Meatless Meals: Buckwheat Pasta with Tofu and Sesame Vegetables

This easy vegetarian dish is loaded with tasty vegetables, beautiful colors and varying textures.

| November 2010 Web

  • Buckwheat Pasta with Tofu and Sesame Vegetables makes a great dish for potlucks and parties.
    Photo By Miki Duisterhof and Patrick Tregenza, Courtesy Workman Publishing

The following is an excerpt from The Earthbound Cook: 250 Recipes for Delicious Food and a Healthy Planet by Myra Goodman (Workman Publishing, 2010). The excerpt is part of chapter 5: Vegetarian Entrées. 

Buckwheat Pasta with Tofu and Sesame Vegetables 
Serves 4 to 6 

The key to this recipe lies in having everything prepped and ready to go before you start cooking. First the tofu is sautéed to give it a golden crust; then while the pasta is cooking, the vegetables are quickly stir-fried. The result is an easy vegetarian dish loaded with tasty vegetables, beautiful colors, and varying textures. One thing that I especially appreciate about this dish is that it’s great hot, at room temperature, or cold right out of the fridge. This is a perfect budget-friendly recipe that’s great to remember when you need to make a dish for a potluck or a party.

1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon garlic powder
14 to 16 ounces firm tofu, drained and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
2 tablespoons kosher salt
8 ounces buckwheat (soba) noodles
3 tablespoons plain sesame oil
3 tablespoons minced shallots
1 tablespoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 cups (6 ounces) broccoli florets
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1/8-inch-thick strips (about 1 1/2 cups) 
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch-thick rounds (about 1 cup) 
1 small zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and then cut crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick slices (about 3/4 cup)
Salt, to taste
2 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted

1. Place the soy sauce, lemon juice, vinegar, toasted sesame oil, ginger, and garlic powder in a large bowl and whisk to blend. Add the slabs of tofu and let marinate for 5 minutes.

2. Heat a large skillet, preferably cast-iron, over medium-high heat and add the tofu (reserving the bowl of marinade). Cook on one side until browned, about 2 minutes. Then turn the tofu over with a spatula and cook until nicely browned on the other side, 2 minutes. Transfer the tofu to a cutting board and cut it into ¾-inch cubes. Return the tofu to the bowl containing the marinade.

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