Citrus Ginger Tofu Salad with Buckwheat Soba Noodles

By • July 22, 2013 42 Comments

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Author Notes: This gluten-free and vegan salad is stock full of plant-based calcium with tofu, and sesame. Its great made ahead so it can marinate and soak up all the flavors. Poppies and Papayas

Food52 Review: WHO: Poppies and Papayas is a health enthusiast, future dietician, and photographer.
WHAT: Everything you want to eat right now -- all in one bowl.
HOW: Marinate your tofu, bake it, then toss it with soba noodles, cabbage, kale, carrots, broccoli, and a soy-citrus dressing.
WHY WE LOVE IT: This salad is something we could happily eat every day -- with gusto. Plus, we love that the marinade is perked up for the dressing -- you won't want to waste any of its soy-ginger-garlic goodness. We'll be making this all year long.
The Editors

Serves 4

For the Tofu + Marinade:

  • 1/8 cup orange juice
  • 1/8 cup tamari
  • 1/8 cup toasted sesame oil
  • 1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated ginger
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 package extra firm tofu
  1. Preparing the Tofu + Marinade: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a bowl mix together orange juice, tamari, sesame oil, olive oil, ginger, garlic, maple syrup, and cayenne and set aside. Cut the tofu into 1-inch cubes and place into a small baking pan without overlapping. Pour the marinade over the tofu. Put the tofu into the oven and bake for 15 minutes, stir, and bake for 15 minutes more until browned. With a slotted spoon, scoop out the tofu and place onto a plate and allow to cool. Pour the remaining marinade into a bowl and set aside.

For the Salad:

  • Leftover marinade
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/8 cup orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 1/2 package Eden Buckwheat Soba Noodles
  • 1 stalk broccoli, florets only
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 1 1/2 cups lacinato kale, de-ribbed and cut into ribbons
  • 1/2 cup green cabbage, shredded
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 8 basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
  1. Preparing the Thai citrus vinaigrette: Add the lime zest and juice to the remaining marinade. Continue to add the orange juice, rice vinegar, and sea salt to taste. Set aside.
  2. Preparing the salad: Cook the soba noodles as described on the package, rinse with cold water and set aside. Meanwhile, bring a small pot of water to a boil, and blanch the broccoli florets for 30 seconds. Immediately strain the florets and rinse with cold water. Put the noodles, blanched broccoli florets, carrot, kale, cabbage, cilantro, basil, and sesame seeds into a large bowl and toss. Dress the salad with the Thai citrus vinaigrette.
  3. Serve the salad topped with baked tofu and garnished with sesame seeds.
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Comments (42) Questions (0)

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about 1 month ago cagoldinger

I made this recipe to have to bring to work for the week for lunch. It's a definite keeper. Healthy, filling and a great combination of textures. This will definitely become a lunch staple. I especially love the broccoli and tofu!

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2 months ago Food-G

I wish I had a hundred more recipes like this one. This is what I call superhero food because that's what hubs and I felt like after. Texture, flavor, color, aroma, nutrition- this salad has it all. One note: my Eden buckwheat soba noodles contained wheat flour and couldn't possibly be gluten free, right?

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2 months ago Poppies and Papayas

Thank you so much for that wonderful compliment :) As for the Eden Buckwheat noodles...they have two versions...one that is 100% buckwheat and one that is a mixed version and therefore not gluten-free. Hope that helps!

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3 months ago lunule

This salad is amazing! So delicious. I used cara cara oranges for the dressing and definitely thought the salad tasted better the next day. Maybe I did not use a big enough bowl to toss but the first day the salad had pockets of flavor but the second day-perfection!

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3 months ago Poppies and Papayas

Thanks! I totally agree that the next day it gets even better! The salad hasn't made it past day two though, it always gets eaten up too quickly ;)

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3 months ago Sharon Hanna

Looks good - dietitian has no "c" in it ;-) Sorry to be critical.

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3 months ago I_Fortuna

If you are near an Asian grocer you may find small packages of baked tofu. They are usually 5 Spice tofu and they are great for this recipe. In fact, 5 Spice is great for a marinade.
Also, tossing your noodles in oil before adding any veggies or marinade to them, keeps them from absorbing too much liquid thus keeping them more firm. I like al dente and no soggy noodles!
Try using a Japanese pickle press to extract some of the water from the tofu then add 5 spice and bake it. Delicious!
The pickle press is great for eggplant, other veggies and of course Japanese cucumber pickles which go nicely topping this salad or alone as a snack or side dish.
This method of making fresh pickles causes them to be more crispy crunchy and delicious (just like you get at the Japanese restaurant) and only takes about a 1/2 to one hour to remove excess water, rinse and refrigerate.
Another delicious addition is lacto-fermented veggies. Veggies prepared this way have a lot of probiotics that are said to be very healthy. You can do this at home too. It is easy and you can find instructions for this on the Internet. : )

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5 months ago Paula

Love this recipe--the second time I made it I added a teaspoon of fresh grated turmeric. It added a nice fragrance and of course color to the tofu.

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5 months ago Poppies and Papayas

Thanks Paula! I am sure adding fresh grate turmeric was a lovely addition :)

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6 months ago Lunch lady

It's ok to bake with those oils at 350 for 30 minutes?

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6 months ago Poppies and Papayas

Yep, 350 degrees fahrenheit is not too hot for these oils. Olive oil has a smoke point of 375 and sesame up to 350 so it is fine :)

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7 months ago Leah Brown

I would love to make this for a dinner party but my friend is allergic to sesame, do you have any suggestions for a substitute?

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7 months ago Poppies and Papayas

You could try using a chili oil instead of a sesame oil and then garnish the dish with toasted and chopped macadamia/cashews nuts, or even some raw hemp seeds.

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9 months ago arielles

This salad was great and refreshing! My family and I really enjoyed it. Thanks!

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9 months ago Poppies and Papayas

Your welcome! :)

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10 months ago epicharis

I just wanted to thank you for this extraordinary recipe. I'm a young woman with a pretty severe hormone imbalance, and in addition to chemical interventions I'm now on a diet high in proteins, fats and phytoestrogens. This salad is just about everything I need in one dish! It's so delicious, too! I replaced the buckwheat soba with soybean noodles and couldn't be happier. Thank you so much for a recipe that's both a pleasure to eat and doctor-approved!

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10 months ago Poppies and Papayas

Thank you so much for your comment! Those are the words I live for, to help others through nutrition. Perhaps you might find inspiration with some of the recipes I have posted under my blog Poppies and Papayas. I try to stay up on my posts as much as possible, but sometimes life does get in the way. I wish you the best on your diet.

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about 1 year ago Rebecca Aynsley

Do you have a suggestion for what to use instead of kale? I live in rural Japan and don't have access to it.

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about 1 year ago Poppies and Papayas

Hi Rebecca,

Instead of kale you could substitute chard or even another kind of cabbage. Its really can be up to you what kind of tougher leafy vegetable you would like to add :)

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about 1 year ago Rebecca Aynsley

Thanks!

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about 1 year ago Liza A

This turned out so well! I don't normally like kale in salads, but the clever balance of ingredients here made all the vegetables more than palatable. A new staple.

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about 1 year ago Poppies and Papayas

Thanks Liza!

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over 1 year ago Jody

Dee-LISH! But there seem to be a couple of inconsistencies in the recipe? (E.g., the direction to add maple syrup in the "salad" section, but it only appears in the "marinade" list?) I also tweaked it - used tempeh rather than tofu; threw the kale, cabbage and broccoli into the boiling soba noodles to blanche for the last moments of cooking, because I'm lazy. Thank you!

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over 1 year ago mhgoblue

I made this for dinner last night and my tofu-averse husband went back for seconds. This is definitely going into my regular rotation.

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over 1 year ago Poppies and Papayas

Thats great news! I love to hear that :)

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over 1 year ago kayakgirl

Quite tasty. Followed recipe pretty well except: 1. I didn't have cabbage, so I used more of the other veggies. 2. I didn't have soba noodles so I used whole wheat noodles. 3. I put the kale in the emptied tofu pan in the off oven just to slightly wilt it (I've read cooked kale healthier than raw). Thought it was healthy, relatively quick, bright tastes, and also very key- good at room temp (took for lunch). I liked that it was lighter than the typical thai peanut noodle dish. Def will go into the lunch rotation.

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over 1 year ago Poppies and Papayas

Thanks! Im glad it will become a lunch staple :)

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over 1 year ago suzi

Hi, and thanks for the recipe! I made this last night (whew, lotta steps but worth it). Question(s), does the original have lime, or lemon? I used lime. Second, the seaweed question, could you go over that again please? And lastly, making the dressing at the end to toss over it all, it doesn't mention an amount of maple syrup in the ingredients for the finished dressing, but adding it is in the instructions? Oh, and also, is this tossed all together (it doesn't mention anything about tossing it with the noodles), or are the veg's tossed with the dressing, and then that is served atop the noodles? Thanks - I guess I'm an "exact kind of girl" when making things the first time at least. What I ended up making was really tasty, so thank you for that. :-)

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over 1 year ago Poppies and Papayas

Hi Suzi! If you would like to read a more exact version of this recipe please visit my blog for more detailed instructions. I think during the process of transcribing the recipe to Food52 I left out some information :) http://poppiesandpapayas...

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over 1 year ago suzi

Thanks! This helps ;-)

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over 1 year ago jon

I too am curious about if I toss the noodles with the salad or leave them separate!

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over 1 year ago Poppies and Papayas

Its best to toss them with the salad, because then they soak up some of the flavor. 100% buckwheat soba noodles have a different taste than white flour soba noodles and do best when tossed in a sauce....but that is only my opinion :)

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over 1 year ago Angela

My entire family enjoyed this. I did notice in ingredient list it mentions limes but in directions says lemons. I used lime and it was good.

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over 1 year ago Poppies and Papayas

Thanks! I am glad your family enjoyed my creation :)

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over 1 year ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

How much does a packages of Eden Soba weigh? I buy a different brand (from my local Korean grocery store). Thank you. ;o)

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over 1 year ago Poppies and Papayas

The package weighs 8 oz

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over 1 year ago Midge

Congrats on the wildcard. Making this tonight. Have I missed the seaweed mentioned in headnote?

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over 1 year ago Poppies and Papayas

Hi Midge! I believe I added about 1/4 cup dry arame (that I soaked in water and drained) to the salad. Looks like I forgot to write that step into the recipe!

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over 1 year ago Midge

Thanks! Look forward to trying it.

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over 1 year ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

We didn't test with the arame since it wasn't listed in the recipe, but it sounds like a great addition!

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about 2 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Yum, I love this sort of thing. Question - are you pouring all of the marinade over the tofu, then saving what doesn't get absorbed / baked off, or are you using only part in the baking step and saving some??

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about 2 years ago Poppies and Papayas

Yep I'm pouring all the marinade over the tofu and then saving what is left over after baking. The left over is what goes into the dressing.