Chilled Ginger Sesame Soba Noodles with Grilled Tofu

Chilled Ginger Sesame Soba Noodles with Grilled Tofu

Indian Summer is here and the weather is gorgeous out here in San Francisco. I have been craving a big bowl of cool soba noodles with tons of junk inside! The junk is often the best part of any dish. My favorite thing about this one is how bright and colorful it is. I'll show you how to whip up an absolutely delicious sesame dressing that is savory, with a kick from freshly grated ginger and lemon zest. All the veggies can be substituted with your family's favorites, but edamame, carrots, Shiitakes, and Persian cucumbers are full of nutrients and keep this dish nice and light. I love adding thin strips of fishcake and slivers of green onion to finish it all off. Let's get cookin :) 

What You Need: 

For the Ginger Sesame Dressing:

- 1/4 cup sesame paste (found at any Asian supermarket)

- 2 tbsp soy sauce 

- 2 tbsp sugar

- 2 tbsp rice vinegar

- zest of 1/2 lemon

- juice of 2 lemons

- 1 inch of ginger, peeled and grated

- 1 tsp Sriracha 

- 1/2 tsp sesame oil 

For the Soba noodles:

- 9 oz soba 

- 14 oz package of firm tofu 

- evoo

- salt & pepper

- 1 Persian cucumber

- 3 green onions

- toasted sesame seeds for garnish

- 1 package fishcake 

- 2 cups edamame, shelled (sold frozen) 

- 1 carrot

- 6 oz Shiitake mushrooms

What To Do:

- Start by draining the tofu of all the liquid it's stored in. Wrap the tofu in several layers of paper towels and place a dish on top, weighing it down with whatever you have in the kitchen. I've used a can of diced tomatoes :) This will help to drain off all the excess liquid in the tofu. 

- Time to make the dressing. Whisk all the ingredients together: 1/4 cup sesame paste, 2 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tbsp sugar, 2 tbsp rice vinegar, lemon zest, the juice of 2 lemons, grated ginger, 1 tsp Sriracha, and 1/2 tsp sesame oil. 

- Here are the the bottles of some of the sauces, for reference :) 

- Whisk until smooth and set aside while you prepare the noodles.

- Prepare the edamame according to the package instructions. Generally, you just need to boil the soybeans for about 8 minutes. You can salt them afterwards. 

- Prepare the vegetables and fishcake. Peel and julienne the carrots. Halve the Persian cucumber and slice it into paper-thin slivers. Slice the fishcake into matchsticks. Remove the stems of the mushrooms and slice the mushrooms into 1/2" wide pieces. 

- By now, the tofu should be properly drained. Give it another pat, and unwrap it from the paper towels. Slice it into the size and shapes of your choice. Here's how I sliced mine:

- Heat a grill or skillet with evoo and fry the tofu, seasoning as you wish. You can spice it up, or keep it mellow. Totally up to you! I like using a bit of soy sauce and pepper. Get all the edges nice and crispy!

- Do the same with the Shiitake mushrooms. Heat a skillet with evoo and cook them until nicely browned. Be sure to season them. 

- Soba are thin Japanese noodles made of buckwheat flour. They are usually served chilled with a dipping sauce, or hot in soup. In this dish, we'll be tossing the noodles in the sesame dressing. 

- Follow the cooking instructions on the package. Soba generally only needs to be boiled for a few minutes. Drain the noodles. 

- In a large bowl, toss together all the ingredients! The noodles, mushrooms, fish cake, edamame, cucumber, and carrots. 

Drizzle the noodles with the sesame dressing and toss to coat. 

You're done :) Serve up the noodles with a few pieces of tofu. Garnish with another drizzle of sauce, if you like; as well as toasted sesame seeds and green onions. I love having tons of extra sesame dressing for dipping the tofu in. 

There are so many flavors and textures happening in this dish! I love the versatility of soba - they serve as the perfect base. My favorite part of the sesame dressing is the pop of ginger and lemon. The creaminess of the sauce coats the noodles and veggies and brings it all together. This is a fun, light dish that's perfect for the end of summer. I hope you give it a try :) If you've cooked any recipes from the blog, snap a pic and tag #BrokeAndCooking!