Japanese soup noodles with smoked tofu and bean sprouts

    25 min

    As interest in Oriental cuisines increases, supermarkets are stocking a wider variety of noodles. To make this tempting lunch dish, Japanese soba – hearty noodles made from buckwheat – are simmered in a soy and ginger stock with smoked tofu and an appetising mixture of vegetables.

    2 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 150 g (5½ oz) soba (Japanese buckwheat noodles)
    • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
    • 1 tbsp finely grated fresh root ginger
    • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
    • 1 red pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
    • 100 g (3½ oz) baby corn, sliced diagonally
    • 100 g (3½ oz) shiitake mushrooms, sliced
    • 1.7 litres (3 pints) vegetable stock
    • 3 tbsp light soy sauce
    • 3 tbsp medium dry sherry
    • 2 spring onions, very thinly sliced
    • 55 g (2 oz) watercress, roughly chopped
    • 85 g (3 oz) bean sprouts
    • 250 g (8½ oz) smoked tofu with almonds and sesame seeds, cubed

    Prep:15min  ›  Cook:10min  ›  Ready in:25min 

    1. Bring a large pan of water to the boil, add the noodles and boil for 5 minutes or until softened. When they are ready, drain them well.
    2. While the noodles are cooking, heat the oil in another large saucepan. Add the ginger and garlic, and cook, stirring frequently, for about 1 minute. Add the red pepper, baby corn and shiitake mushrooms, and cook for a further 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are softened.
    3. Pour in the vegetable stock and add the soy sauce and sherry. Bring to the boil and simmer for 3 minutes. Stir in the spring onions, watercress, bean sprouts and tofu, and cook for about 1 minute more or until the bean sprouts soften slightly.
    4. Divide the noodles among 4 large serving bowls. Ladle the vegetables and soup on top and serve immediately.

    Each serving provides

    A, C, E, calcium, copper, iron, B1, B6, folate, niacin, zinc

    Another idea

    To make scented Thai noodles with prawns and lemongrass, cook 150 g (5½ oz) cellophane noodles in boiling water for about 3 minutes or until softened. Meanwhile, stir-fry 1 tbsp grated fresh root ginger, 1 tbsp finely chopped lemongrass and 2 crushed garlic cloves in 1 tbsp sunflower oil for 1 minute. Add 1 seeded and sliced red pepper and 100 g (3½ oz) sugarsnap peas, and cook for a further 3 minutes. Pour in 1.7 litres (3 pints) vegetable stock together with 3 tbsp each light soy sauce and dry sherry. Bring to the boil and simmer for 3 minutes. Add 300 g (10½ oz) raw tiger prawns, peeled, 115 g (4 oz) baby spinach leaves, 150 g (5½ oz) bean sprouts, 4 thinly sliced spring onions and 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander. Simmer until the prawns change from grey-blue to pink, then remove from the heat and stir in the grated zest and juice of 2 limes and 2 tbsp fish sauce. Put the drained noodles in serving bowls, ladle over the soup and serve.

    Plus points

    *Soba are Japan's most popular noodles. They are made from buckwheat, which though eaten as a cereal is actually the fruit of a plant related to rhubarb. Buckwheat is a good source of B vitamins and contains some calcium.
    *Tofu is a good source of non-animal protein and offers good amounts of iron and B vitamins as well as useful amounts of calcium. It is low in saturated fat.

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    Reviews in English (1)


    Delicious! This soup tastes so wholesome and is very filling. I love that is not too salty like other Japanese soups I've tried. I used home made stock and the broth ended up tasting amazing with all the flavours mixed in. I didn't have watercress on hand so I substituted for baby spinach and topped the soup with daikon radish sprouts to add the kick I would not get from the spinach. I also could not find almond sesame smoked tofu so I used regular smoked tofu and added a drizzle of sesame oil on the soup. It was lovely! Thank you for posting, this is a new classic recipe for me! I think next time I might double the bean sprouts quantity though. Yum!  -  08 Jan 2016