Otsu (Sesame Buckwheat Noodles)

This is a quick, easy, and very fresh tasting recipe with soba noodles.  If you haven’t had these before, they’re an earthy and flavourful alternative to regular pasta.  The trick to this recipe is the sauce, it’s tangy, sweet, and a bit spicy.  Adapted from 101 Cookbooks.

Ingredients

For the sauce

  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1″ piece ginger, grated
  • 1 T honey
  • 3/4 t cayenne
  • 1 T fresh lemon juice
  • 3 T rice vinegar
  • 4 T soy sauce
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 T toasted sesame oil

For the noodles

  • 12 oz dried soba noodles
  • 12 oz extra firm tofu
  • 1/4 c fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 medium cucumber, cut in half lengthwise, seeded, and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 c toasted sesame seeds
  • Vegetable oil for cooking

Instructions

  1. For the dressing, combine lemon zest, ginger, honey, and cayenne.
  2. Then add lemon juice, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and combine.
  3. Drain the tofu, press out the extra water, and cut it into small cubes.
  4. Heat several T of oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, and cook the tofu cubes until they are crispy. To do this, let the tofu sit in the pan, covered, for about 3 minutes on each side before flipping/turning.  The key here is not to stir the tofu too much.
  5. Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil, and cook soba for 3-4 minutes (or whatever the packaging says), until it is just tender.  Drain and immediately rinse under cold water.
  6. When the noodles are done cooking, in a large bowl combine the soba, cilantro, tofu, green onions, cucmber, and dressing.  Toss until well combined, and serve covered with sesame seeds.

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