Every day this week, we’re featuring a new easy, make-ahead weekday lunch idea that’s so good, you might just forget you’re eating at your desk. Today’s recipe: Comforting soba noodles tossed with tofu and sugar snap peas in a sesame-soy ginger sauce.
Here’s a meatless meal that has it all: crowd-pleasing noodles, light protein and a green vegetable. Because this dish is excellent served cold and makes a wonderful lunch-box addition, consider doubling the recipe. To mix things up, substitute halved hard-boiled eggs for the tofu and sautéed kale for the snap peas.
Sesame Soba Noodles with Tofu and Sugar Snap Peas
1 lb. (500 g) extra-firm tofu
3/4 lb. (375 g) soba noodles
1 lb. (500 g) sugar snap peas, trimmed
1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) rice vinegar
3 Tbs. low-sodium soy sauce
3 Tbs. canola oil
1 Tbs. honey
2 1/4 tsp. sesame oil
2-inch (5-cm) piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 garlic clove, minced
2 green onions, light and dark green portions only, sliced
1 Tbs. toasted sesame seeds
Place the tofu on a plate lined with 3 paper towels. Cover the tofu with 3 more paper towels and another plate. Place something very heavy, such as a pot, on top of the plate and let the tofu sit for 5 minutes. Replace both sets of paper towels and let the tofu sit for 5 minutes longer. Cut tofu into 1/4-inch (6-mm) cubes and set aside.
Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the noodles and cook according to the package directions. Drain well in a colander, rinse under cold water, tossing as you rinse until water runs clear, and drain again. Set aside.
Bring another pot of generously salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the sugar snap peas and cook just until bright green and crisp-tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold water and drain again. Set aside.
In a large bowl, stir together the rice vinegar, soy sauce, 2 Tbs. of the canola oil, the honey, 2 tsp. of the sesame oil, the ginger and garlic.
In a nonstick fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the remaining 1 Tbs. canola oil and the remaining 1/4 tsp. sesame oil. Add the tofu and sauté until golden on all sides, about 6 minutes.
Transfer the tofu to the bowl with the dressing, add the noodles and sugar snap peas, and toss to coat well. Add the green onions and sesame seeds and toss again. Serve warm or at room temperature or cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or up to 24 hours and serve chilled. Serves 4 to 6.
Find ways to make hectic suppers into fun, relaxed gatherings that the whole
family can enjoy in our cookbook School Night, by Kate McMillan.