Spicy Soba Noodles with Smoked Tofu, Shiitakes and Napa Cabbage

Spicy Soba Noodles with Smoked Tofu, Shiitakes and Napa Cabbage

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  • For sauce:
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup light soy sauce
  • 2 to 3 tsp Korean hot-pepper paste (sometimes labeled "gochujang"), to taste (we used 3 tsp)
  • 1 tbsp packed brown sugar
  • For noodles:
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 10 oz fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced
  • medium Napa cabbage, thinly sliced (about 5-6 cups)
  • 3 1/2 oz smoked firm tofu, cut into roughly 1/2-inch cubes
  • 6 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced on the bias
  • 1 tsp Korean red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 oz frozen shelled edamame
  • 6 oz soba (buckwheat noodles)
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • Stir together all sauce ingredients until brown sugar is dissolved, then set aside.


Heat oil in wok or large skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then sauté ginger and garlic, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add shiitakes and sauté, stirring frequently, until tender and starting to brown, about 6 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, then add cabbage and most of scallions (reserve about a tablespoon for garnish) and cook, stirring occasionally, until cabbage is crisp-tender, about 6 minutes. Add tofu and toss to combine. Add sauce and simmer 2-4 minutes, until ingredients are combined and sauce has reduced slightly.

While cabbage is cooking, add edamame to a large pot of boiling salted water. As soon as the water returns to a boil, add soba noodles. Cook until noodles are just tender, about 5-6 minutes. Drain in a colander and rinse under cool water to stop cooking and remove excess starch, then drain well again. Add noodles to wok and toss to combine.

Serve sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds and reserved scallions.