Buckwheat Soba Noodles with Fresh Tofu and Lemon-Ginger Dressing

We are all in love with this quick and easy vegan salad. The combination of earthy noodles, crunchy cucumber, sweet and spicy dressing, and creamy tofu will win everyone over, even non-tofu lovers. Try tossing the tofu cubes in a little flour and frying them in skillet with some vegetable oil for a crispy variation. Adapted from Myers + Chang at Home, by Joanne Chang and Karen Akunowicz.

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Hands-on time: 30   |    Total time: 30   |    Makes: 4 Servings

KITCHEN GEAR

Cutting board
Sharp knife
Measuring spoons
Measuring cups
Large pot
Colander
Tongs
Bowls for serving
 

INGREDIENTS

10 ounce Dried buckwheat soba noodles
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 English cucumber
16 ounce firm tofu
Lemon-Ginger Dressing
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 bunch scallions, trimmed and white and green parts thinly sliced
2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 sheets unseasoned toasted nori
4 tablespoon sesame seeds

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Bring about a gallon of water to a rolling boil and add the dried buckwheat soba noodles, making sure to stir vigorously and keep that water boiling. Cook the noodles until they are soft, 3 to 4 minutes, then drain in a colander. Pour ice cold water over the noodles to stop them from cooking, then toss them in a large bowl with the vegetable oil. This will keep the noodles from sticking together.
  2. Slice the cucumber in half lengthwise and then slice each half thinly, making 1/4-inch half moons. Add to the noodles. 
  3. Toss the noodles and cucumbers with the Lemon-Ginger Dressing. Add the tofu, cilantro, scallions, salt, and pepper. Gently toss again to combine. Distribute evenly among 4 to 6 bowls. Crumble the nori into small pieces and top each bowl evenly with nori and sesame seeds. Serve immediately.

Lemon-Ginger Dressing

Makes about 1-1/4 cups

A quick zesty bright dressing that is great on pretty much everything. Make it in big batches and use it all month long.

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce 
1/3 cup unsweetened rice vinegar
(or substitute white wine vinegar) 
3 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil 
3 tablespoons toasted (or roasted) sesame oil 
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (2 to 3 lemons) 
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 
1 tablespoon honey 
1 tablespoon peeled and finely chopped fresh ginger (about a 1-inch knob) 
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (if you like spicy) 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a lidded jar, combine all the ingredients, close the lid tightly, and shake vigorously until blended. You can also whisk all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Shake well before each use.