There’s an artful simplicity to this soba bowl, the thin strands of buckwheat noodles luxuriating in a delicate dipping sauce tinged with the zesty notes of Yuzu. Served with stir-fried veggies and flavoursome tofu, this deliciously-wholesome one-bowl dish strikes a perfect balance of good carbs, protein and lean greens. Bookmark this recipe for the days when you want a light and refreshing lunch which ticks all the right boxes!
Key Elements of This Yuzu-Sesame-Chilli Soba Noodle Bowl
Protein-rich soba are essentially thin noodles made entirely from buckwheat flour or a combination or buckwheat and wheat flours. While I sometimes use them as a base for a hot ramen broth, most often I enjoy soba noodles served chilled, as is the Japanese way! The silky-smooth and oh-so-light texture of cooked soba noodles is the perfect canvas for uniting a myriad of flavours in a beautifully-calibrated dipping sauce that is sharp, savoury, spicy tangy and zesty all at once.
The Yuzu-Sesame-Chilli Dipping Sauce
A pinch of ginger, light soy sauce and a splash of mirin (a Japanese staple which similar to rice vinegar but sweeter, with a kick of umami) are used with dexterity to create the base for the dressing. The star ingredient is Sprig‘s Yuzu Extract which adds complex citrus notes (with hints of tangerine and lime blossom). It’s supported by an ensemble cast of Sprig’s signature oils including toasted sesame oil and toasted chilli oil, just half a teaspoon of which is enough to lend serious shades of heat.
To make it a complete meal, I usually throw in my favourite veggies, stir-fried in sesame oil. As a vegetarian, I love experimenting with different styles of tofu too and in this case, tofu sautéed with Sprig‘s Teriyaki sauce adds yet another moreish dimension.
Yuzu-Sesame-Chilli Soba Noodle Bowl
- 3½ tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil *
- 1 tbsp mirin
- 1½ tsp Yuzu extract *
- ½ tsp garlic, minced
- ½ tsp ginger, finely chopped
- ½ tsp toasted chilli oil * (can adjust depending on preference)
For the Tofu
- Half block of firm silken tofu
- cornflour for dusting
- 1 tbsp Teriyaki sauce *
For the Noodle Salad
- 100 g soba noodles
- 2 tbsp sesame oil, divided *
- 2 cups of greens veggies, chopped (I’d recommend baby corn, capsicum, carrots, green beans, spinach and/ or bok choy etc)
- Toasted sesame seeds and/ or spring onion for garnish
- Whisk together the ingredients for the dressings (soy sauce; toasted sesame oil; yuzu extract; mirin; toasted chilli oil; ginger and garlic) until well combined. Set aside.
- Drain the excess water out of the tofu by wrapping the block between paper towels and then gently pressing down to release the water using a steel plate or even a wooden chopping board. Let the tofu sit for at least half an hour (ideally an hour) until it is fully drained and firm enough,
- Then, cut it into cubes or long rectangular strips and coat it with cornflour.
- Heat a tbsp of sesame oil in a skillet and pan-fry the tofu for 7 – 8 minutes , flipping the pieces over until they’ve lightly browned from both sides.
- Add 1 tbsp of Teriyaki sauce to the skillet and toss the tofu until the pieces evenly coated and glazed with the sauce. Remove from heat and set aside on a plate lined with sheets of kitchen roll.
Prepare Noodles & Stir Fry
- Cook the soba noodles according to the instructions on the packet, until the noodles are just shy of al dente. Drain out the noodles and immediately rinse with cold water a few times to remove the excess starch as well as to chill the noodles. Toss with a little sesame oil to loosen the noodles and stop them from clumping.
- While the noodles are cooking, heat up a tbsp of sesame oil in a skillet and add the chopped veggies, sautéeing until they’ve softened but still have a crisp bite to them. Remove from heat.
- Assemble the noodles, veggies and tofu in a large serving bowl (or divide between individual bowls). You can either serve the dressing on the side (like a dipping sauce) or if you prefer, you can drizzle it on top, mixing everything together until evenly combined.
- Garnish with toasted black sesame seeds and/ or spring onions.
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