Sunday, January 25, 2009

Garlic Soba Noodles With Tofu

One of the best parts of being a part of the food blogging community is the fact that you get access to literally thousands and thousands of delicious, home-made recipes covering every taste, region, culture and speciality in the world. Not to get too sappy here, but it's pretty cool to be part of such a diverse and amazing community, all with one common goal: To eat good food.

So the other day when I was trying to figure out what to make for dinner, I turned to my fellow food bloggers and their penchant for sharing their favorite recipes with the world. As usual, I was looking for something modestly healthy, and as it was a weeknight, something quick and relatively hassle-free. I knew I had a package of soba noodles in the cupboard, so I figured I would start from there. Scouring the 'nets for soba noodle recipes, I found something Heidi over at 101 Cookbooks had posted last March that fit the bill. I changed the recipe slightly; instead of regular bread crumbs on the tofu I used panko and used fresh garlic instead of garlic powder. By pure coincidence, I also used Organic Planet soba noodles, the brand Heidi says she tends to stockpile in her original post. They tend to be the only brand of dry soba noodles I can find, or at least notice, on the shelf at the grocery store.

Garlic Soba Noodles


8 oz. dry soba noodles (1 whole pack of Organic Planet soba noodles. If you are only cooking for 2, like I was, you could probably knock that down to 6 oz.)

3/4 panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
big pinch of salt
12 ounces (1 Pack) extra firm organic tofu, cut into 6 rectangular slabs
2 eggs, lightly beaten

a generous splash of olive oil
1 bunch green onions, greens trimmed, thinly sliced
4 big handfuls of chard, destemmed
2 - 3 cloves of fresh garlic, finely chopped

1/2 cup Parmesan, freshly grated

a few baby radishes, sliced paper thin

Boil a large pot of water and cook soba noodles per packet instructions or until just tender. Drain and set aside.

While the water is coming to a boil, get the tofu started by combining the bread crumbs, Parmesan and salt in a shallow plate. Dunk each piece of tofu in the egg and then press into the bread crumbs. Make sure each piece is nicely coated with crumbs. Place each piece on a parchment-lined baking sheet and repeat with the remaining pieces. Bake in a 375 degree oven until both sides are golden, flipping once along the way. Slice into strips and set aside.

Add the olive oil (and bit of salt) to a large skillet over med-high heat. Stir in the green onions, chard, and garlic, and cook for a minute until the chard collapses. Stir in the soba noodles. Stir in the parmesan. Remove from heat. Serve topped with the baked tofu and sliced radishes.

I strongly recommend only cooking the chard for a minute. I'm pretty sure I over-cooked the chard, and it wilted a little too much. I've never been very good at following directions. Otherwise, the dish was fantastic. These noodles were exactly what we needed on a cold, rainy San Francisco evening. Thanks to Heidi Swanson at 101 Cookbooks for such a great and easy recipe. Enjoy!