Soba, a Japanese noodle, is made from buckwheat flour and is a nutritional powerhouse compared to regular pasta. It has twice the amount of protein as rice and has the some of same healthful compounds found in green tea and red wine.

I made Otsu this weekend from  Super Natural Cooking. Soba and tofu are tossed with a ginger-cayenne-sesame dressing. So deliciously full of flavor and spicy {I didn’t even add Sriracha 😛 }, I think this would be a great potluck dish. It’s almost vegan, except for the honey–which could be substituted with agave or maple syrup or brown rice syrup…


From 101 Cookbooks and Super Natural Cooking

Ginger-Sesame Dressing

  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • Fresh ginger, cut into a 1-inch cube, peeled, and grated
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup unseasoned brown-rice vinegar
  • 1/3 cup shoyu sauce (wheat-free soy sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 12 ounces dried soba noodles
  • 12 ounces extra-firm nigari tofu
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled, cut in half lengthwise, seeded, and thinly sliced
  • 1 small handful of cilantro sprigs, for garnish
  • 1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
  1. Make the dressing by combining the zest, ginger, honey, cayenne, and salt in a food processor (or use a hand blender) and process until smooth. Add the lemon juice, rice vinegar, and shoyu, and pulse to combine. With the machine running, drizzle in the oils.
  2. Cook the soba in plenty of rapidly boiling salted water just until tender, then drain and rinse under cold running water.
  3. While the pasta is cooking, drain the tofu, pat it dry, and cut it into rectangles roughly the size of your thumb (½ inch thick and 1 inch long). Cook the tofu in a dry nonstick (or well-seasoned) 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.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine the soba, the ¼ cup cilantro, the green onions, cucumber, and about ⅔ cup of the dressing. Toss until well combined. Add the tofu and toss again gently. Serve on a platter, garnished with the cilantro sprigs and the toasted sesame seeds.

Serves 4-6.


15 thoughts on “Otsu

  1. I LOVE this recipe. It has everything I want in it – soba noodles, cilantro, cucumbers…gorgeous!

    I have one question, though. Do udon or soba noodles have all the sodium in them? One of them does…I remember this because I am always going nutso on sodium.

    Regardless, I’m going to be trying this soon…

    • Yum! What a beautiful presentation, I bet this tasted as fabulous as it looks. I will definitely have to give it a try.

      And too funny you’ve had the new wholegrains cookbook on your wish list, and I have had super natural cooking on mine. 😉

  2. I don’t even like tofu and that dish is calling to me! It’s so gorgeous! I’ve been meaning to try soba noodles – thanks for the reminder.

  3. Soba, tofu, and ginger? YES, YES, YES! These are some of my favorite ingredients, all combined into one tasty dish. I adore tofu, and I think ginger adds such a wonderfully fresh flavor to it. Man, this looks so darn good.

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