A few weeks ago Ben came back from the lovely Earth Foods in Kentish Town with an exciting looking packet of Clearspring organic buckwheat and sweet potato soba noodles. They have been sitting patiently in the cupboard awaiting their destiny for some weeks.
Last Thursday, craving something bulky but light, with clean Asian flavours and fresh spring textures, I cooked them up with a great tofu, noodle and sweet sesame paste from the wonderful 101 cookbooks. The recipe uses sugar and black sesame but I modified it with rich organic honey and my favourite omega seed mix.
You can use soba or udon noodles for this, but buckwheat’s nutty flavour goes perfectly with the light flavours of sesame and tamari or soy sauce. Buckwheat is also our friend because it is a fruit not a grain, giving us a lower glycaemic load and more energy for longer. The paste is easy to make and great to have around for ramping up veggies and noodles on a lazy quick-dinner sort of night.
3 tsp mixed seeds (I use flax, pumpkin, sunflower, hemp and pine nuts)
70 g sesame seeds
1 1/2 tbsp honey or maple syrup
1 1/2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
1 1/3 tsp mirin
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
2 tbsp brown rice vinegar
A pinch of dried chili flakes
350 g firm tofu
Cold-pressed seed or nut oil
1 bunch spring onions, sliced
Lightly roast your seeds until golden, then crush them in a pestle and mortar together with the tamari, sesame oil, honey, mirin, rice vinegar and chilli flakes to form a paste. Set aside.
Lightly pan fry your tofu in strips with a little oil and salt and set aside to cool while you boil the noodles in salted water according to the instructions on the packet. Drain and run under cool water, setting aside some of the cooking water.
Keeping two tablespoons of the paste aside, mix the rest with the cooking water and mix into the noodles. Top with the tofu, spring onion, a drizzle of tamari and a tablespoon each of the paste and serve.