If you are following the Meatless Monday movement, I have your dinner tonight planned out for you. You can get the Soba Noodles in Pepper Sauce With Tofu and Vegetables done in about 30 minutes and have plenty of leftovers for lunch tomorrow.
My friend at work told me about the soba noodles she made from Pinch Of Yum, and I thought the recipe sounded flavorful and easy to make and printed it out a few weeks ago. I finally made the dish yesterday with a few changes. THIS is the original recipe. I'm not going to retype it because I followed it pretty closely. Instead, I'll tell you the changes I made and my thoughts on the final product.
Instead of using spinach, I sautéed sliced red pepper and pencil-thin asparagus to add to the dish once the soba noodles were cooked.
The sauce is made with ginger, garlic, honey, mirin, soy sauce, ground black peppercorns, and cornstarch. If I were to make it again, I'd add less honey and mirin. Also, my friend who made the recipe said she skipped the cornstarch and the result wasn't as sticky and gloopy as mine. This may be a good idea!
You basically sauté cubed firm tofu in a bit of sesame oil and then add a spoon full of the sauce. Then you sauté the barely cooked soba noodles in a bit more oil and add the rest of the sauce to cook the noodles until they are soft.
That's when you add back the tofu and the vegetables and garnish the whole dish with sesame seeds: I used black and white.
My thoughts: this dish definitely gets better after a night in the fridge. I ate the leftovers cold for lunch today and liked them better that way. If you are going to make it, I recommend mincing garlic and ginger and adding them to the sauce that way instead of adding all the sauce ingredients to a food processor.
Also, fresh herbs such as basil or cilantro would brighten up this dish as would fresh lime juice.
Have you cooked with soba noodles? How do you use them?
Also, I mistakenly bought a bottle of mirin because I did not realize I already had a bottle at home: what other dishes can I make that will use mirin?