The tofu kind of looks like croutons, but it's not.
I realized this was the first time I've ever prepared tofu. I used the Liz Thompson method of freezing the tofu, thawing it in the fridge, then slicing it into 4 slabs and sandwiching it between two plates lined with dish towels. I then place about 4 Norton Anthologies on top and maybe a Bible. I left it to drain for about twenty minutes while I prepared the broth.
The recipe called for several cups of water, but I used broth. The broth was infused with ginger, scallions, and garlic. The original recipe calls for removing these, but I did not. If I made this recipe again, I would definitely do this. The ginger was a little intense and I couldn't tell if I liked it or not.
Here are the ingredients:
Soba Noodles with Tofu in Ginger Broth (adapted from Body and Soul)
Serves 4 (I don't know what they consider a serving to be because it took us several days to eat all this)
- 8 Scallions (1 bunch approx.). Separate the green and white parts and loosely chop both.
- 2-3 ounces fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 1/4 – 1/2 Teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 8 ounces of soba noodles
- 1 package (14 ounces) extra-firm tofu
- 1 head baby bok choy, roughly chopped (I used two)
- 4 ounces snap peas (about 1.5 cups) trimmed and halved (I didn't measure mine, just used the package that I had)
- 1 red serrano pepper or red pepper, thinly sliced (I used one of my frozen Thai chilies)
- 1 Tablespoon soy sauce (I used shoyu)
- Salt and pepper (I didn't add any, actually)
- Canola or Veg oil for cooking the tofu (I used olive oil)
- Toasted sesame seeds for garnish (original recipe calls for black sesame seeds)
I also added a red bell pepper because I thought it needed a use.
1. Make the broth, add the scallions, ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Let simmer for 20 minutes. Discard solids.
2. While the broth is simmering, prepare the tofu and sesame seeds:
For the tofu: Cut thoroughly drained tofu into small chunks. Heat about 4 Tablespoons of oil (just enough to cover the bottom of a nonstick pan) over high heat. Once it’s hot add your tofu. Let it cook for a few minutes on each side.
Remove the tofu to a paper towel to drain off some of the extra oil.
3. Toast the sesame seeds by adding them to a dry skillet and put them over medium heat. This should only take a minute.
4. After the broth has simmered and the solids have been discarded, add the soy sauce and soba noodles. Cook the noodles as per the package instructions, about 5 minutes. Add the rest of the veggies and cook about 2-3 minutes.
5. Ladle into bowls and top with tofu and toasted sesame seeds.
This was quite nice and perfect for the chilly nights we've been having. I think it'd even be great without the tofu.
Enjoy in the company of a sleepy-eyed cat: