Dana Treat – Treat Yourself

Soba Noodle Bowl

Posted June 28, 2011

Soba Noodle Bowl with Lemongrass Tofu
Dana Treat Original, Inspired by Boom Noodle
Serves 3

I would have preferred shiitake mushrooms in this dish but I used what I had on hand.

For the marinade:
2 inch pieces of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 garlic clove, minced
2 stalks lemongrass, outer leaves removed, minced
6 tbsp. soy sauce
3 tbsp. honey
3 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
1½ tbsp. mirin
Zest and juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp. sesame oil
2 tbsp. canola oil
2 tbsp. water
½-1 tsp. red pepper flakes

12 ounces extra-firm tofu, blotted dry and cut into 1-inch cubes
8 ounces soba noodles
1 tbsp. sesame oil
Canola oil
8 ounces mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
½ an English cucumber, seeded, cut into 1-inch matchsticks
6 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1 tbsp. sesame seeds
2 ounces mizuna, or other soft lettuce

Prepare the marinade and tofu:
Mix together all the ingredients except the tofu in a medium size bowl.  Taste for flavor balance and add more soy, honey, or lime juice to taste.  Put the tofu in a shallow baking dish (an 8×8-inch pan is perfect) and pour about 1/3 of the marinade over top.  Allow the tofu to sit for at least half an hour, turning the pieces periodically.  You can also refrigerate the pan, covered, for up to one day.  Reserve the rest of the marinade.  This will be your dressing.

Preheat the oven to 375ºF.  Place the baking pan in the oven and bake until the marinade is absorbed and the tofu is developing a bit of outer crunch, 30 to 40 minutes.  Turn the tofu once during baking.  Set aside.

Prepare the rest of the ingredients:
Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add the soba noodles and cook until just al dente, tasting to make sure, 5 to 6 minutes.  Pour the noodles into a colander and then immediately rinse with cold water.  Drain well, then toss with the tablespoon of sesame oil.  Set aside.

Heat a medium sauté pan over medium heat.  Drizzle in just enough canola oil to coat the bottom, then add the mushrooms along with a large pinch of salt.  Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are nice and browned and there is no liquid in the pan.  Set aside.

Distribute the mizuna across the bottom of three serving bowls.  Divide the noodles between the bowls and then add small piles of the mushrooms, carrots, cucumbers, and tofu to each bowl.  Scatter the scallions and sesame seeds across the top and drizzle the reserved tofu marinade over everything as a dressing.  Pass additional sesame oil and soy sauce at the table.

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