Sunday, May 4, 2014

Spicy Soba Noodles with Pan Seared Tofu

soba noodles spicy soba noodles and crispy tofu

This recipe is yet more proof that I put Sriracha in everything. But then again, why WOULDN'T you put Sriracha in everything? It's a delicious, fiery flavour storm. In fact, I may have gotten a little carried away with it the first time I made these soba noodles, because even my spice-loving roommate found the intense spicy after-burn hard to handle. (Clearly she needs to start eating spoonfuls of Sambal Oelek like me. Trial by fire.)

As a result, however, this recipe went through several variations in which I attempted to control the heat without sacrificing on flavour. Because, whatever others may tell you, it's not a goal of mine to set people's throats on fire or give them lessons in heartburn.

It only took three tries before I found the right balance. It's still got a bit of a punch, so be warned. If you're not keen on spice and you always order "mild" burritos, this dish will probably hurt you. Myself, I think it's pretty tame, and would say it has more of a gentle nudge than a punch, but I'm also the type of person who keeps adding chilli oil to her dumpling dipping sauce. (IT'S SO GOOD, GUYS.)

So be warned, this dish is a little spicy, but it's so good, too.

noodles and other good stuff

Spicy Soba Noodles with Pan Seared Tofu
These noodles have it all: crispy, flavourful tofu, loads of crunchy vegetables, and a tangy, spicy sauce. You can easily switch up the vegetables to suit your own tastes, or toss in chickpeas for extra fibre and protein.

Pan-Seared Tofu
350 g extra firm tofu, cubed
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp Sriracha (aka Rooster Sauce)
1 tbsp soy sauce

8 oz soba noodles
2 heads baby bok choy, chopped
2 large carrots, peeled, halved & sliced
1 english cucumber, seeded & sliced
3 green onions, sliced
1/3 cup chopped cilantro

3 tbsp sesame oil
3 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp Sriracha (aka Rooster Sauce)
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp honey

Makes 4 - 6 servings.

marinating golden cubes
soba noodle time
baby bok choy leafy greens
tofu + veg so many noodles

1. Make the tofu. Rinse the tofu and pat dry, then slice into small cubes. Whisk together the sesame oil, Sriracha, and soy sauce in a large bowl, then add the tofu and toss to coat. Let the tofu sit in the marinate for at least 5 minutes, stirring every once and a while to ensure an even coating. Heat a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat, then pour in the tofu cubes, marinade and all. Cook until the bottoms are crispy and a deep golden brown, 5 - 8 minutes, then flip the tofu cubes over and cook on the other side until evenly browned. Once cooked, transfer to a plate lined with paper towel and set aside.

2. Make the noodles. Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil, then add the noodles and cook according to package directions. Soba noodles usually cook quite quickly, so be sure to keep an eye on them, checking for doneness. Once cooked, drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside. Prep the vegetables and cilantro, then toss together with the cooked noodles and tofu in a large bowl.

3. Make the dressing. Whisk everything together in a small bowl or measuring cup, then pour over the noodles and toss to coat evenly. Serve immediately, or keep in the fridge. Leftover will keep in the fridge for up to three days, but this salad is best served the day it's made, when the vegetables are fresh and crunchy.

spicy soba noodles with pan fried tofu


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