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.

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Parmesan crusted tofu! That sounds delicious. I am relatively new to tofu, being a die-hard carnivore but I’m now trying to incorporate it into my diet as it is so nutritious. Thanks for the idea.


This recipe took care of two “firsts” for me: it’s the first recipe I used from this website AND the first time I’ve ever cooked with tofu! It was absolutely divine. I fried the breaded tofu, used kale and angel hair pasta and added some fresh smashed garlic to the onions (and more garlic powder afterward, and added some to the breading.. we love garlic). Thanks for getting me over my fear of cooking with tofu. I’m so excited about trying it again.


Dear Jenny, I wasn’t complaining about garlic powder, just simply suggesting a way of cooking garlic and spinach together… I don’t know about you, but I love spinach sauted in garlic and a mixture of butter and olive oil… yum 🙂

Maninas: Food Matters

Wow. You have to be non- Japanese to come up with something like this. Looks great.


this looks great, I love soba noodles! I LOVE your blog by the way, just found it a month ago, it’s fantastic!


I have never cooked soba this way, but this sounds delicious!


This looks so yum. I cannot wait to try it. But one thing that made me laugh out loud is the last ad in the list of google ads – it’s for enema recipes. 🙂


I have to say it again – the only thing I love more than this website are the comments it provokes.


People complaining about the dehydrated garlic are missing Heidi’s point: She’s trying to re-create a much-loved but not-so-healthy dish she remembers from college days, changing things around a bit so that it’s better for you but still retaining the flavor of that remembered comfort food. The dehydrated garlic is part of that. Jeez!


One suggestion: I’d use garlic instead of garlic powder, and add it to olive oil before putting the chard/spinach in it!


Sounds ike a great idea to me! 🙂


This may get lost in the sheer number of comments your post receive, but I just want you to know that your blog is really inspiring to me. If I am in need of some ideas for healthy options, your site is one of the first that I visit. Many thanks to you for spreading the word about the numerous and delicious variety of whole grains, and showing everyone how to best create them at home.
Kate (in the Kitchen)


I can’t wait to make this. I love the spagetti with garlic. Keep ’em comin’


I just made this last night, I was so happy to finally be able to make one of your recipes without having to run to the store.
Although, I did not have garlic powder handy, I had a mix of garlic/onion powder which has too much salt so I decided to slice some garlic nice and thin and let it sit in some olive oil for a few hours.
Let me just say it was DIVINE.
Thanks for the GREAT recipe!!


Beautiful site and very inspirational. I just recently finished a batch of blackbean and ginger veggie burgers from my freezer. I was looking for something new to try. I will be trying the garbanzo veggie burgers that you have posted.


Yum, breaded tofu! I don’t cook with tofu nearly often enough as I live with a tofu-virgin, but this recipe could definitely turn my boyfriend into a tofu-lover. Thanks Heidi!


This is funny – I just made something very much like that the other day and thought I was being creative and had made it up myself… 😉
It was really good, so I’m sure this would be too!


Oh my goodness! I’ve been lurking here forever, and am a huge fan…but you flushed me out of the shrubbery with the garlic noodles! Parmesan-crusted tofu?? Seriously?? Sorry, I’ll be in the kitchen!
Thanks for your beautiful work!


This looks like a meal perfect for a Lenten Friday! I love how you stepped this up and the parmesan crusted tofu sounds really great.

Deborah Dowd

Such a East+West recipe. I’m a big soba noodle fan, but have never thought of cooking it this way. Creative dish! Thanks for sharing.


Thankyou for the great recipes you provide each week. But I would like to ask what to substitute for tofu? As yes I’m allergic to soy and that would include tofu. As it happens my best friend is extremely allergic to Soy and she is a vegetarian. So I would like to pose a question, in my case I would substitute it with a non-tofu option but what about vegetarians who can’t? So in order to make this dish what would you suggest I use instead of tofu?


Thanks Heidi, I just found dinner for tonight. =)


I guess I have always been ‘too Italian’: I never thought about introducing Parmesan into a soba and tofu dish… 😉 ! Thanks for the suggestion and a new perspective on soba… yours looks delicious!


You have no idea how spot-on you were with this recipe today! My husband still eats the green can+butter+pasta (ugh). Also, my CSA has been dumping pounds and pounds of chard/kale etc greens on me and I was running out of ideas to cook about good timing!


i’ve not been commenting much lately but heidi, i wait for your posts to appear in my reader…
this particular post was so great for me because i get stuck in my rustic italian rut sometimes and i need to think ‘soba’!

claudia (cook eat FRET)

Never thought to take the soba in an Italian direction, but I love the idea of combining it with parmesan cheese. I’m going to try this with escarole, which is my latest passion.

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)

Can’t wait to try this!
It’s time for me to get back to work, but can’t stop browsing. Great photo’s!


This recipe sounds great- can’t wait to try it! My question is about chard. I’ve used it in the Lively up Yourself lentil soup and in the crusted white bean recipe from the book. The only chard that is available to me is the red-stemmed variety that turned both of these dishes an unappetizing PINK!! How do you get your food to stay true in color while using chard? I want to use it in this recipe, but don’t want pink noodles.


Thanks for this wonderful recipe! Is there a cheese I can substitute for the Parmesan?


Oh my god I used to LOVE spaghetti with garlic salt and parmesan cheese. I love the way you’ve stepped up the game. I think I’ll try this with some broccoli greens I have in the fridge. I’m especially excited about this parmesan-encrusted tofu!


Gorgeous combination. For some reason, my breaded tofu never looks as pretty as the batch you show here, but I suppose you’ve given me something to work towards!


My fiance and I made this for dinner tonight, and it was wonderful! The soba noodles with garlic and spinach and the parmesan crusted tofu was the perfect combination. Thanks for the great, unique recipe!


Yum, a pasta recipe! Thanks, Heidi! I’m not very fond of fusion cooking – a bit of culinary nationalism, perhaps? – but I liked this dish since I saw the beautiful photo. By the way, we 101cookbooks readers are already familiar with that rustic white ceramic bowl 😉
I’ve had trouble finding good tofu in my secluded little mexican city, but I think I could substitute it with Adobera cheese. Adobera is a fresh cheese, similar to Indian Paneer, it can be easily diced and pan-fried without melting in an oily mess. It could work up nicely. With local ingredients, the important thing is to cook and have fun.


Delicious recipe thanks for posting it.I’m going to try this one this week.


I understand! There is something strangely appealing and delicious to the simple garlic parm pasta. I love your new “grown-up” version. I will have to give it a try.


Wow what wonderfully healthy comfort food! I was craving a nostalgic pasta dish this weekend and ended up with a 10 pound pan of lasagna. Your recipe would’ve been much more in line with my weightloss goals. Oh well. Can’t wait to try the parmesan crusted tofu. Sounds dreamy!

Life Chef @

Beautiful photo, as always . And a great texture with the breaded tofu. I think you’ll love the kale, miso and whole wheat pasta recipe I posted last week.


looks delicious! I am craving the soba noodles now, but since I am away from home it is going to be impossible for the next 4 days……..


oh, the green can. even in my darkest days, i never bought the green can. i’m too italian, i think my hand would have burst into flames if i’d reached for it.
this, on the other hand, looks simple and yummy and nutritious. and hooray for chard. but i do have hit-or-miss experiences with soba; i feel it’s a race against time to rinse them before they clump up into a giant gob.
michelle @ thursday night smackdown

michelle @ thursday night smackdown

Looks great – I always forget about soba noodles.

Pieds Des Anges (Kyla)

Perfect, I have kale, green, onions, and tofu in the fridge for two of your other recipes that I am going to make this week. Now I know what to do with the extra veggies!


Well I love Mediterranean food and I love Asian food — so I have a feeling that I’ll enjoy this very interesting fusion of Mediterranean and Asian ingredients 🙂


just wondering: why keep the garlic powder, if you are going with fresh greens and real parm?


where do u come up with such fun combinations?? i meant to get soba noodles last week, but ended up getting udon … dont know where my mind was wandering 🙂


Spaghetti with salty powdered garlic and Parmesan from the green can was my most favorite hangover food in college!
I’ve been making variations of it for the last few years. Few things are as deeply satisfying as a big bowl of noodles.


Thanks for the response (and added tips!) – I think this is one of those cases where an ingredient like soba noodles can be used in a way that while not typical, is still quite delicious.
Maya et al – 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. I’ll note this in the headnotes as well.
Michelle, give it a try (and perhaps report back?) I could see it being interesting.
Brooke – yes, I might just add the arugula to the warm noodles though, and not cook it down.


I love it, great idea. I love your taste, Heidi. I’ve tried several of your recipes already. Kudos!


Looks yummy—I love soba noodles! Your sister’s college pantry is better than Ramen noodles….which was the make-in-the-dorm food of choice when I was in school! Thank goodness we’ve all moved past that! (well, most of us, anyway!)

The Secret Ingredient

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 it…so 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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