Make Ahead

Citrus Ginger Tofu Salad with Buckwheat Soba Noodles

July 22, 2013
11 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 45 minutes
  • Serves 4
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

Test Kitchen Notes

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

What You'll Need
  • 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
  • For the Salad:
  • 1 leftover marinade
  • 1 lime, zested
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1/8 cup orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 pinch 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. For the Tofu + Marinade:
  2. 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.
  1. For the Salad:
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Serve the salad topped with baked tofu and garnished with sesame seeds.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • AntoniaJames
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63 Reviews

Chris B. June 2, 2024
These kinds of comments about Eden Foods are nothing more than virtue signaling. Do what you want but spare me the outrage.
AntoniaJames May 7, 2021
Very nice. The orange somehow disappeared, as the other bold flavors in the sauce seem to have pushed it aside. I used all of the components of this (except the noodles) over a wild and brown rice blend, adding blanched snow peas. I'm happy to have some of the sauce and tofu left over. I like that so much of this can be prepped a day or two ahead of time, making for quite an easy weeknight meal. I'll make this again. ;o)
M June 2, 2019
sarah June 2, 2019
How many ounces in half a package of Eden Buckwheat noodles? I don't have that brand.
sarah June 2, 2019
This recipe uses 4 oz of noodles, in case anyone else wants to know.
Maria L. May 27, 2019
You do know, don't you, that Eden Foods joined Hobby Lobby in the lawsuit that struck down the mandatory birth control coverage of the Affordable Care Act on the grounds that it violated their religious beliefs? I have no idea why you specified Eden soba noodles, but I do find it objectionable and it makes me question the basis of Food52's corporate values towards women.
Leah B. May 27, 2019
I didn’t know. Thanks for sharing! I will never step foot in a Hobby Lobby for this very reason but had no idea about Eden Foods.
Poppies A. May 28, 2019
I have no affiliation with Edens Food. I just used their soba noodles because their buckwheat soba noodles are 100% buckwheat, whereas other brands often use a mix of buckwheat and wheat. So in order to be gluten free, I personally used their product and recommended it to keep recipe consistency. That is the only reason.
Bettelou May 30, 2019
Thank you for your posting.
There is a 100% buckwheat noodle by King Soba.
"King Soba Organic & Gluten Free Noodles comply with USDA regulations and the Codex Alimentarius Standards for Gluten Free Foods which are currently set at a maximum level of 20 ppm (parts per million).' (info from their company).
I purchased mine thru Amazon.
Renee H. August 15, 2020
Jesus calm down
Cindy C. May 12, 2019
Made this for a luncheon. I marinated the tofu a few days ahead and used that fab organic tofu Hodo (Hodor?) tofu from Costco. I could eat it (almost) every day too! I had to make more of the tofu because I kept snacking on it!
Cindy C. May 12, 2019
oh since I was already making a kale salad for the lunch from cookie and kate, i also subbed romaine for the kale and skipped the cabbage. Loved it!
Poppies A. May 14, 2019
Hi Cindy! So happy to hear that! There are so many delicious flavors in this recipe that it is hard not to keep coming back for a little snack :)
Wendy March 24, 2017
Thanks Poppies and Papayas for your help. I will definitely give this a try. And, thank you for sharing your recipe. Take Care!
Wendy March 20, 2017
Hi There! This recipe looks really great. But, I do have a question. About how much of the remaining marinade is left after baking the tofu? My husband and I are not big tofu fans so I may try this with another protein. Knowing about how much of the marinade I would need left over to use for the dressing/salad would be very helpful for making a variation of this. And, who knows, at some point I may even try this with tofu. Thanks for your help!
Poppies A. March 20, 2017
Hi Wendy! A rough estimate would be about 1/4 cup. The liquid reduces during the baking process. But if you plan on making it with another protein source, it doesn't really matter how much is should be similar. Happy cooking!!
Taylor S. January 11, 2016
This is honestly the best thing I've put in my mouth. I kinda used what I had in the fridge -- cabbage, carrots, and celery (adds great crunch!) -- and replaced powdered ginger for fresh. The tofu had a really pleasant sweet note to it but not so much that I wouldn't consider it savory. It blended really well with all of the fresh herbs and marinade. A keeper. *and not too bad with sriracha either ;)*
Poppies A. January 12, 2016
Thanks for the feedback! Everything tastes good with a little sriracha :)
Transcendancing October 6, 2015
We made this for dinner tonight - the weather called for more of a stir fry than a salad but this worked really well for that variation. Really great flavours especially in the tofu, would definitely make this again.
Eliza M. August 27, 2015
Just a little grizzle from a southern hemisphere reader, please put weights or at least volumes in the ingredients lists rather than '1 packet of this item that's not available in your country and 1/2 a packet of the other one that's also not available.' It makes recipes unnecessarily exclusive.
chris August 28, 2017
Good point. I hadn't registered, until you mentioned it, that even same-type foods (e.g. noodles, tofu, etc.) can be packaged in differing quantities. Funny though, my preferred soba noodles come from Australia ... :)
cagoldinger June 8, 2015
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!
Food-G May 29, 2015
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?
Poppies A. May 29, 2015
Thank you so much for that wonderful compliment :) As for the Eden Buckwheat noodles...they have two that is 100% buckwheat and one that is a mixed version and therefore not gluten-free. Hope that helps!
lunule May 19, 2015
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!
Poppies A. May 19, 2015
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 ;)
Sharon H. May 16, 2015
Looks good - dietitian has no "c" in it ;-) Sorry to be critical.
I_Fortuna May 11, 2015
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. : )
Paula D. March 2, 2015
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.
Poppies A. March 2, 2015
Thanks Paula! I am sure adding fresh grate turmeric was a lovely addition :)
Lunch L. February 15, 2015
It's ok to bake with those oils at 350 for 30 minutes?
Poppies A. February 17, 2015
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 :)
Leah B. January 16, 2015
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?
Poppies A. January 16, 2015
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.
arielles November 12, 2014
This salad was great and refreshing! My family and I really enjoyed it. Thanks!
Poppies A. November 13, 2014
Your welcome! :)