noodles was unheard of by me. Now I’m a big fan of Soba Noodles, using them in oriental flavored meals as a way to satisfy my pasta craving without having to make Italian. They are made from a combination of whole wheat and buckwheat, giving them a unique texture that I prefer over whole-wheat Italian pastas actually.
To give this meal some unique flavors, I’m using ingredients that some might not be familiar with. First, I used Miso Paste to flavor the tofu. Miso is a traditional Japanese paste that is made from fermenting soy. If you’ve ever had Miso Soup before while out for sushi, this is what it is made from. It’s high in B12 and works as a probiotic. Gomasio is a combination of dry roasted sesame seeds and sea salt, which is sprinkled on top of the noodles. It is low in sodium and actually makes a good replacement for table salt. I like to use it whenever I’m making Asian food. Both items can be found at your local heath food stores.
This dish came out of a need to create a quick, but healthy, weeknight meal. Our go-to around this house was always some sort of vegetable filled pasta, but I wanted to bring something new to the mix. Soba Noodles cook very fast, so really the longest part is waiting for the water to boil. Start by cooking the tofu, while you prep your other ingredients and the water boils. If you need a healthy dinner, you can make this in a flash!
Spring Soba Noodles
1 Tablespoon of Safflower Oil
1 Vegetable Bullion Cube
1 Tablespoon of Miso Paste
1 Package of Extra Firm Tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
2 Tablespoons of Shyou, divided in half
1 Package of Soba Noodles
1 Bunch of Bok Choy
2 Heads of Broccoli, chopped in small pieces
1 Bunch of Spring Onion, chopped
In a large skillet, heat the Oil on medium, dissolving the Miso and Bouillon Cube in it. Add the tofu and Red Pepper Flakes to the Oil, and letting the Tofu brown, stirring frequently.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil with 1 Tablespoon of the Shyou. Add the Soba Noodles to the water. Place a steaming basket above the noodles, and steam the Bok Choy. Two minutes before the Soba Noodles are done cooking, add the Broccoli to the water. Once the Soba Noodles are done, remove the steaming Bok Choy, setting it aside, and reserve 1 Cup of the cooking liquid before draining out the Noodles and Broccoli.
Add the reserved cup of cooking liquid, Noodles, Broccoli, and remaining Shyou to the large skillet with the Tofu. Toss everything together while the cooking liquid evaporates. Tongs work well to do this.
Plate the Noodles, topping them with the Spring Onion and Gomasio. Serve with the Bok Choy, which can be drizzled with Olive Oil, Salt, and Pepper to taste. Serves 6.