If Heidi Swanson, cookbook author – Super Natural Cooking: Five Ways To Incorporate Whole and Natural Ingredients into Your Cooking and food blogger of www.101cookbooks.com says that this is one of the very best recipes, you’d better believe it. In fact, you might as well cut this article out and make it this week. Heidi specializes in whole, natural foods, the good-for-you recipes that you probably can use more of. The original version of this recipe is from a quaint restaurant in San Francisco called Pomelo. “Otsu” is the name of this dish on their menu, and it means ” strange; quaint; stylish; chic; spicy; witty; tasty.”
If you don’t like tofu, this recipe is also great with shrimp. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper, grill two minutes each side or until cooked through.
I could also tell you that I made this again last night and tossed in leftover, KFC cold fried chicken, but then I think Heidi would be kinda upset at me.
Recipe adapted from Heidi Swanson www.101cookbooks.com who adapted it from Culture & Cuisine Magazine who got it from Pomelo Restaurant. I love how recipes evolve and get passed on! I’ve changed the recipe slightly…enjoy!
You’ll want to get firm or extra-firm tofu for this recipe – any softer will just crumble in the frying pan.
For the dressing:
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1 inch section of ginger, peeled and grated
1 tablespoon honey
3/4 teaspoon Asian chilli powder (or cayenne)
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/3 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons grapeseed oil (or olive oil)
1 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
12 ounces dried soba noodles
1 tablespoon cooking oil (whatever oil you use above in the dressing is fine)
12 ounces extra-firm nigari tofu
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients except for the oils in a food processor or hand blender. Run the blender for a few seconds, until all ingredients are combined. With the machine running, drizzle in the oils.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the soba noodles until just tender, then drain.
While the noodles are cooking, drain the tofu, pat very dry and cut into 1-inch cubes. Heat a nonstick frying pan over medium high heat and when hot, pour in the cooking oil. Add the tofu cubes in one layer. Cook for 1 minute until browned, toss gently and continue cooking until all sides are golden brown and firm.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the soba with about 2/3 cup of the dressing and the sesame seeds. Toss until well combined. Add the tofu and toss again gently.
Serves 4 for lunch or as part of multi-course meal