Garlic Soba Noodles Recipe

Delicious garlic soba noodle recipe made with soba noodles, Parmesan, greens, and garlic powder topped with golden Parmesan-crusted tofu.

Garlic Soba Noodles

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.

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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.

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

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


That looks delicious! I love Soba noodles.


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


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.


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 I'm definitely going to try this in the rotation!


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


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!!!!


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.


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


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


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


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.


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! :)


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.


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.


Why don't you use fresh crushed garlic too?

Heidi Allen-Papaioannou

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!


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!


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!

Jen (Modern Beet)

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.


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