Corona and its circumstances will bring more time for cooking for some, for others it means: no time for nothing. I count myself to the latter and am grateful for and happy about every warm meal that sits on the table in front of me. Even better if it is homemade and healthy – as is this vegan dish of soba noodles with green vegetables, smoked tofu and a cashew coconut milk dressing.
I didn’t plan to cook this dish, but found myself hungry in front of the fridge and our kitchen shelves while my baby was sleeping. The result is a colourful and simple recipe which you can play with a lot. Feel free to adjust it to your own taste and needs: swap the vegetables, leave out the tofu, replace the tofu by tempeh, cut the tofu in cubes and mix it with the noodles and vegetables. Use glass or udon noodles instead of soba; and I am sure you could also make the dressing with tahini instead of cashew butter, add fresh chili, leave out the garlic, and so on. The possibilities are endless!
Below I am giving instructions as precise as possible, although I must say I do not measure ingredients while cooking. So, in case you find the dressing too thin, add more cashew butter; if you are a huge fan of tofu, use more than 120 g for two.
Every taste is different, and I hope the recipe below empowers you to cook a meal, which YOU will love in the end!
Soba noodles with green vegetables, smoked tofu and a cashew coconut milk dressing
For two servings.
For the dressing:
1 garlic clove
4 tbsp cashew butter
75 ml coconut milk
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp rice vinegar (substitute with white wine vinegar)
1 pinch chili flakes
200 g soba noddles
1 garlic clove
1 tbsp green curry paste
2 handful (green) vegetables, I used courgette, broccoli and spring onions, I assume mushrooms will taste great, too!
50 g chickpeas, tinned
20 g smoked tofu
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp roasted sesame seeds
For the dressing, peel and squeeze (or chop very finely) garlic. Stir cashew butter with coconut milk, soy sauce and rice vinegar, add garlic and season with chili flakes, salt and pepper to taste.
Boil soba noodles according to package instructions, drain noodles.
In the meantime, peel and finely chop garlic. Heat coconut oil in a pan, add curry paste, then garlic and sauté for a few seconds over medium heat.
Prepare the vegetables (wash or peel, cut into bite-sized pieces), add veggies to the pan and sauté. If using vegetables such as broccoli, add some water or vegetable stock to stew the broccoli until tender.
Add chickpeas to the vegetables as well as 3–4 tablespoons of the soba noodle water, to make the vegetables more creamy. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
In a different pan, heat coconut oil. Slice tofu and firmly press out any liquid between two lines of kitchen roll. Add tofu to a plate or shallow dish and sprinkle with soy sauce. Fry tofu in the hot pan, turning a few times, until it is crunchy.
To serve, mix soba noodles with vegetables and divide over two plates. Add tofu and sprinkle with the cashew dressing; serve any remaining dressing with the meal. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve immediately.