I got my inspiration for this recipe from a few different places. First and foremost, DreamyLeaf’s Teriyaki Glazed Tofu Steaks recipe — she posted a picture on Instagram and though I’ve never been a big tofu person, I almost started drooling just looking at it. I also had some inspiration from a meal I had at Canteen in Toronto, where I had my first taste of soba noodles. And, as usual, I just kind of threw my own random tastes and ideas in there, as well.
This recipe is high on detail during the instructions phase, as it uses a lot of ingredients that I wasn’t very used to cooking with. So I tailored it for someone like me who’d need a little extra help with the unfamiliar parts. It’s also VERY flavorful (tofu is basically a sponge that soaks up whatever flavor you cook it in) and quite cost effective, as well — as usual, my pantry contained many of the ingredients for this sauce already, so it ended up costing me about $4.00 per serving for this amazing meal. That’s definitely worth the extra cooking time to me!
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 20-30 minutes
Yield: 5 entree portions
1 teaspoon ginger paste
2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
3 tablespoons honey or agave syrup or maple syrup
6 tablespoons tamari
2 tablespoons rice vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon corn starch
1 block of extra firm gluten free tofu (about 1 lb.), pressed gently into paper towels to remove extra water and cut into slices
6 oz. of your favorite mushrooms (I used cremini), sliced with stems removed
1 bunch of asparagus, chopped
1 bunch of broccoli (about 2 medium-sized heads), chopped
6 oz. soba noodles (The traditional Japanese version of soba noodles is made with buckwheat flour and is naturally gluten-free, but check yours if you’re gluten free!)
Your favorite high-temperature oil (I used coconut)
Salt and pepper
- Mix all sauce ingredients together in a bowl and set aside. When you put in the corn starch, make sure to lightly sprinkle it over the top instead of just throwing it in as a clump — otherwise, it’ll stay a clump in your bowl.
- To make the soba noodles, bring a pot of water (no salt!) to a boil and place the noodles into the water, giving a quick stir to make sure all of the noodles are covered. Reduce the heat to medium/low so that the water is just at a simmer. Cook according to the time on your package (mine cooked for 5 minutes). When cooking is done, drain into a colander and immediately begin to run cold water over the noodles while massaging them through your fingers and the cold water. Continue this until you’re pretty sure that you’ve gotten most of the starch off of the noodles and they are not sticking together very much. If you skip these last steps, you will end up with a large, gooey pile of noodles for your dinner. Divide your noodles into portions and plate them.
- Cook your mushrooms. Heat a pot over medium/high heat and add 1/2 tablespoon of your cooking oil. Throw in your sliced mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 9 minutes, or until mushrooms are evenly browned and tender. Remove from heat.
- Stir fry your asparagus and broccoli. Heat a wok over medium/high heat until it’s heated enough for a droplet of water to sizzle when it hits the wok. Coat your wok with your cooking oil, swirling to coat evenly. Add your chopped vegetables and season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 5-7 minutes (depending on the size of your chop), or until vegetables are still firm but tender. Remove from heat and mix with mushrooms.
- Pan fry your tofu. Add 1-2 tablespoons to a large sauté pan and heat over medium/high heat. Tofu should be cooked until it develops a golden brown seer on each side, flipping fairly often so that it doesn’t stick to the pan. When the tofu is ready, dump your sauce into the pan and cook for another 2-4 minutes, so sauce thickens. Flip the tofu at least once during this process so that it really picks up the flavor of the sauce. Make sure to watch and don’t over-cook during this process, or you’ll end up with none of this lovely sauce to put on your soba noodles.
- Plate your vegetables next to the soba noodles and add the tofu on top of the soba noodles, drizzling some extra sauce over the noodles for flavor. This meal tastes fantastic both hot and cold — so you may want to re-warm it for a few minutes if you like it hot, or let it sit for a few minutes to cool down. I liked it best cold.