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!
Garlic Pepper Soba with Chili Roasted Tofu
SOBA AND CHILI ROASTED TOFU INGREDIENTS:
- 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.
FOR THE SOBA AND CHILI-ROASTED TOFU
- 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.