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.

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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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Comments

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

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!

Hollie

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!

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........

Deepa

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

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!

Marci

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?

Susan

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!)

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