Thursday, June 3, 2010

Otsu Soba

A couple weeks ago, I made this cold buckwheat soba salad with lightly fried tofu and ginger dressing called Otsu Soba because Porgy and I were craving for something light, refreshing and delicious. I used these two sites, WeHeartFood and DinnerWithJulie for my recipe source and according to one of you they are based on Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks (thanks for letting me know of another wonderful site!) Otsu Soba is a perfect left-over food for us since you don't need to warm it up and you can just eat it cold out of the fridge.

It was my first time cooking with Soba so I was pretty excited about that and now I can't wait to cook another Soba dish... wonder what's next. Maybe Zaru Soba – cold soba noodles with tsuyu dipping sauce?

1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons grape seed oil
2 tablespoons sesame oil
finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

12 ounces dried soba noodles
12 ounces extra-firm tofu
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cucumber, peeled, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 small handful of cilantro sprigs
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
1/4 cup shredded toasted Nori

  • Drain and press the tofu for 30 minutes or so, pat it dry, and cut it into 1-inch rectangles.
  • Make the dressing by combining the rice vinegar, soy sauce, cayenne, salt, grape seed oil, sesame oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, honey, and ginger in a jar and shake vigorously until it's mixed well.
  • Cook the soba in plenty of rapidly boiling salted water just until tender according to the package direction then drain and rinse well under cold running water.
  • In a well-oiled saute pan, brown the tofu on all sides over medium high heat. It took me about 3-4 minutes of each side. Toss gently once and continue cooking for another minute or so until the tofu is firm, golden brown, and bouncy.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the soba, tofu, 1/4 cup cilantro, green onions, cucumber and about half of the dressing. Toss gently until well combined.
  • Serve on individual serving bowls (or plates), garnish with more cilantro, toasted sesame seeds and shredded Nori. Add more dressing if needed.


  1. This recipe stems from Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks site. As well as from her excellent books.

  2. Thank you for the correction and letting me know about Heidi's wonderful site!

  3. Hi VW,

    Thanks for sharing this recipe. I made this dish this weekend and it was excellent. After our first helping I wondered what adding carrots would be like since I had a nice fresh bunch from the farmer's market. They were a nice addition and provided a little extra crunch. Hope all is well with you!