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Spicy Buckwheat Soba with Tofu

This is what dinner often looks like around here when it's just The Kid and I. Shack is off working and doing manly things so there is no need to butcher and roast a beast and mash potatoes and all that Shack stuff.  He needs a good, solid dinner after a long day of work because he spends his entire day climbing and pulling and jumping off things while he hauls grown ass adults up into the air and that makes a guy hungry. The Kid and I , on the other hand, do nothing more strenuous than operate a mouse and try to remember to sit up straight and take a computer break every half an hour. Since we are not busy doing manly things, we are always happy with anything involving noodles, tofu, a few veggies and the salty goodness of asian condiments. I have been opening the fridge for days just to look at the package of deep fried tofu that has been sitting in there. One of my favourite things to do to deep fried tofu is a spicy stir fry like my green beans, tofu and mushrooms in black bean sauce and I almost made that again but where is the fun in that? To be honest, we would also be happy just slicing it up and eating it cold but that isn't going to win me any type of mom badge, is it? It certainly  wouldn't make a very exiting blog post:

Take the pre packaged, deep fried tofu from the fridge. Open the package, take half of the tofu out. slice it up. Put it on a plate. Maybe make a dipping sauce. Serve.

Yeah, not going to happen.

I was looking online for inspiration because I was craving the tofu but I was also craving gochujang and wasn't sure what to do about that. I contemplated doing a stir fried dish and served it with rice for a while but that wasn't quite what I wanted. I also kept seeing recipes that call for marinating the tofu and then baking it but nothing was totally speaking my language. Then I saw this spicy soba noodle recipe on Smitten Kitchen and knew that I was going to make buckwheat soba.

I used her basic sauce recipe as a starting point and then changed almost everything else but the spirit of the dish is the same and it was exactly what I wanted. I won't tell you how quickly I ate this bowl of noodles because that would just make me look like an animal.

In the spirit of honesty, I will tell you that after we finished dinner, Shack came home from work and he was starving. The Kid had left some of his noodles uneaten so his father grabbed the bowl and gobbled the leftovers up. He then said to me, and I quote

 "Can you make this exact thing again and don't change one thing. Make whatever you made that I just ate"

Sometimes I have to admit that I don't know him as well as I think I do.

Spicy Buckwheat Soba with Tofu for Two

adapted from Smitten Kitchen who adapted it from Gourmet

3 tbls water
3 tbls soy sauce
2 tsp gochujang
1 tbls korean brown rice syrup (or corn syrup)

1 tbls canola oil
1 tbls sesame oil
1 tbls grated ginger
2 cloves garlic
1 small head of broccoli flowerets, halved
big handful of baby bok choy, washed
3 scallions, chopped
150 grams of deep fried tofu

2 bunches buckwheat soba noodles

2 chopped scallion and a couple of tbls of toasted sesame seeds for garnish

mix the sauce ingredients in a bowl.

Heat a saute pan between med and med high and add the oils. Saute the ginger and garlic for a minute, taking care not to burn, before you add in the broccoli. Cook the broccoli, stirring often, for a few minutes. Add the scallions, bok choy and the tofu and continue to stir fry that for another few minutes, until you notice that the broccoli is starting to brown a tiny bit. Now pour in the sauce, mix it in well and cook for another 2 minutes. Put a lid over this, take it off the heat and let it sit while you wait for your noodles to cook.

you can buy pre deep fried tofu that looks  something like this

Cook the noodles according the package directions and then drain. Divide the noodles among two bowls, top with the veg and tofu (also divided in half of course) and sauce. Give the noodles and the vegetable mixture a good toss, sprinkle with sesame seeds and chopped scallion and dig in.

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