I have to share a secret with you: I’m a lazy cook. If a dish involves more than one pot and I have to invest more than 20 minutes making it, it won’t become one of my everyday recipes. This is why I love this dish: it’s super healthy, quick and easy. And: it makes a FABULOUS office lunch as well. Precook it or enjoy your leftovers on your desk the next day.
This specific recipe is my interpretation of cold soba noodles with dipping sauce which I had in Japan. I tried to create a well-balanced meal out of it consisting of complex carbs, veggies and two sources of vegan protein. The dressing is straightforward, but the wasabi gives it a little kick – it’s addictive!
Stuff you need:
- 2 bundles of dried soba noodles (they are usually packed in portions, see pictures)
- 200 gram Pak Choy (or any other greens of your choice, spinach will do)
- 1 package of tofu (1 piece)
- 2 handfuls of fresh shiitake mushrooms (dried ones are ok, button mushroom or portobello will also do the job)
- Japanese soy sauce
- 4 tbs Mirin (= Japanese sweet sake, if you don’t have that substitute with 3 tbs dry sherry and 1 tbs honey or agave syrup)
- 1 tbs Japanese rice vinegar (cider vinegar will also do)
- Wasabi powder or paste
- 1 tbs black sesame
- Salt, brown sugar, vegetable oil, sesame oil
After that, fill a big pot with water and bring it to boil. Add the soba noodles and the Pak choy and cook for around 4 minutes. Strain them, then “wash” the mixture with cold water. You even might want to add a few ice cubes to cool it down; this will keep the veggies green and prevent the noodles from becoming overdone.
Briefly clean your pot to reuse it or get a pan on the heating plate. Add 3 tbs of oil, then add the tofu and the mushrooms. Fry on high heat for 2-3 minutes, then add 2 tbs of soy sauce and a dash of brown sugar. After another 5 minutes, remove from heat and discard the liquid. Add a dash of salt and a few drops of sesame oil.
In a bowl, mix 5 tbs soy sauce, the Mirin, vinegar and a little bit of wasabi paste (whatever you can handle!). Mix until it’s homogeneous, then try and fine tune it according to your taste. After that, marinade the noodle-veggie combi with the dressing, add the tofu and mushrooms on top and finish your dish off with a pinch of sesame seeds. You could add some finely chopped scallion or pickles for decoration. Enjoy!