Prep time: 20 min – Cook time: 20 min
- 12 ounces / 340g dried soba noodles
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus a bit more for the tofu
- 16 oz / 450g extra-firm tofu, drained and patted dry
- 3 medium cloves garlic
- scant 3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- 3 small/medium shallots
- 3 small serrano peppers, minced
- 1 bunch (about 4 handfuls) of cilantro, stems trimmed
- 1 teaspoon natural cane sugar (or brown sugar)
- 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
- 3/4 cup / 180 ml extra-virgin olive oil
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt generously, then cook the soba noodles per package instructions, being mindful to not overcook them. Drain, run under cold water for a minute, shake of as much extra water as possible, then toss well with the olive oil. Gently work the olive oil through the noodles. Place the soba in a large plastic bag and refrigerate overnight, or until you’re ready to use them – up to a few days.
- Make the dressing using a mortar and pestle OR a food processor. I used the m&p which takes a while (and provides quite the arm workout), but I prefer the end result. Pound the garlic and salt into a paste, then work in the shallots one at a time, then the peppers. Then the cilantro a handful at a time. The mixture should be quite smooth. Add the sugar, then the lime juice before stirring in the olive oil a bit at a time. Taste and adjust the flavors if need be – more salt, sugar, lime juice, etc. using the processor? Just blend it all together, then tweak the flavors a bit if needed.
- Cut the tofu into slabs (see photo), rub gently with olive oil and place on a medium-hot grill. Cook until golden brown on one side, flip, and grill the other side as well.
- To assemble, toss the soba noodles with a good amount of the dressing, reserving enough to drizzle generously on top of the tofu. Place the tofu on top of the noodles, and drizzle with more dressing.