Sunday, June 10, 2007

Super Natural Soba

I was looking for a side dish to go with some panko crusted chicken the other night and decided to try out a recipe from Heidi Swanson's newest cookbook, "Super Natural Cooking." This is a delightful book in which the author emphasizes the use of "whole and natural" ingredients into one's lifestyle and cooking.
Heidi provides a nice synopsis and guide on what she considers "natural" and "whole" foods and how to incorporate such products into your day-to-day meals.
This simple recipe called OTSU includes both soba noodles and tofu and can be eaten either warm, at room temperature, or my favorite way, cold, right out of the fridge.
I found that the flavors of this dish improved after a day or two. It's light, flavorful, refreshing and perfect as a side or a main course.
Otsu (courtesy of Super Natural Cooking by Heidi Swanson):
Ginger-Sesame Dressing-
grated zest of 1 lemon
1-inch cube fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 tablespoon honey
3/4 teaspoon cayenne
3/4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt (I used regular sea salt)
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup unseasoned brown rice vinegar (I used regular rice vinegar)
1/3 cup shoyu sauce (soy sauce)
2 tabelspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

12 ounces dried soba noodles
12 ounces extra-firm nigari tofu (I couldn't find the extra firm tofu so used firm tofu instead)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 green onions, sliced thinly
1/2 cucumber, peeled, cut in half lengthwise, seeded and thinly sliced
1 small handful of cilantro, coarsely chopped, for garnish
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds for garnish
Directions for the dressing:
combine the zest, ginger, honey, cayenne, and salt in a food processor and process until smooth. Add the lemon juice, rice vinegar, shoyu and pulse to combine. Drizzle in the oils while the machine is running.
Cook the soba in plenty of rapidly boiling salted water just until tender, then drain and rinse under cold running water.
While the pasta is cooking, drain the tofu, pat it dry, and cut into rectangles roughly the size of your thumb (1/2 inch thick and 1 inch long). Cook the tofu in a dry nonstick skillet over medium-high heat for a few minutes until the pieces are browned on one side. Toss gently once or twice, then continue cooking for another minute or so, until the tofu is firm, golden, and bouncy.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the soba, the 1/4 cup cilantro, green onions, cucumber, and about 2/3 cup of the dressing and toss until well combined. Add the tofu and toss again gently. Serve on a platter, garnished with the cilantro sprigs and toasted sesame seeds.
Serves 4 to 6

1 comment:

Nicole said...

I don't have Heidi's book yet but these noodles sound wonderful! I'm with you, I would love to eat them cold out of the fridge ;-)