Otsu

This is one of those recipes that the cookbook falls open to, that I’ve made so many times I’ve stopped measuring everything and just go by feel, and that I probably don’t go a week with out making.  

The flavor is spicy, salty, sweet, and sour all at the same time thanks to the cayenne pepper, soy sauce, honey, and vinegar in the dressing.  I added julienned carrots to the original recipe because I love the color and crunch they add.
(adapted from Super Natural Cooking by Heidi Swanson)
Dressing:
grated zest of 1 lemon
1-inch cube fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoons cayenne
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/3 cup soy sauce
3 tbsp sesame oil
Noodles:
12 oz dried soba noodles
12 oz extra firm nigari tofu
1/4 cup choped fresh cilantro
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 English cucumber, seeded and diced
1 medium carrot, julienned
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
To make dressing: 
Combine all ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth.
To make the noodles:
Cook the soba in rapidly boiling salted water according to package directions.
Drain and rinse with cold water
While pasta is cooking, cut the tofu into 1/2″ by 1″ rectangles that are about 1/2″ thick.
Cook in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until golden brown on all sides, tossing gently once or twice.
In a large bowl, combine the noodles, cilantro, green onions, cucumber, carrot, and about 2/3 cup dressing and toss until well combined.  
Add the tofu and toss again gently.  
Sprinkle sesame seeds over the top.
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6 Responses to “Otsu”


  1. 1 Joelen September 9, 2008 at 1:56 pm

    This looks awesome… and reminds me of what I had for dinner last week at a restaurant. Thanks for posting this… I’ll have to give this a try!

  2. 2 Katie September 9, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    That looks so good! So fresh and delicious!!

  3. 3 Mike Melton September 9, 2008 at 5:21 pm

    This is my favorite…its even better after it has sat in the fridge over night.

  4. 4 Steph September 9, 2008 at 8:54 pm

    I love soba noodles! I’m usually really lazy when it comes to cookiing so I just eat it cold with some soya sauce for noodles and small drizzle of sesame oil. It looks a lot more delicious with all your vegetables!

  5. 5 That Girl September 10, 2008 at 3:46 am

    That’s like me and ma po tofu – I make it so often I don’t even need the recipe anymore.

  6. 6 branny July 21, 2010 at 8:07 am

    I just made this sans noodles and it was great. I think I’ll make it again tonight for dinner, but add in the pasta for a full-fledged side dish.


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