Restaurant quality Asian food isn’t always easy to reproduce at home. I much prefer take out for certain things like (vegan) sushi rolls, dumplings, and spring rolls because they never turn out the same when I try to make them. Sometimes I crave spicy Asian food but don’t want to order in because of how unhealthy restaurant food can be. Making certain Asian food at home doesn’t have to be complicated; there are some advantages such as being able to control the amount of fat and the quality of the ingredients you put in. You can prepare this peanut sauce ahead of time and keep it in the fridge for over a week. It can also be used as a dipping sauce for tofu or spring rolls. The combination of peanut sauce, jalapeno, and lime is just so delicious and crave-worthy! Soba noodles are soft and have a slightly different taste vs. spaghetti or vermicelli. They contain buckwheat which gives them an interesting flavor. They cook in just 4 minutes. You can get soba noodles at most groceries stores now – they’re not hard to find, but you can always substitute any other noodles as well. If you’re gluten free, gluten free rice noodles would be great in this recipe. Be careful not to overcook your noodles as they will stick together and break.
Noodles are a great comfort food when it’s cold out. This recipe in particular is well balanced with plenty of protein, color, spice, and freshness. The leftovers make a great desk lunch the next day too! I prefer to bake my tofu to get it nice and crispy with brown edges. This is a much easier and healthier way to cook tofu and uses much less oil vs. pan frying. Tofu takes a long time to brown on the stove top unless you are deep frying it. Feel free to add more vegetables to this recipe – broccoli florets, carrots, or even bok choy would be delicious additions. I used fresh, grated ginger because it’s more fragrant and spicy than ground ginger but you can always substitute with ground ginger if needed. I definitely recommend freshly squeezed lime juice for this one – it adds so much tangy flavor and balances out the spice with acid. I used Mirin or slightly sweet Japanese rice wine to make the peanut sauce but you can add an extra tablespoon of agave syrup if you don’t have Mirin. If you make these spicy noodles let me know by posting a picture and tagging @thefriendlyepicurean on Instagram or Facebook or Pin the recipe on Pinterest!
Spicy Peanut Soba Noodles with Crispy Tofu
- 1, 14oz package of extra firm tofu
- 6 oz soba noodles
- 2 tbs chopped green onions + 1 tbs for garnish
- 1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
- 1 tbs grated fresh ginger
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1/4 tsp salt
- olive oil spray
- 1/4 cup crushed peanuts (for garnish) For the peanut sauce:
- juice of one lime
- 1/4 cup creamy natural peanut butter
- 2 tbs soy sauce (or tamari)
- 2 tbs Mirin (rice wine)
- 1 tbs sesame oil
- 1 tbs rice vinegar
- 1 tbs agave syrup
- 2 tbs water
DirectionsPreheat oven to 425F. Grease a baking sheet with olive oil spray and set aside. Wrap tofu in a clean dish towel for 10 minutes until excess water is absorbed. Cut tofu into 1″ cubes and place on baking sheet. Spray with olive oil spray and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes – flip tofu halfway through baking time. Boil water for the soba noodles in a medium sized pot. Cook soba noodles in boiling water for 4 minutes. Drain noodles and rinse with cold water. Set noodles aside. Next, prepare the peanut sauce. Whisk together lime juice, peanut butter, soy sauce, mirin, sesame oil, rice vinegar, agave syrup, and water until well combined. Heat olive oil in a high walled saute pan on medium heat. Add garlic, jalapeno, and ginger and saute for about 3 to 4 minutes. Next, saute red pepper for about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and add cooked soba noodles and baked tofu. Stir in peanut sauce, making sure all the noodles are coated with sauce. Top with crushed peanuts and green onion and serve while hot. May store in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- Approximate calories per 1/4 of noodles: 496 cal