Grilled Tofu & Soba Noodles Recipe
Soba noodles and grilled tofu tossed with a garlic-cilantro dressing. I prepped all the components for this ahead of a camping trip, but you could take the same approach for a quick, mid-week lunch if camping isn't your thing.
As promised, a few more camping photos, as well as the recipe for the grilled tofu and soba noodles I made the second night out. As I mention down in the recipe head notes, aside from grilling the tofu, I prepped everything before we left for Salt Point State Park. The pre-cooked soba noodles hung out in the cooler in a plastic bag next to the garlic-cilantro dressing, which stayed bright green, ready to go in a little jar. It worked out great, dinner came together in no time, and for the most part I could sit around and read, or wander about with my camera.
This (above) wasn't far from our campsite. Just a walk down the hill. You can't see them here, but there were seals lounging around on rocks just off-shore, and seagulls cherry-picking stranded critters out of the tide pools. A walk in the opposite direction led to Gestle Cove, a protected area, where we sat with the sun setting behind us, looking at all the different seaweed, driftwood, and rock shapes washed up on the beach.
If you find yourself in that neighborhood (Sonoma/Mendocino coasts), but aren't necessarily the camping type, I also love the Mar Vista Cottages. We stayed there last year for a couple nights. Each cottage has a kitchen, and you can pick fresh produce from the organic garden to cook with. Fresh eggs from the hens on the property are delivered by basket each day. It's a great base to explore that part of the coast.
A number of you were asking about past camping trips. This adventure to Whiskeytown Lake in Shasta County was particularly
painful memorable. Aside from that, I posted a few cooking/camping links a few years back. And for those of you who missed the last write-up, here's the Soup au Pistou on the dinner menu the second night we were there. I have to say, as much as I enjoy camping on occasion, I do feel the need to balance them out with slightly posher get-aways ;)...
So, now it's my turn to throw things back in your direction. What's your all-time favorite camping memory, best meal, or absolute favorite campground?? If you had to pick just one to share. Looking forward to hearing some of your stories. -h
Grilled Tofu and Soba Noodles
I'm going to write this recipe the way I made it. In preparation for the aforementioned camping trip. Meaning, I made as many of the components ahead of time as possible. I cooked the noodles the day before, and made the dressing the day prior as well. The only thing we actually cooked onsite was the tofu, which was grilled on this camping stove (which is pretty great). And as I'm sure you can imagine, even if camping isn't your thing, pre-cook the tofu ahead of time as well, and you'll have a nice work week lunch.
12 ounces / 340g dried soba noodles
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus a bit more for the tofu
16 oz / 450g extra-firm tofu, drained and patted dry
3 medium cloves garlic
scant 3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
3 small/medium shallots
3 small serrano peppers, minced
1 bunch (about 4 handfuls) of cilantro, stems trimmed
1 teaspoon natural cane sugar (or brown sugar)
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
3/4 cup / 180 ml extra-virgin olive oil
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt generously, then cook the soba noodles per package instructions, being mindful to not overcook them. Drain, run under cold water for a minute, shake of as much extra water as possible, then toss well with the olive oil. Gently work the olive oil through the noodles. Place the soba in a large plastic bag and refrigerate overnight, or until you're ready to use them - up to a few days.
Make the dressing using a mortar and pestle OR a food processor. I used the m&p which takes a while (and provides quite the arm workout), but I prefer the end result. Pound the garlic and salt into a paste, then work in the shallots one at a time, then the peppers. Then the cilantro a handful at a time. The mixture should be quite smooth. Add the sugar, then the lime juice before stirring in the olive oil a bit at a time. Taste and adjust the flavors if need be - more salt, sugar, lime juice, etc. using the processor? Just blend it all together, then tweak the flavors a bit if needed.
Cut the tofu into slabs (see photo), rub gently with olive oil and place on a medium-hot grill. Cook until golden brown on one side, flip, and grill the other side as well.
To assemble, toss the soba noodles with a good amount of the dressing, reserving enough to drizzle generously on top of the tofu. Place the tofu on top of the noodles, and drizzle with more dressing.
Serves 4 - 6.
Prep time: 20 minutes - Cook time: 20 minutes
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Beautiful photos; such gorgeous light. Great recipe, too, a welcome departure from the usual camp meal. I've enjoyed camping in Maine and New Hampshire, though it's been a while -- guess I never quite recovered from Blair Witch Project!
Hi Heidi, awesome recipe and pics as always. When I was younger, my family always used to go camping in Union Valley, and everytime I smell pine trees I'm taken back. The best part of it was the reservoir, where we could catch fresh rainbow trout and grill it...followed by toasted marshmellows of course lol. Am I the only one who thinks food always tastes better when you're camping, even if it ends up half burnt?! Hope your day's going well!
Hello Heidi, Wonderful photos and did you notice that the driftwood at quick first glance looks like a walrus sunbathing?? (Maybe it is my enormous imagination) :-) With five youngers all about a year apart, we camped with our children until the were grown up in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Amazing sights to see. I am big on leaving everything as if you had never been there, so I am happy that you and Wayne feel that way too. It is for the rest of us to enjoy. My only trips to California were on business but I did get to dip my feet and fingers in the Pacific Ocean and was surprised that it was bone chilling cold but awesomely beautiful. As are your recipies. I will be sharing this one too with my DD. She is a strict vegetarian and most of your recipes are great for me to share with her as well as to cook here for her when they visit (as they all will for Father's Day.) God bless,
I can't wait to try this out on my friends on our next camping trip. We just went to Ohiopyle State Park in Pennsylvania for some easy going car camping and then a tour of the nearby Frank Lloyd Wright homes the next day. We usually do a riff on traditional "tinfoil dinners"...Salmon with olive oil, fresh herbs, thin sliced fingerling potatoes and citrus slices or more traditional beef with mushrooms and onions (for the boys!). This will be something new and fun to try.
we are not big campers but there was one we would go to near Santa Cruz called New Brighton. It had showers and bathrooms so that was nice. we could walk right down to this huge beach from the campground. we'd play volleyball and look for seashells and go eat dinner in Capitola. very fun memories there.
That looks like some very good eats! My favorite camping cooking memory is making white chili from cans and powdered bouillon and a sandwich bag full of spices (no, it really *is* oregano, I *swear*!) in a Dutch oven over an open fire, and feediing some passing hikers. The most-often-told camping story in my family is how I got very suddenly sick on a camping trip when I was about six or seven, and a very big thunderstorm came up after we'd made camp. I may have been a little feverish, because I reported to my mom that, during the lightning, I saw the face of Jesus in the clouds. We're Jewish.
Oh wow, this looks amazing, from the food to the beach! I can't wait to try this recipe! Heidi, you always have the most amazing, delicious, and beautiful recipes. Thank you for sharing them! And I just posted a recipe myself for beans and greens that was inspired by one of your amazing dishes. (http://healthfull-life.blogspot.com/2010/06/delicious-and-simple-healthfullness.html) Best, Kendra
Your photos remind me of how lucky we are to live here. Every campground between San Diego and Eureka is different and special, I've camped in many of them over the years.
Oh yum, I always want to cook meals like that when I am camping...
Many camping memories... most relevant would be a time in college (in Portland, OR) when some friends and I camped out overnight at Ecola State Park just north of Cannon Beach. We grilled apples and some veggies and ate it over pasta -- sort of a peculiar combination, but we were so hungry that it tasted fantastic. Like some other posters, I also grew up camping out in the Trinity Alps near swimming holes. The stars at night were so amazing up in the clear sky of the mountains.
Lovely as always. Coastal camping is all I knew growing up, so I associate a good camping trip with redwoods, fog, and the mystic Pacific ocean. In fact, we're making plans right now to revisit some of our old haunts! Unfortunately I don't remember the food we ate at all, it was that interesting. So that will be something to change and look forward to. Yeah for California coast camping!
You've totally inspired me. Salt point (or Mar Vista ... can't decide) here we come!
This is a fancy camping meal that I wish I could prepare for our upcoming trip but we wont be leaving from home. We will be camping in the Colorado rockies for a few days and then into Moab, UT. One of my favorite parts of camping is the cooking. We usually make salad and hamburgers, hot dogs, tuna salad.. etc. But I will keep this recipe for when we come back home (Miami) and we go camping in the Everglades in the winter. This and the soup you made as well. My favorite camping experience has been camping in the desert in Israel... Israelis are good campers. We usually make awesome turkish coffee in the AM.
My favorite camping story was my Jr. year in High school, we went camping out of Minnesota, but crossed over into Canada. It was BEAUTIFUL and peaceful, some days we didn't see any other campers. BUT, I was not prepared for roughing it! As we were leaving, I was packing my hair dryer, my make-up, my curling iron and my brother was like "where do you plan to plug that into?" It was then I realized there would be no mirrors, no bathroom, no outlets!! Also, I didn't want to get my hiking boots wet either, so the first few days I wanted the canoe to go as far up as it could go on land, so I could walk thru the canoe to get out and not get my boots wet. Umm. we camped for 10 days and my boots eventually got wet!
years ago, we camped along the Big Sur coast...the campsite right off of Hwy 1...and fished in the surf for our dinner. the next morning was breathtaking with the coffee aromas escaping from the percolator, remnants from last nights 'coon raid, and the fog curling over the ridge behind us as the sun peaked over its breaks. no one else was awake and i had the whole coast line to myself with that first cup of coffee...never forget it.
Awesome pictures thank you for sharing ..Recipe!
This recipe sounds awesome. My husband and I recently went camping near Gatlinburg Tn. We hiked many great trails in the Smoky Mountains and had a fantastic time. Living in flat Florida, we forgot how gorgeous the mountains are!
My most vivid camping cooking memory is sitting in the pouring rain in Wales, trying to cook scrambled eggs over a small gas stove which was running out of gas. It took one and a half hours before we ran out of patience and just ate the damn things half-cooked! We then got a two-burner stove with a grill and a much bigger gas bottle, and the grilled tuna steak we ate the following year was a lot more palatable!
What a gorgeous trip! Soba is a great idea-quick, whole and delicious. Thanks for the inspiration!
Just recently camped (again) at Wildcat Camp in Point Reyes. Its close enough to the city (SF) to go on a whim, yet feels far away once you're there. I love camping there for the day hikes to Alamere Falls and swimming in Bass Lake. Beautiful photos of Salt Point!
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