Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Hot and Sour Soba Noodle Salad

Hot and Sour Soba Noodle

I've been keeping this soba noodle salad recipe a secret for a while now. I discovered it in via the New York Times back in March, and I quickly made these soba noodles my go-to dinner meal. I'm sorry for keeping such a delicious, easy, and healthy recipe a secret from you!

This recipe combines two of my favorite Asian flavors into one: gingery peanut sauce and hot and sour soup. My dad is famous for his peanut sauce recipe, which is always requested when my sister returns home from school. My family and I love hot and sour soup, and I still add a ton of vinegar into my soup because I'm convinced the soup is never sour enough. Clearly, any soba noodle recipe that combines the two is going to be a hit in my book. 

Z hates soba noodles (another article of proof that I must really love him, because who doesn't like soba noodles?), so I put this recipe into heavy rotation when Z was out of town. Since we rarely eat tofu when Z is home (surprise, surprise, he also doesn't like tofu), I used this as my opportunity to marinate some firm tofu in a gingery, garlic peanut paste, and added it on top.

Hot and Sour Soba Noodle

Soba noodles are made from buckwheat, and they have a strong nutty flavor. While they are typically not gluten free, you can sometimes find 100% buckwheat noodles which would be gluten free! 

Hot and Sour Soba Noodle Salad

Recipe via the NYTimes

Note: my version calls for a double amount of garlicky peanut paste that I use to marinate the tofu. Cut the paste in half if only making the noodles. 

Paste for Sauce:
4 tablespoons peanut butter
2 tablespoons soy sauce
4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2-4 teaspoons red pepper oil (start with 2, and add more to taste)
Pinch of cayenne
2 large garlic cloves, minced
4 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
Fresh ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoons sesame oil

4 servings of tofu (drained and pressed to remove water)
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup vegetable broth or chicken broth
1/2 pound Japanese buckwheat noodles
1 cup diced cucumbers

For the paste: Heat the peanut butter for 10 to 15 seconds in a microwave. Combine with soy sauce, vinegar, red pepper oil, cayenne, garlic, ginger, salt, and pepper. Whisk together, and then whisk in sesame oil. 

Spread half of the mixture evenly over tofu, and place in fridge. Let marinate for at least 30 minutes, up to an hour. 

Hot and Sour Soba Noodle

Using remaining paste, whisk in canola oil and broth. Set aside. 

Bring large pot of water to boil, and then add the noodles. When water comes back to a boil, add a cup of cold water to the pot. Allow the water to come back to a boil, and then add another cup of cold water. Have water come to a boil again, and add a third cup of water. When the water comes to a boil, the noodles are done. 

Drain the noodles and toss immediately with the dressing. Add remaining ingredients, including tofu, and toss again. Serve immediately. 

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