If a noodle salad sounds a bit like something you would only eat when it’s so hot and sunny outside the mere thought of turning on the stove is enough to break you out in a sweat, I think this recipe might just change your mind. Not only because it’s quick and healthy, but also because it’s full of hearty and warming flavours. When you go on the hunt for ingredients, try if you can find authentic, Japanese soba noodles made with only buckwheat flour and salt. You will be rewarded with a springier texture and a nuttier flavour. Smoked tofu can usually be found in organic supermarkets, but different brands vary in taste and texture. If you happen upon a pack of Taifun smoked tofu with almonds and sesame, you know you’ve hit the jackpot. Serve and eat immediately when the tofu and vegetables are still warm.
Ingredients (for 2-3 people):
250 g dried soba noodles
1 head of broccoli, cut into florets
1/2 -1 large carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
200 g smoked tofu, cut into cubes
2 red onions, in wedges
for the ginger miso dressing:
1 heaped tbsp white miso paste
1/2 heaped tbsp red miso paste
1/2 tbsp finely grated ginger (about 2 x 2 cm)
1 1/2 tbsp mirin
1 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
- Boil the soba noodles for 3 minutes. Keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t boil over. Test them to make sure they are cooked but still pleasantly al dente, then drain them in a sieve or colander and rinse them thoroughly with cold water to stop the cooking process.
- Stir all the ingredients for the dressing together in a bowl until the mixture is smooth. Set aside.
- Break the top part of the broccoli into smaller florets, peel the stem and slice it into smaller chunks. Steam the broccoli until it is tender, then set aside.
- Put a frying pan or wok on medium to high heat. Add a tablespoon of sunflower oil with a few drops of toasted sesame oil mixed in. Add the tofu cubes to the hot oil and fry them till they are golden brown on all sides. Take them out of the pan and set aside.
- Add a bit more oil to the pan and fry the carrot slices. Add a splash of sake wine and wait till it evaporates. Add a splash of soy sauce and continue to stir the carrot slices around while you wait until it evaporates and coats the carrot. Take them out of the pan and set aside.
- Finally, add a bit more oil if necessary and stir-fry the onion wedges for a few minutes. They should still have a some bite, but they shouldn’t be raw.
- Time to assemble everything. The soba noodles might be sticking together a little bit by this point. Just rinse them in cold water again to loosen them up. Add the dressing and the broccoli and use your hands to make sure the noodles and the broccoli are completely coated in the miso sauce.
- Add the carrot, onion and tofu and mix them through without breaking up the noodles too much.
- Optional: sprinkle the salad with some sesame seeds.
- Wash your hands and enjoy!