Garlic Pepper Soba with Chili Roasted Tofu

Created by Laura Wright
4.80 from 5 votes

Garlic pepper soba with chili-roasted tofu and greens is a healthy and quick vegan main course.

garlic pepper soba w/ chili-roasted tofu // @thefirstmess
garlic pepper soba w/ chili-roasted tofu // @thefirstmess
my vegetable stock process // @thefirstmess
bay leaves // @thefirstmess
herbs tied up // @thefirstmess
my vegetable stock process // @thefirstmess

If you can believe it, this garlic pepper soba bowl was inspired by a packet of instant noodles we picked up at Whole Foods a couple weeks ago. The flavour pouch from that crinkly package with the noodles was really good at providing a top note of salty. There’s a certain appeal to that for sure, but I still wanted to try a homemade version. I have a couple methods for making delicious, hearty vegetable stock/broth, but the one I’m going to share here today is my most utilized for sure. Then, we’re going to salt that broth, pour it over noodles, puréed garlic and thin wisps of lacinato kale. We’ll top it all off with chili-roasted tofu, some sliced scallions, lots of black pepper, and lime juice.

I love homemade vegetable stock in this recipe! Other great recipes for your vegetable stock: braised harissa eggplant, ginger sweet potato and coconut milk stew, and vegan buffalo chickpea chili.

And these noodles! Once you have the broth, you’re in business. Just an easy, slurp-y bowl of noodle soup with lots of feel-good ingredients. Quick, nourishing comfort for full days. My favourite cooking method for tofu is roasting because the pieces get kind of crunchy/crisp-like. I slice kale thin, grate fresh garlic and grind pepper into the bowls before pouring the hot broth in. You could make this your own too! Use fine shreds of different vegetables, rice noodles, miso dissolved in the broth, chopped cilantro, or whatever you have!

tofu // @thefirstmess
garlic pepper soba w/ chili-roasted tofu // @thefirstmess
garlic pepper soba w/ chili-roasted tofu // @thefirstmess

Garlic Pepper Soba with Chili Roasted Tofu

Garlic pepper soba with chili-roasted tofu and greens is a healthy and quick vegan main course.
4.80 from 5 votes
An overhead shot of garlic pepper soba soup in a beige bowl that has green and red stripes. The soup is topped with crispy tofu cubes. The bowl of soup is photographed on top of a beige napkin that is on top of a grey linen tablecloth.
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 2



  • ½ block firm-extra firm tofu, dried off with a clean towel
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes
  • zest of ½ a lime
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • salt + pepper
  • 2 servings dry soba noodles
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 5 leaves lacinato kale, thinly sliced
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • lime wedges + extra chili flakes


  • As noted above, this recipe is fairly customizable just so long as you shred any additional vegetables fine enough to “cook” upon contact with the hot broth.
  • Also, check the label of your soba noodles to ensure there is no presence of wheat if gluten is an issue.
  • If you have a tofu press, using it prior to roasting the tofu would make for a nice, chewy texture.



  • Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a small baking sheet with parchment. Set aside.
  • Once you've dried off the tofu, cut it into 3/4 inch cubes and place the cubes on the parchment lined sheet. Drizzle tofu with the 2 teaspoons of olive oil and top with the chili flakes, lime zest, salt, pepper and lime juice. Toss to combine and slide the tray into the oven. Roast tofu until brown edges appear and there's a detectable crispy-ness, about 25 minutes. Flip and toss the tofu cubes about halfway through.
  • Meanwhile, cook the soba noodles according to package directions. Once cooked, drain noodles and set aside.
  • Heat the 3 cups of vegetable broth in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add a fat pinch of salt to the broth and bring to a boil. Keep at a medium simmer until ready to serve.
  • Very finely mince or microplane the garlic cloves into two separate soup bowls. Top the garlic with the chopped white parts of scallion, and ground black pepper to taste
  • Divide the soba noodles, sliced kale and roasted tofu among the soup bowls. Pour the hot broth over top. Garnish the soup with remaining chopped scallions and more salt and pepper if you like. Serve with lime wedges.
04/12/2014 (Last Updated 09/02/2023)
Posted in: autumn, carrots, earthy, gluten free, gluten free option, kale, main course, quick, refined sugar-free, roasted, salty, soup, sour, spicy, tofu, vegan, winter


Recipe Rating

  • Jenny K

    4 stars
    A nice, easy ramen-adjacent soup.

  • Kristen

    Hi! I just bought your cookbook and made the stock. I had a couple of questions: What do you do with the leftover veggies? I feel bad to just throw them away. Also, the recipe for stock barely makes 4 cups of stock, which usually means it’s just enough stock to make dinner. How do make this go further? Where I live, it costs me about $10-15 for organic veggies to make this stock, so hoping I can make it go further than 4 cup yield.

    Love your recipes!

    • Laura

      Hi Kristen,
      If you’d like to use the leftover vegetables, I would recommend incorporating them into a pureed soup of some type along with the fresh vegetables that you’re using specifically for the soup. The flavour of the stock vegetables can be quite weak after the simmering process done and for me, this has been the best way to incorporate them. In terms of stretching the stock, I do this a lot. Sometimes I’ll make the base recipe, divide the finished stock between two 1-litre jars, and top up the rest of the jar with water. It just depends on what you’re making! If you’re making a recipe where broth will really be the star, I would avoid dilution. But if you’re making a big pot of soup with a bunch of spices and herbs and other flavourful ingredients, the watered down option is going to be great.

  • Sherryn

    This tofu was soooooo good and so easy. I used the whole package of tofu and may start mass producing

  • Abigail

    Fun recipe to make! Thanks for sharing.
    I added ground ginger and a splash of rice vinegar to the broth for a zing!!

  • Jo MacArthur

    I’ve just recently discovered your site/blog and wanted you to know how much I’m enjoying your prose and your recipes. Honestly I’m really not terribly good at this cooking business but I’m inspired by how well you write and present the recipes to keep trying!! Thank you
    Jo Mac

  • Aleksandra

    Hi! Do you use vegetables from stock (for example to make a patte)? I wonder if you have some tricks to avoid throwing it away. :)
    I’ve just discovered this blog and it’s amazing!

    • Laura

      I love this question! I find the vegetables left over from stock-making don’t have much flavour left to offer, but I think you might be onto something with this pâté idea. Maybe if they were mixed with some freshly-roasted ones in the mix or something? This might have to be a new research project for me ;)

  • dedietrich

    Looks delicious. I’ll try this some day :)

  • Lyn

    This is a great site. Totally agree with your post on making stock. And thank you for the note on the parsley stems. Can kale stems be added to the veg mixture for stock?

    • Laura Wright

      Hi Lyn, I generally avoid adding anything from the brassica family, even the watery kale stems, to stock because I find they impart a bitter flavour. I always juice or blend my kale stems into my daily smoothie if I need to use them up :)

  • Tessa | Natural Comfort Kitchen

    Oh Ina–everything is so easy for her! I imagine it would be when you have a staff of 13, haha. Thanks for sharing your stock method, especially the freezer vegetables everyone swears by. I have to say, I’ve had success using close to your vegetable mix, but frozen, BUT I also always include fresh garlic, onions, and parsnips.

  • Sini | My Blue&White Kitchen

    Love this post; your description of the process of making your vegetable broth and, obviously, this soba noodle soup recipe. Feeling so inspired now. Thanks for sharing. xx

  • erin {yummy supper}

    Laura, I am so feeling this. Everything about this recipe speaks to me. Yum!

  • Anita

    Wow this recipe has changed my veg stock game for good I think! Was perfect and restorative on a snowy night.

  • Ella

    Every time you post a new recipe I am so grateful for you! Thank you for taking the time to stun us with your beautiful pictures and yummmyy recipes! You make my day each time I see somethin new.

  • Re

    Your photography is so beautiful! Do you use Photoshop to edit?

    • Laura Wright

      Hi Re, Thank you so much. I use a combination of Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom to edit the photos. I have several versions of VSCO film installed onto Lightroom, so I play around with that as well.

  • Brian @ A Thought For Food

    I need a whole pot of this stock in my life. Full of soba goodness, of course.

    Hope you’re doing well! Have a great week!!!

  • Aysegul - Ice

    Great information about making vegetable stock. You are so right about it. Since I started making my stock, I now know that nothing compares to the depth of flavor that it adds to the dish.
    I can only imagine how tasty this soba and tofu dish must be with your homemade stock.

  • Hannah @ eating with alice

    I’m feeling a little bit under the weather tonight and this looks like exactly what I need!

  • Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy

    oh my gosh this looks SO GOOD!!

  • Jessie

    Tucking this recipe away for a cold snowy day when I’m feeling extra patient ;) your broth method is legit!

  • Alex Caspero MA,RD (@delishknowledge)

    Wow! This looks SOO good! I love that it was inspired by a packet of ramen :) Cannot wait to try this!

  • Kathryne

    Dang girl. Fantastic post! I’ve actually NEVER made my own vegetable broth, in part because I’m lazy but also because I doubted that simmered bits of bad vegetables would produce anything tasty. Thanks for confirming my suspicion! This soup looks marvelous.

  • Mary

    Such beautiful photos and such a delicious recipe – a perfect soup to cheer up this dreary cold weather – thanks!

  • Kathryn

    You’re so right – stock is such a fundamental ingredient that it makes absolutely no sense to use the crappy odds and ends from the bottom of the fridge. Onion skin = perfect.

  • Ana @ The Awesome Green

    I have a similar way of preparing the veggie stock, but I always add celeriac, parsnip and root parsley to enhance the flavors. Your way of preparing the vegetable stock reminds me of the Italian soffritto which gives that fabulous taste to minestrone soups. I bet yours tastes fantastic too!

  • Lynsey

    Good stock is heaven in all it’s slurpy goodness!! Thanks for sharing yours. xo

  • kristie {birch and wild}

    If I want a stand out vegetable broth, I make a version like this. Otherwise, I use vegetable scraps (totally freeze them in a ziploc)and seaweed to make a mineral broth, which I sip in the morning. Those scraps are full of minerals! This soup looks lovely. I am always impressed at your ability to construct a dish really well with lot’s of different elements. And you take insanely good photos, too!

  • Riley

    This recipe has my mouth drooling and I just ate dinner, so that’s saying something. I can’t wait to try this broth too! It’s also nice to see another vegan out there appreciating the glory of Ina Garten. Seriously, classiest woman ever. :)

  • Elizabeth

    I love me a little kitchen dogma, and your stock principles are right on. I do almost the same thing for my veg stock, but had never thought to add the onion skin. As it happens, I’m broth-ing the frozen remains of our Thanksgiving bird (totally not the same thing, but still), and your advice came at the right time –– onion skins added.

  • cynthia

    So dreamy. This sounds like the perfect winter meal, Laura. And I second others — your stock game is on point!

  • renee (will frolic for food)

    well this is perfect in every way. i love making stock at home. your recipe sounds just so delicious. and is there anything better than a steaming noodle bowl like this on a cold night? i.e. i’m gonna be making this soon. thanks for the recipe (and oh man, could those photos be any prettier?!).

  • michelle

    So beautiful! You never know where inspiration will strike! I love soba but with soba I gotta have wakame and edamame…

  • Julie

    This looks amazing!

    Have you ever added prunes to your stock? I’ve started to based on a “Plenty” recipe and there is no going back! It adds such a beautiful color and sweetness to the stock. I love it.

  • Kris

    I love your stock game!

  • Kari @ Cooking with Toddlers

    This looks so yummy! Perfect for cold winter days. And I’m in love with your cutting board…so beautiful!

  • Vijay from NoshOn.It

    Love these tips for a good veg stock. Mine always come up super bland and boring!

  • Ileana

    You make vegetables look so gorgeous. :)

  • Liz @ Floating Kitchen

    This looks so warm and comforting. I’m ready to dive right in! And agree…homemade stock is a must. I just save little scraps of vegetables in freezer bags and then when I have enough stock-piled, I go for it!

  • Maryna

    It looks so damn good!!!

  • Ashlae

    GRRRRRL. <3 This is fucking awesome. I've only recently started making my own broth (shaaaaame on me) (but it's not from frozen scraps so THERE) and it blows the 365 stock outta the water. NO GOING BACK. We have all the ingredients for this in our kitchen, so I'm going all in for dinner tonight. But with rice noodles because soba would require a trip to the store and I'm so damn lazy these days it's pathetic.

  • Grace

    This broth is liquid gold! I would love a mug full, straight-up to sip on!

  • Aleksandra

    I love your in-depth approach to making broth. I think its these steps that we often forget in cooking and which can make or break the end result.I will definately be trying this very soon. I reflected recently on making Polenta and how simmering it slowly and stirring it for a long time made it all the more delicious. In the end you can feel all the love that went into it. You described it so well. Thanks for sharing!

  • Elizabeth Jarrard RD (@ElizabethEats)

    yum! looks incredible! I just started making my own veggie broths and there are so many different takes on it! I’ll have to try yours


    Gorgeous photography and the soup looks amazing!

  • Abby @ The Frosted Vegan

    I love your eyes of making broth! The times I have made it with scraps it ends up tasting like dirt, gross. As always, your words and photos are hella awesome : )

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

    This looks like such a comforting meal! I just love this.

  • valentina - sweet kabocha

    I love soba so much, especially in broth! It is time I buy a packet of soba, oh yes