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.

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.

  • 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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