Work lunches got ya down? In 20 minutes, this soba noodle bowl with creamy peanut sauce is ready. 26g of plant protein keeps you fueled all afternoon.
Hot or cold, this soba noodle bowl has just 3 easy steps & takes barely 20 minutes:
- Boil soba noodles & frozen edamame together.
- Stir peanut sauce.
- Add carrot, cucumber, tofu and the drained soba & edamame.
- Toss to coat and sprinkle sesame seeds & green onion on like you’re the soba noodle fairy.
Plant Protein: Buckwheat & Soy Beans
Ah, Japanese noodles. Is there anything they CAN’T do?! This recipe uses soba noodles made of buckwheat flour and wheat flour. A cup of cooked soba noodles has 6 grams of protein… just the noodles! They’re also thin, nutty and a delicious change of noodley pace.
Plus, you’ll love sinking your teeth into poppable edamame and diced, precooked tofu. Soybeans are a nutritious plant protein source. It’s especially beloved in Japan, where’s transformed into miso, natto, tempeh, tofu and soymilk.
PSSST: Reading too many Facebook memes & feeling concerned about soy mimicking estrogen? I was, too… until I read what MD Anderson & the American Cancer Society say about it. The “I’m not a doctor but here’s my nutshell of common sense” summary: soy is absolutely fine in moderation, safe for cancer patients & survivors, and may even reduce the risk of breast cancer. As a leukemia survivor myself, I love this!
Let’s Make a Soba Noodle Bowl!
Step 1: Add about 8 cups of water, frozen edamame beans and salt to a large pot. Bring to a boil. Then add soba noodles and cook for 5 minutes.
Step 2: No mushy noodles. As they cook, taste the soba to be sure they don’t get overcooked. Think: “al dente”. Pour the contents of the pot into the strainer in the sink. Then run cool water over the noodles & edamame. These steps will make sure your “day 4” of meal prep isn’t a mushy bowl of sadness.
Step 2: Whisk the ooey-gooey peanut sauce! After about 20 seconds of whisking, you might think “this sauce looks stringy and weird”. Press on, my friend. In another 20 seconds or so, you’ll have a delicious creamy sauce.
Step 3: Add the drained noodles & edamame, diced tofu, and ribbons of carrot & cucumber to the bowl. Gently stir to coat.
You can either 1) dig in immediately and post a picture on the ‘gram (tag me @sweetvegtable if you do!), or 2) divide the noodles up into food storage containers. They’ll keep in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Enjoy cold or reheat in the microwave!
Soba Noodle Bowl Substitutions
Is this recipe gluten-free?
- Nope. Buckwheat on it’s own is gluten-free. However, most soba noodles you’ll find in the US are a mixture of buckwheat and wheat. So, this recipe is not considered gluten-free.
- Substitutions: However, you can substitute rice noodles (vermicelli noodles or the wider pad Thai noodles) and swap the soy sauce for tamari or coconut aminos. Pro tip: I find that rice noodles are amazing for a quick, weeknight dinner… however, they tend to clump together in a sticky ball when used for meal prep. If you’d like to try this, I suggest boiling the rice noodles & edamame and immediately putting the strained noodles under cold, running water. However, I haven’t (yet) tested this… if you do, please let me know how it works!
What is a precooked tofu cutlet? What if I can’t find it?
My local Kroger-brand grocery store carries a vacuum sealed package of precooked tofu in a small section of refrigerated Asian foods. It’s my all-time favorite hack for quick plant-protein and is ready for any recipe.
However, an uncooked block of extra-firm tofu packaged in water is 100% fine in this recipe! There’s just a couple of extra steps to get it ready:
- Drain the water
- Wrap it in a tea towel, lay it on a plate, and rest a heavy skillet on top for about 15 minutes. This will press out some of the excess water.
- Then dice it into cubes. drizzle with a little sesame oil & soy sauce (or tamari, for gluten-free).
- Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the cubed tofu for about 8-10 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally so all sides get cooked.
Hungry for More?
Work lunch got ya down? In barely 20 minutes, you can meal prep soba noodle salad with a creamy peanut sauce. 26g of plant protein will keep you full & fueled all afternoon.
Soba Noodle Salad
- 2 bundles soba noodles
- 2 cups frozen shelled edamame
- 2 Persian cucumbers (or 1 large cucumber), peeled into ribbons
- 1 large carrot, peeled into ribbons
- 1 packaged precooked tofu cutlet, diced
- Garnish: sesame seeds (white & black), green onion
- 1/3 cup peanut butter
- 1/3 cup lite soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 teaspoon garlic paste
- Add about 8 cups of water, frozen edamame beans and salt to a large pot. Bring to a boil.
- Add soba noodles and cook for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, use a vegetable peeler to make carrot and cucumber ribbons. (Avoid the wet cucumber seeds as they’ll make your salad soggy).
- When noodles are al dente, pour contents of the pot through a large strainer in the sink. (If you will immediately be dividing salad into food storage containers, run cold water over the noodles in the strainer until cool.)
- Whisk peanut sauce ingredients for 40-60 seconds, or until creamy.
- Toss soba, edamame, carrot and cucumber ribbons, and diced tofu together in the peanut sauce.