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

  • 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

    lyn
  • 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!

    fresh365
  • 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

    TAZ
  • 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!

    Karen
  • 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 ~

    foodcreate
  • 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?)

    Ann
  • 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.

    RiverWhispers
  • 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!

    Marie-Sophie
  • The recipe looks fantastic and I love how happy the baby looks:)

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

    Faith
  • 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...

    Annie
  • 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.

    Donna
  • 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.

    veggievixen
  • 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.

    Angela@spinachtiger
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