Garlic Soba Noodles

Garlic Soba Noodles Recipe


Dried pasta, garlic powder, olive oil, and Parmesan cheese - the ingredients that made up the backbone of my sister's college pantry. Toss hot, cooked noodles with a glug of olive oil, a big shake from the green can, a dusting of garlic powder - this was lunch. Not the most nutritious lunch mind you, but lunch none the less. I woke up the other morning craving these garlicky noodles and started to think about what an updated version might look like - preferably one that stepped up the game on the nutrition front. I opted for buckwheat soba noodles in place of spaghetti noodles, threw in some greens for color, kept the Parmesan (now freshly grated), and served the noodles along side Parmesan-crusted tofu. That being said, you could certainly opt for another favorite protein source to balance out the plate.

 
 
 
 

Garlic Soba Noodle Recipe

I seek out (and tend to stockpile) Organic Planet soba noodles - they are thinner than many of the other brands on the market and made from a buckwheat / wheat flour blend. I like the way they behave after I've cooked them - they aren't prone to sticking or clumping. The powdered garlic I use is simply dehydrated garlic that has been ground. It has a harsher flavor than most fresh garlic you'll encounter, and the fragrance it puts off is different as well. I feel a bit of nostalgia for it, and actually like to use it for certain recipes (like this one). Feel free to toss in a few fresh cloves (chopped) in its place if you prefer. In that scenario I'd add the fresh garlic just before the chard.

8 ounces dried soba noodles

3/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan freshly grated
big pinch of salt
12 ounces 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, spinach or kale - destemmed and cut into bite-sized pieces

1 teaspoon garlic powder
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. I like to salt my water generously as I would other pasta. 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 or pan-fry in a skillet in a bit of olive oil 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 cook for a minute until the chard collapses. Stir in the soba noodles. Stir in the garlic powder and Parmesan. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with sliced radishes. Serve family-style or on individual plates - each nest of noodles topped with some of the tofu slices.

Serves 4-6.

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Your Comments


Elise
March 3, 2008

Soba is such a wonderful alternative to spaghetti pasta. I love the distinctive, almost nutty taste. Never tried it with anything other than Japanese food though, love the idea of pulling it into more classic Italian fare.

 

Jen (Modern Beet)
March 3, 2008

Great timing! The kale I planted last december is finally getting to maturity and I just harvested 'about 4 big handfuls' yesterday.
My method for cooking soba which provides non-clumpy noodles is
1) add noodles to boiling water
2) boil until the pot starts to boil over and then add 1 c. cold water
3) boil until the pot boils over again -- voila! perfectly cooked soba!

 

Suzanne
March 3, 2008

this seems to be a perfect comfort food... a lovely rethinking of my childhood fav the blue-box of life... Kraft Dinner... macaroni and cheese! as alway grateful!

 

skeip
March 3, 2008

This looks wonderful, I was just thinking last night about doing somthing with tofu, I am relatively new to cooking with it, and this looks good. I will be making it for dinner as I have everything in the house that I need. Last week I made the Garam Masala Tofu Scramble, subbed Walnuts for Pistachios, and added a bag of chopped Spinach instead of the Cranberries and Cilantro. Topped with a poached egg and it was devine!! I am trying to eat a little lower on the food chain, and the ideas and recipes presented here have been a great inspiration and also very tasty. Thank you so much!

 

Heidi Allen-Papaioannou
March 3, 2008

Why don't you use fresh crushed garlic too?

 

BeckyAndTheBeanstock
March 3, 2008

I'm always looking for recipes with soba noodles. Even though they are high in carbs, their glycemic effect on my body is much lower -- there's less of a spike (I"m type I diabetic, so I'm always experimenting to find out these things). I'm also really looking forward to having fresh greens -- and it won't be too much longer now. So this is certainly a recipe that I'll be giving a spin soon.

 

Sarah
March 3, 2008

I've been reading for awhile, this is my first comment - I never thought to coat tofu!! What a great idea. I finally talked my boyfriend into a tofu dinner (it was tough), not only did he really like it, but he was full! Now I have another weapon in my tofu arsenal. Thanks Heidi. I love your photos.

 

Kimberly
March 3, 2008

Ahh, thank you so much for this recipe, Heidi! I'm in one of those financially strapped moments and thought I'd have nothing "exciting" to eat til payday.... this is perfect in a pinch! Tryin' this tonight! :)

 

Vernon
March 3, 2008

Buckwheat noodles don't need another protein source to balance out the plate. They are among the few 'grains' (I quote that because they are not technically grains: buckwheat, quinoa, and amaranth) that contain a full complement of the essential amino acids. This means that you _are_ getting all the protein your body needs, just from the noodles. Add in the cheese and veggies and you are good to go. Of course, a little extra tofu never hurts to add a different texture to the meal.

 

Michelle
March 3, 2008

Ooh always looking for yummy ways to eat more kale. Lately I've been substituting nutritional yeast for parmesan. Think that would work here? http://doesabodygood.blogspot.com

 

Carol
March 3, 2008

I've been looking for a good soba noodle recipe; thanks for sharing.

 

brooke
March 3, 2008

help! can i sub arugula and chopped garlic? pls answer before dinnertime.

 

elizaduckie
March 3, 2008

Just wanted to say that I always appreciate the illuminating comments just as much as Heidi's recipes. Somehow I did not know, for example, that soba was "complete" in itself! Thanks for that.

 

Dani
March 3, 2008

Mmmmm, I love the idea of updating an old school favorite with a nutritious twist! You know what they say, "when we know better, we do better";).
This looks absolutely Delicious!!!!

 

Maya
March 3, 2008

Wow sounds delicious...but whats the deal with the garlic POwder ? I love all the recipies but i must say that the synth puts me off a bit. So finely chopped REAL garlic?XX

 

Charcuterista
March 3, 2008

Thanks for another great-sounding tofu idea, Heidi! I've made the carmelized tofu recipe from a few weeks back several times but I don't want my boyfriend to burn out on it...so I'm definitely going to try this in the rotation!

 

ron
March 3, 2008

when i pan fry tofu i just simply coat the pieces in corn flour. browns and crisps on the outside and stays smoother on the inside.

 

Allison
March 3, 2008

This photo is so incredibly gorgeous I want to reach in and grab that luscious food!

 

Anonymous
March 3, 2008

That looks delicious! I love Soba noodles.

 

JEP
March 3, 2008

A gorgeous`photo--thanks for the great post today!

 

The Secret Ingredient
March 3, 2008

Looks yummy---I love soba noodles! Your sister's college pantry is better than Ramen noodles....which was the make-in-the-dorm food of choice when I was in school! Thank goodness we've all moved past that! (well, most of us, anyway!)

 

Amanda
March 3, 2008

I love it, great idea. I love your taste, Heidi. I've tried several of your recipes already. Kudos!

 

Heidi
March 3, 2008

Thanks for the response (and added tips!) - I think this is one of those cases where an ingredient like soba noodles can be used in a way that while not typical, is still quite delicious.

Maya et al - The powdered garlic I use is simply dehydrated garlic that has been ground. It has a harsher flavor than most fresh garlic you'll encounter, and the fragrance it puts off is different as well. I feel a bit of nostalgia for it, and actually like to use it for certain recipes (like this one). Feel free to toss in a few fresh cloves (chopped) in its place if you prefer. In that scenario I'd add the fresh garlic just before the chard. I'll note this in the headnotes as well.

Michelle, give it a try (and perhaps report back?) I could see it being interesting.

Brooke - yes, I might just add the arugula to the warm noodles though, and not cook it down.

 

bitchincamero
March 3, 2008

Spaghetti with salty powdered garlic and Parmesan from the green can was my most favorite hangover food in college!

I've been making variations of it for the last few years. Few things are as deeply satisfying as a big bowl of noodles.

 

Snehal
March 3, 2008

where do u come up with such fun combinations?? i meant to get soba noodles last week, but ended up getting udon ... dont know where my mind was wandering :)

 

Susan
March 3, 2008

just wondering: why keep the garlic powder, if you are going with fresh greens and real parm?

 

Ric
March 3, 2008

Well I love Mediterranean food and I love Asian food -- so I have a feeling that I'll enjoy this very interesting fusion of Mediterranean and Asian ingredients :)

 

Marci
March 3, 2008

Perfect, I have kale, green, onions, and tofu in the fridge for two of your other recipes that I am going to make this week. Now I know what to do with the extra veggies!

 

Looks great - I always forget about soba noodles.

 

oh, the green can. even in my darkest days, i never bought the green can. i'm too italian, i think my hand would have burst into flames if i'd reached for it.

this, on the other hand, looks simple and yummy and nutritious. and hooray for chard. but i do have hit-or-miss experiences with soba; i feel it's a race against time to rinse them before they clump up into a giant gob.

-- michelle @ thursday night smackdown

 

Deepa
March 3, 2008

looks delicious! I am craving the soba noodles now, but since I am away from home it is going to be impossible for the next 4 days........

 

lifeinrecipes
March 3, 2008

Beautiful photo, as always . And a great texture with the breaded tofu. I think you'll love the kale, miso and whole wheat pasta recipe I posted last week.

 

Wow what wonderfully healthy comfort food! I was craving a nostalgic pasta dish this weekend and ended up with a 10 pound pan of lasagna. Your recipe would've been much more in line with my weightloss goals. Oh well. Can't wait to try the parmesan crusted tofu. Sounds dreamy!

 

Ginny
March 3, 2008

I understand! There is something strangely appealing and delicious to the simple garlic parm pasta. I love your new "grown-up" version. I will have to give it a try.

 

Gregorio
March 3, 2008

Delicious recipe thanks for posting it.I'm going to try this one this week.

 

Julieta
March 3, 2008

Yum, a pasta recipe! Thanks, Heidi! I'm not very fond of fusion cooking - a bit of culinary nationalism, perhaps? - but I liked this dish since I saw the beautiful photo. By the way, we 101cookbooks readers are already familiar with that rustic white ceramic bowl ;-)

I've had trouble finding good tofu in my secluded little mexican city, but I think I could substitute it with Adobera cheese. Adobera is a fresh cheese, similar to Indian Paneer, it can be easily diced and pan-fried without melting in an oily mess. It could work up nicely. With local ingredients, the important thing is to cook and have fun.

 

Hollie
March 3, 2008

My fiance and I made this for dinner tonight, and it was wonderful! The soba noodles with garlic and spinach and the parmesan crusted tofu was the perfect combination. Thanks for the great, unique recipe!

 

Liz
March 3, 2008

Gorgeous combination. For some reason, my breaded tofu never looks as pretty as the batch you show here, but I suppose you've given me something to work towards!

 

monica
March 4, 2008

Oh my god I used to LOVE spaghetti with garlic salt and parmesan cheese. I love the way you've stepped up the game. I think I'll try this with some broccoli greens I have in the fridge. I'm especially excited about this parmesan-encrusted tofu!

 

Lisa
March 4, 2008

Hello!
Thanks for this wonderful recipe! Is there a cheese I can substitute for the Parmesan?

Thanks,
Lisa

 

Lindsay
March 4, 2008

This recipe sounds great- can't wait to try it! My question is about chard. I've used it in the Lively up Yourself lentil soup and in the crusted white bean recipe from the book. The only chard that is available to me is the red-stemmed variety that turned both of these dishes an unappetizing PINK!! How do you get your food to stay true in color while using chard? I want to use it in this recipe, but don't want pink noodles.

Thanks!

 

Michelle
March 4, 2008

Can't wait to try this!
It's time for me to get back to work, but can't stop browsing. Great photo's!

 

Never thought to take the soba in an Italian direction, but I love the idea of combining it with parmesan cheese. I'm going to try this with escarole, which is my latest passion.

 

i've not been commenting much lately but heidi, i wait for your posts to appear in my reader...

this particular post was so great for me because i get stuck in my rustic italian rut sometimes and i need to think 'soba'!

 

weezerific
March 4, 2008

You have no idea how spot-on you were with this recipe today! My husband still eats the green can+butter+pasta (ugh). Also, my CSA has been dumping pounds and pounds of chard/kale etc greens on me and I was running out of ideas to cook them..talk about good timing!

 

Ali
March 4, 2008

I guess I have always been 'too Italian': I never thought about introducing Parmesan into a soba and tofu dish... ;) ! Thanks for the suggestion and a new perspective on soba... yours looks delicious!

 

Garrett
March 4, 2008

Thanks Heidi, I just found dinner for tonight. =)

 

Emma
March 4, 2008

Thankyou for the great recipes you provide each week. But I would like to ask what to substitute for tofu? As yes I’m allergic to soy and that would include tofu. As it happens my best friend is extremely allergic to Soy and she is a vegetarian. So I would like to pose a question, in my case I would substitute it with a non-tofu option but what about vegetarians who can’t? So in order to make this dish what would you suggest I use instead of tofu?

 

lululu
March 4, 2008

Such a East+West recipe. I'm a big soba noodle fan, but have never thought of cooking it this way. Creative dish! Thanks for sharing.

 

Deborah Dowd
March 4, 2008

This looks like a meal perfect for a Lenten Friday! I love how you stepped this up and the parmesan crusted tofu sounds really great.

 

Maureen
March 4, 2008

Oh my goodness! I've been lurking here forever, and am a huge fan...but you flushed me out of the shrubbery with the garlic noodles! Parmesan-crusted tofu?? Seriously?? Sorry, I'll be in the kitchen!

Thanks for your beautiful work!

 

Kathy
March 5, 2008

This is funny - I just made something very much like that the other day and thought I was being creative and had made it up myself... ;-)
It was really good, so I'm sure this would be too!

 

mari
March 5, 2008

Yum, breaded tofu! I don't cook with tofu nearly often enough as I live with a tofu-virgin, but this recipe could definitely turn my boyfriend into a tofu-lover. Thanks Heidi!

 

Lori
March 5, 2008

Beautiful site and very inspirational. I just recently finished a batch of blackbean and ginger veggie burgers from my freezer. I was looking for something new to try. I will be trying the garbanzo veggie burgers that you have posted.

 

Laura
March 5, 2008

I just made this last night, I was so happy to finally be able to make one of your recipes without having to run to the store.

Although, I did not have garlic powder handy, I had a mix of garlic/onion powder which has too much salt so I decided to slice some garlic nice and thin and let it sit in some olive oil for a few hours.

Let me just say it was DIVINE.

Thanks for the GREAT recipe!!

 

Mark
March 5, 2008

I can't wait to make this. I love the spagetti with garlic. Keep 'em comin'

 

kate
March 5, 2008

This may get lost in the sheer number of comments your post receive, but I just want you to know that your blog is really inspiring to me. If I am in need of some ideas for healthy options, your site is one of the first that I visit. Many thanks to you for spreading the word about the numerous and delicious variety of whole grains, and showing everyone how to best create them at home.

Kate (in the Kitchen)

 

Maninas
March 5, 2008

Sounds ike a great idea to me! :)

 

Maninas
March 5, 2008

One suggestion: I'd use garlic instead of garlic powder, and add it to olive oil before putting the chard/spinach in it!

 

Jenny
March 5, 2008

People complaining about the dehydrated garlic are missing Heidi's point: She's trying to re-create a much-loved but not-so-healthy dish she remembers from college days, changing things around a bit so that it's better for you but still retaining the flavor of that remembered comfort food. The dehydrated garlic is part of that. Jeez!

 

Lillianne
March 5, 2008

I have to say it again - the only thing I love more than this website are the comments it provokes.

 

deepali
March 5, 2008

This looks so yum. I cannot wait to try it. But one thing that made me laugh out loud is the last ad in the list of google ads - it's for enema recipes. :)

 

tokiwa
March 5, 2008

I have never cooked soba this way, but this sounds delicious!

 

esther
March 5, 2008

this looks great, I love soba noodles! I LOVE your blog by the way, just found it a month ago, it's fantastic!

 

Satomi
March 5, 2008

Wow. You have to be non- Japanese to come up with something like this. Looks great.

 

Maninas: Food Matters
March 6, 2008

Dear Jenny, I wasn't complaining about garlic powder, just simply suggesting a way of cooking garlic and spinach together... I don't know about you, but I love spinach sauted in garlic and a mixture of butter and olive oil... yum :)

 

Nikkibat
March 6, 2008

This recipe took care of two "firsts" for me: it's the first recipe I used from this website AND the first time I've ever cooked with tofu! It was absolutely divine. I fried the breaded tofu, used kale and angel hair pasta and added some fresh smashed garlic to the onions (and more garlic powder afterward, and added some to the breading.. we love garlic). Thanks for getting me over my fear of cooking with tofu. I'm so excited about trying it again.

 

Helen
March 6, 2008

Parmesan crusted tofu! That sounds delicious. I am relatively new to tofu, being a die-hard carnivore but I'm now trying to incorporate it into my diet as it is so nutritious. Thanks for the idea.