My mum in law decided to be more experimental today and she tried making a really unique fusion dish and I was happy to assist her and take some pictures of the process. We took this recipe from 101 Cookbooks and instead of having grilled tofu, we ended up with soft ones as our cooker was acting up on us.
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.
Serves 4 – 6. (Our portion was suitable for 3 servings or for 1 very hungry man)
Prep time: 20 min – Cook time: 20 min
This dressing is really unique and we added too many green peppers initially and was super spicy. So we balanced it with more brown sugar and some salt and the result was awesome! We thought it was a great dressing to be used in any salad too:)