How I had all these ingredients miraculously in my kitchen before making this recipe, I don’t know. But even if you don’t, it’s worth a trip to the store to gather the power that makes these soba noodles shine.
Soba noodles are my favorite because of this chewable texture they have. With regular al dente pasta, sometimes I feel like I’m chewing for ever. Soba’s different. It’s not soft or mushy, but it’s also not jaw-aching, and it also has this great nutty flavor that goes well with Asian cuisine.
This Asian-inspired dish is packed with flavor. Between the ginger, mushrooms, cilantro and sesame oil, there’s no need to worry that the tofu will turn out bland. Feel free to get creative and add others vegetables you might have on hand, like snow peas or water chestnuts. Sadly, those were two items I did not have in my fridge at the time, but I’m sure they’d make great additions.
slightly modified via NYT
- -1 pound broccoli, crowns broken or cut into small florets, stems peeled and diced
- -2 Tbsp. olive or peanut oil
- -8 oz. baby portobello mushrooms, stems removed, caps quartered
- -2 large garlic cloves, minced
- -2 tsp. minced fresh ginger
- -6 scallions, sliced
- -1/2 tsp. hot red pepper flakes
- -1/2 pound firm tofu, drained on paper towels and cubed
- -1 cup vegetable stock
- -2 Tbsp. soy sauce (more to taste)
- -1/2 pound soba noodles
- -1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- -2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
- Steam broccoli in steamer basket for 1 minute to blanch. Drain and set aside. Fill the pot with water and bring to a boil
- Heat a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat and add 1 Tbsp. of the oil. When it is rippling hot, add the mushrooms and sear for 5 minutes, stirring from time to time. Turn the heat to medium, add the garlic, ginger, scallions, and red pepper flakes and cook for another 60 seconds, until fragrant, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and transfer the contents of the pan to a bowl.
- Return the pan to medium-high heat and heat the remaining tablespoon of oil. Add tofu and sear on both sides until browned, about 1 minute per side. Add 1 tsp. soy sauce and stir together. Return the mushroom mixture and the broccoli to the pan. Add the stock and soy sauce, bring to a simmer and turn the heat to low. Simmer uncovered for a 2-3 minutes, until the broccoli is crisp-tender, then turn off the heat.
- Meanwhile, add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook soba until al dente, about 5 minutes. Drain and toss with the mushrooms and the broccoli. Heat through, add the cilantro and sesame oil, toss together, and serve.