Almond Soba Noodles

Almond Soba Noodles Recipe

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.

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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Comments

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

    Marci
  • 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!

    Daisy
  • 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.

    joyce
  • 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! :)

    Robin
  • 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!

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

    MonsterT
  • 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.

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

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

    iris
  • 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.

    Scarehaircare
  • 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.

    becca
  • 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 :-)

    Courtney
  • 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.

    chika
  • 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!

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

    Kate
  • 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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