Silken Tofu And Soba Noodle Salad Recipe

Tofu is swiftly making its way into mainstream kitchens as people discover its remarkable versatility and capacity for customization, particularly those embracing plant-based diets or seeking healthier alternatives. In this unique salad, silken tofu gets its time in the spotlight, paired with the zesty punch of lime, the warmth of sesame oil, and an umami kick from soy sauce, all spiced up with a hint of red chili flakes. We're tossing this delicate tofu with soba noodles, crisp English cucumber, and sweet carrots, then topping it off with green onions and crunchy cashews for that extra texture.

"As a wellness coach, I'm all about creating nourishing meals that are as delicious as they are nutritious," recipe developer Miriam Hahn says. "The silken tofu salad with soba noodles is one of my favorites because it allows me to pack in plenty of veggies while enjoying the convenience of quick-cooking soba noodles. I love how the soba noodles hold up beautifully in a cold salad, adding a satisfying texture to each bite." There may not be any leafy greens in this salad recipe, but you'll still find plenty of vegetable goodness throughout, along with a hefty protein punch thanks to the tofu.

Gather the ingredients for silken tofu and soba noodle salad

To make this recipe, you'll need a lime, silken tofu, an English cucumber, carrots, green onions, and optional fresh mint for serving. "You might wonder what makes English cucumber different from other types — I like using them here because they are less watery than a standard cucumber and hold their shape better when slicing them into julienned pieces," Hahn shares.

You'll also want to grab soba noodles and raw, unsalted cashews from the dry goods area. Finally, check your condiment cabinet for sesame oil, soy sauce, and red chili flakes.

Step 1: Make the tofu marinade

In a small bowl combine the lime juice, sesame oil, soy sauce, and red chili flakes.

Step 2: Cut the tofu

Cut the tofu into 1-inches cubes.

Step 3: Marinate the tofu

Pour the lime juice mixture over the tofu and marinate for 1 hour.

Step 4: Cook the soba noodles

Cook the soba noodles according to the package instructions.

Step 5: Drain and rinse the noodles

When the noodles are done cooking, drain and rinse under cold water.

Step 6: Toast the cashews

Add the cashews to a dry skillet and toast on medium heat for 5-8 minutes, shaking the pan frequently.

Step 7: Add the ingredients to a bowl

To a large bowl, add the noodles, marinated tofu (along with the extra marinade in the bowl), cucumber, carrots, green onions, and toasted cashews.

Step 8: Serve the salad

Serve, optionally garnished with fresh mint and extra lime juice.

What makes silken tofu different from other kinds of tofu?

Many people aren't quite sure what to do with tofu, especially when they come across the word "silken." Silken tofu stands out from other types of tofu due to its unique texture and consistency. Unlike regular tofu varieties, which are typically firm or extra-firm, silken tofu has a soft, smooth, and custard-like texture. This texture is achieved through a different production method and results in a tofu with a higher moisture content and a delicate, silky texture. Additionally, silken tofu is not pressed, so it retains more water and has a higher water-to-soy protein ratio compared to other tofu varieties. There are many ways to use silken tofu that may surprise you.

If you would like to use another type of tofu, firm tofu is a versatile option that holds its shape well and has a slightly chewy texture. It's great for absorbing marinades and sauces, adding a bit of substance to the salad. Extra-firm tofu has an even denser texture than firm tofu and holds up particularly well in stir-fries and salads. It's ideal for those who prefer a chewier texture in their tofu. Like firm tofu, extra-firm tofu can be added to the salad uncooked or it can be pan-fried, baked, or grilled before adding it to the salad.

Can I add other vegetables to this soba noodle salad?

There's ample room to incorporate a variety of additional vegetables in this salad, enriching both flavor and nutrition. Alongside the cucumber and carrot, consider adding sliced bell peppers for color and crunch, or snow peas for their crisp texture and subtle sweetness. Shredded red cabbage offers vibrancy and a hint of peppery flavor, while bean sprouts contribute refreshing crunch and nuttiness. Halved cherry tomatoes bring bursts of juicy sweetness, while lightly blanched broccoli florets add a tender-crisp texture.

If tofu is not your thing you can add non-vegetarian options like grilled chicken strips or cooked shrimp into your soba noodle salad adding a savory depth that pairs beautifully with the existing flavors. Grilled chicken, with its subtle smokiness and tender texture, complements the zesty lime, aromatic sesame oil, and the umami-rich soy sauce, introducing a hearty element that can make the salad more filling and satisfying. The shrimp's natural flavor marries well with the tangy and savory dressing, adding a layer of complexity that elevates the dish.

Silken Tofu And Soba Noodle Salad Recipe
5 from 19 ratings
Soft, custard-like silken tofu shines in this salad recipe alongside soba noodles, crunchy cucumbers, and carrots.
Prep Time
1.17
hours
Cook Time
5
minutes
Servings
2
Servings
2 bowls of salad
Total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Ingredients
  • Juice of 1 lime, plus more for serving
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 12 ounces silken tofu
  • 6 ounces soba noodles
  • ½ English cucumber, julienned
  • ½ carrot, julienned
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • ½ cup raw, unsalted cashews
Optional Ingredients
  • fresh mint
Directions
  1. In a small bowl combine the lime juice, sesame oil, soy sauce, and red chili flakes.
  2. Cut the tofu into 1-inches cubes.
  3. Pour the lime juice mixture over the tofu and marinate for 1 hour.
  4. Cook the soba noodles according to the package instructions.
  5. When the noodles are done cooking, drain and rinse under cold water.
  6. Add the cashews to a dry skillet and toast on medium heat for 5-8 minutes, shaking the pan frequently.
  7. To a large bowl, add the noodles, marinated tofu (along with the extra marinade in the bowl), cucumber, carrots, green onions, and toasted cashews.
  8. Serve, optionally garnished with fresh mint and extra lime juice.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 711
Total Fat 30.1 g
Saturated Fat 5.2 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 88.6 g
Dietary Fiber 5.1 g
Total Sugars 6.2 g
Sodium 1,153.5 mg
Protein 35.9 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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