Almond Soba Noodles Recipe

A bit of a twist on the peanut noodle salad - this version features soba noodles with a spicy Thai-curry and almond butter sauce, topped with some sauteed tofu and pea shoots.

Almond Soba Noodles

I know many of you enjoy the otsu recipe from Super Natural Cooking - soba noodles, a fiesty dressing, some pan-fried tofu for good measure. Well, I did a riff on it the other day. My family met up at Baker Beach, a stretch of sand with a stunning view of the Marin Headlands. With giant pelicans soaring over-head and the Golden Gate bridge just to our right we spent a few hours lounging in the sand, enjoying lunch. Or, in the case of my little nephew, eating sand. The noodles? I tossed soba noodles with a spicy Thai-curry and almond sauce, and topped them with some sauteed tofu and pea shoots.

Almond Soba Noodles Recipe

This is my sister Heather, holding Jack, who is playing peek-a-boo...with himself. I get to see him again tomorrow when we are having a party to celebrate his first birthday.

Almond Soba Noodles Recipe

I should mention, so you don't get discouraged - if pea shoots are hard for you to find, swap in whatever vegetable you like. I was primarily trying to work some vegetable/greens into the noodles, and pea shoots are what I happened to have on hand. Go for something quick-cooking, so you can make it in the same pan as the tofu.

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Almond Soba Noodles Recipe

You might want to add a touch more curry paste if you like your noodles on the spicy side. On the other hand, if your curry paste is on the spicy side, you might want to go for a bit less - it is to taste really. As I was eating this I couldn't help but think that some blanched broccoli would be a nice addition or substitution for the pea spouts.

2 teaspoons red curry paste
1/3 cup unsalted almond butter
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
very scant 1/2 teaspoon salt
6 - 8 tablespoons hot water
12 ounces dried soba noodles
12 ounces extra-firm nigari tofu
4 ounces pea shoots (or other greens, or tiny pieces of broccoli)
12 leaves fresh basil, slivered
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Make the almond sauce by mashing the curry paste into the almond butter. Stir in the lemon juice and salt. And then whisk in the hot water one tablespoon at a time until you have a pourable dressing that is about as thick as a heavy cream. The dressing thickens as it cools, so feel free to thin it out with more water later on if needed. Taste, and add more salt or more curry paste if you like.

Cook the soba in plenty of rapidly boiling salted water just until tender, then drain and rinse under cold running water. Drain and shake off as much water as possible.

While the pasta is cooking, drain the tofu, pat it dry, and cut it into matchsticks or 1/2-inch cubes. Cook the tofu, along with a pinch or two of salt, in a well-seasoned skillet over medium-high heat for a few minutes, until the pieces are browned on one side. Add a tiny splash of oil if needed to prevent sticking. Toss gently once or twice, then continue cooking for another minute or so, until the tofu is firm, golden, and bouncy. About 15 seconds before the tofu has finished cooking, add the pea shoots to the hot pan.

In a large bowl combine the noodles with 2/3 of the almond sauce. Toss well, be sure all the noodles get coated. Arrange the tofu and pea shoots on top of the noodles, drizzle with the remaining sauce, and garnish with the slivered basil and toasted almonds.

Serves 6-8 as a side, less as a main.

Prep time: 10 minutes - Cook time: 20 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Hey There This is the first time I see a noodle and tofu dish with almond dressing, definitely will try it out. although I did use sesame paste and garlic or chili for noodles Thanks

Dawei Fan

I've been wondering what to do with the soba noodles at my local asian/organic store!

Liz Koppert

tried it tonight and it was fantastic-- a combination of flavors I never would have done on my own. I have such success with your recipes, thank you!


My daughter reads your blog avidily, but I just happened upon it when she left your page "up" on the computer today.. I read everything with interest and enjoyed the peek at your family and the description of your day at the beach....until I read that your adorable nephew ate some sand. I just happened to read this morning about a study done here at U of NC at Chapel Hill saying that e coli bacteria lurk in all beach sand (on some beaches more than others). It went on to say that most people develop stomach symtoms that they overcome naturally, but that babies should especially be protected from touching their mouths after playing in beach sand, and that eating it is esecially risky. Now...back to reading your blog!

Linda DeJongh

This looks like a wonderful recipe, but you food pic doesn't hold a candle to that little Jack! I Gotta love a post with great food and babies!

Deborah Dowd

This sounds good,except the tofu[I'm allergic to soy,corn and carrots] So what cheese would be good here.Perhaps a mild con queso,or here's a thought Kassiri cheese,cut and fried,like in Flaming Saganaki Cheese,or just Feta if you don;t have time for the other.I'm making myself hungry.

heidi k black

Of course the salad looks delicious, but I'm even more taken with your chubby nephew. My two babies were the chubbiest EVER, so I have a weakness for those little rubber band wrists...

The Leftoverist

you are so inspiring!!!! i just bought a jar of red curry paste and am so looking forward to asian flavors tomorrow. thank you


I just made this with roasted broccoli (500 degrees tossed with oil, garlic, soy sauce and a bit of maple syrup until tender and a bit browned) and smoked tofu (marinaded in miso/soy sauce/maple syrup and smoked with maple wood until dry and browned) yum! thanks for the inspiration!


I was just dreaming of a soba noodle salad! looks fantastic, thanks! =)

Amber- Loves Food, Loves to Eat

This recipe looks great. I like how you used almond butter instead of tahini. The basil also looks like a refreshing touch. We love soba noodles too, and featured a soba noodle dish with tofu miso dressing. Soba noodles are great in the summer because they can be eaten cold.

Sophia from Kitchen Caravan

I enjoy your newsletter very much with recipe and personal comments which prompt me to suggest you don't let your precious nephew eat or play in the sand. According to recent news the ocean is very polluted and the sand contains lots of bacteria.


Thank you for a recipe using almond butter! I buy the large jar but have a hard time incorporating it into many dishes.

Erin @ Sprouted In the Kitchen

Tried this tonight, and it was delicious! I was low on almonds, so I added about 1/2 cup of flaxseed meal which gave it a nice texture and kale instead of pea shoots (loved the crunch of the kale!) Thanks for another super recipe, Heidi.


I just discovered your website a week ago. I have made 3 recipes already (lasagna tart, asparagus salad, and grilled zucchini quinoa) and they have all been AWESOME. I love how simple the dishes are to prepare, but they have such a complex flavor. These recipes are going to be great this summer with my CSA! I can't wait to make more! (The egg salad sandwich is on my list!) Thank you!


I think you can find Pea shots in most Chinese super market in case you are wondering...


Yum! Everything from the pan fried noodles to the crunchy topping sound amazing!


Another fantabulous recipe :) Thanks, Heidi!


Help to a new cook. . . what exactly do you mean by a "well seasoned skillet" and where do I get me one of them : ) With this question, I probably don't have to identify myself as a "new cook"!


You wrote, 'This is my sister Heather, holding Jack, who is playing peek-a-boo...with himself. ' That's not what I saw. I noted a brilliant future scientist EXPERIMENTING. Kids are born scientists. We should appreciate that, and avoid 'socializing' the scientist out of them as they grow. Written by, (can you guess) a high school SCIENCE teacher. aloha Lyn PS Wonderful idea for the almond soba noodles. I'm yearning for some. L


I love this super simple meal. I have some curry paste in my fridge and this will be perfect. What a cutie your nephew is!


Reading this made me both hungry and jealous... I'm a Bay Area girl, and use to frequent Baker Beach with family all the time (sigh). Now trapped in the Midwest with no beach, ofcourse, and not very many options for fresh veggies and vegetarian options. I am inspired however, and will try a variation of this delicious sounding dish


This looks delicious. Pea shoots are really easy to grow, I grow them in compost in a seed tray. You just need to make sure the soil stays damp. When they're a few inches tall, cut them off with scissors at about 1/2 inch from the soil. As long as you keep it damp they will sprout another 3 or 4 times! If it's cold weather you can grow them in a propagator style seed tray (ie with a clear lid), Enjoy!


A first birthday....!!! May it be full of memories for both of you. I am a little crazy when it comes to spicy food -- in fact, my fiance has had to give up the heavy chiles and such (though he's the one that introduced me to them) bc of digestive troubles. I, on the other hand, can't wait to try this recipe. I have no fear (and apparently no common sense either. Ah, so be it). Thanks for sharing.

becky and the beanstock

I like this ingredients they go together so well....Almond butter sooo Tasty ! Thanks for sharing your recipe:) Have a Wonderful Sunny Day ~


I like this, I feel like you could eat hot, cold or room temperature. Great for taking along on summer trips!

Michelle @ Find Your Balance

Mmm delicious. I have to eat soba noodles with a little drizzle of sesame oil - I think it really enhances the flavour. So I'd probably add that, otherwise this recipe is gorgeous :)

Christie @ Fig & Cherry

Mmm delicious. I have to eat soba noodles with a little drizzle of sesame oil - I think it really enhances the flavour. So I'd probably add that, otherwise this recipe is gorgeous :)

Christie @ Fig & Cherry

Ooh, this looks so yummy! I don't know if I'm going to be able to find almond butter in the uk, though. Pea shoots either. Any ideas for substitutions? (or, alternatively, a recipe to make almond butter?)


I sure wish you had a web-based try-it feature where we could reach right in with our fork to try your recipes. This looks so good in the picture. Soba noodles, it's so hard for me to distinguish them from somen noodles (and some of the other Asian noodes) that I wonder how you decide which one to use? Is it what you have on hand, or do you have many types in your pantry and select one in particular because of some reason? It'd be nice to know, out of all the noodles you could have selected, why you went with Soba.


What a great sauce! I love that you can just mix everything together and have a sauce ready at hand - and then add whatever you have at hand! Thanks for that "fast food" option Heidi! :-) Last night I tried it with some leftover zucchini that was sitting in my fridge and used wholewheat linguine instead of the soba noodles ... delicious! My boyfriend liked it as well (although he can't stand almonds ... I was able to "sell" it to him without mentioning the almond butter ;-)) and requested a splash of coconut milk for his second serving .... also very yummy!


The recipe looks fantastic and I love how happy the baby looks:)

Nutmeg Nanny

Crunchy almonds on top sound like a great finish to these noodles!

nithya at hungrydesi

This looks great, I love the addition of almond butter in the dressing! Your nephew is so cute!


Nigari is a coagulant derived from sea water. It gives a pleasantly almost sweet taste to tofu. Most tofu manufacturers these days use calcium carbonate to cause the soy milk they make their tofu from to coagulate. Japanese people prefer tofu made from nigari because it is said to have the best flavor. The firmness of tofu is due to how long the soymilk curds are drained and pressed. Extra firm tofu has simply had more water removed from it than soft kinugoshi tofu. The process of making tofu is similar to the process of making fresh mozzerella. A coagulant is added to warm (soy)milk and when the (soy)milk curdles the curds are drained through cheesecloth...


What a great idea to add almond butter! I love to use soba noodles because they cook up so quickly and can take on so many flavors. Jack is adorable!

Cookin' Canuck

Ooh, love the idea of curry paste and almond butter together as a dressing....will be trying that. What a perfect way to use the nut butters. I love your photos, and always look forward to your posts to see what photo choices you've selected.


i'm kind of obsessed with pea shoots but they are hard to find...i've only seen them at trader joe's a couple of times, but their produce section isn't really regularly stocked with a whole bunch of items, and doesn't have too much variety. but when i do find them i really enjoy them! this is a great recipe, i rarely cook with soba noodles but i like them.


Kids are great fun. I with two almost two twin boys every day, teaching them to cook. Yesterday they rolled their first pizza dough. I remember when you made food for your sister's shower. I made the cherry coconut dessert from it. So good.


Sounds wonderful Heidi! Just an FYI for shopper- Trader Joe's usually stocks pea shoots.


It's been a long time since I had some Soba noodles. Tis would be great with some pak soy(chinese cabbage) Thanks for that wonderful recipe!


Love your take on 'peanut sauce'. I do one using almond butter, ginger, etc...using the curry paste is a wonderful 'fast food' idea. Thanks. Broccoli or green beans are my usual green of choice with this noodle/sauce combo. Fine without tofu, too.


Do you have a particular red curry that you recommend? Btw, I made the lasagna tart - added some fresh basil & some shredded mozzarella as I like the melty texture. Very good with lots of potential for experimentation. Have more crust dough waiting in the freezer! :)


Yummmm, almonds! Falls into my current obsession category. It all started with a fab dinner in Florence with an almond and roasted eggplant pesto on hearty, twisty homemade pasta. The texture was amazing, and the bits of eggplant skin added great color. Soon as I see some lovely Japanese eggplants at the market, I'll be working on that recipe. For now, anything with almonds and I'm in. Thanks!


Love the idea of using almond butter!! Is there a specific brand of red curry paste you recommend? Your nephew is adorable!


While the recipe sounds amazing Heidi (they always do) your narrative of Baker Beach made me miss the Bay Area more than I normally do. Thanks for keeping me connected.


This sounds wonderful. I've never used almond butter before. I think I will have to make this recipe and change that.


This looks wonderful! Your posts are always like a ray of sunshine in my day.


This looks divine. I think I will be adding whatever fresh veg I have in my garden. I missed the otsu recipe. Off to find it. Thanks for the fab recipes.


red curry paste plus almond butter sounds divine! I bet this would be delicious on all sorts of things or even as the base for a dip. Thanks Heidi for the inspiration!

Jen (Modern Beet)

The great thing about noodle dishes is the wide variety of things you can put into them and tofu seems to work well. I created a recipe for a pesto grilled tofu over spaghetti that I love.

Michele Morris

As a diehard Otsu fan, I can't wait to try this one. Yum-o.


I love putting nuts in pasta and other grain dishes. Aside from the added protein and fat benefit, they are so crunchy and create a great texture.

Meghan (Making Love In The Kitchen

Yay Heidi, this looks glorious! I've been on an almond butter kick lately, and also looking for something balanced but compact that I can pack up and take for lunch. Soba will be perfect, and the extra protein from the tofu and almonds should more than make up for the meat I've recently stopped eating :-)


Hello Heidi, How cute is your nephew, in a batman T and playing peek-a-boo with himeself ??? Happy Birthday! And OH YES I've been enjoying Otsu tremendously - and that has inspired me to make a variety of soba dishes in the similar directions. This Thai-curry sauce sounds fabulous, too. In fact my dinner last night was soba with spicy miso sauce (kind of like using miso and chopped chili and ginger root instead of curry paste and almond butter here) with grilled eggplants, thinly sliced cukes and mizuna leaves. That was yummy. Kate - there are several different types of coagulants used to make tofu, and nigari is one of them that tends make firm tofu, rather than soft and smooth one (like silken tofu). Not all ’nigari tofu’ are extra-firm, though. Extra firm tofu usually works better when fried, holds its shape a lot better. So for here I'd imagine if you just go for extra-firm tofu, you'd be fine - it'd be extremely tricky to cut silken tofu into matchsticks or small cubes AND pan-fry them.


I adore the otsu recipe, so I'm sure I'll love this soba noodle dish. Curry paste and almond butter in one recipe? I'm in!


Why do you specify nigari tofu? Google tells me it's the type of coagulant used.


This looks lovely - I love your noodle salads! What could I substitute for the tofu, which is difficult to get in this country, and I am not actually fond enough of it to want to go in search of it?

Mrs Redboots

Definitely tweeting about this post! I love it and the recipe is something that I would love to eat because it's spicy. Yumm. Great post Heidi!

Kamran Siddiqi

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