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Soba noodle bowl with tofu, cucumbers, and peanuts on a dark wooden table.

Soba Noodle Bowls with Tofu

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  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 25 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Japanese/American
  • Diet: Vegan


This vegan soba noodle bowl with tofu is a flavor-packed summertime meal. Great for weeknights, meal prep, and to-go lunches.



For the Tofu and Noodles

  • One 14-ounce block extra firm tofu
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • About 1 tablespoon neutral-tasting oil, like avocado, organic canola, or refined coconut oil
  • One 8-ounce package soba noodles (or any other noodles)
  • 2 small cucumbers (preferably Persian), very thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup chopped roasted unsalted peanuts (see note below)
  • 2 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced

For the Dressing

  • 1-inch knob fresh ginger, peeled and finely minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed, grated, or finely minced
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil


  1. Place the tofu in a tofu press, or: place it on a plate, then top with another plate or cutting board, and weigh it down with something heavy, like a couple of cans, to squeeze out as much water as possible. Let stand for 15 minutes, periodically draining off the excess water.
  2. Cut the tofu into 1-inch cubes and place in a medium bowl. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon each soy sauce and maple syrup, and a few grinds of black pepper. Toss to coat. Let stand for 10 minutes.
  3. In a large non-stick skillet over medium heat, heat enough oil to lightly coat the bottom. Add the tofu in a single layer and cook until it forms a brown crust on the bottom, about 2 minutes; watch it carefully since it can burn quickly. Brown the tofu on most sides, cooking it for about 8 minutes total.
  4. Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of water to a boil for the noodles.
  5. While you wait for the water, make the dressing. In a large bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon minced ginger, 1 small minced garlic clove, 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar, and 1 tablespoon sesame oil.
  6. Cook the noodles according to package directions, then drain and rinse under cold running water, separating the strands with your hands to wash off any remaining starch.
  7. Transfer the noodles to the bowl with the dressing. Add the cucumbers and most of the scallions and peanuts, and toss to coat (I like to toss with my hands to prevent the noodles from breaking).
  8. To serve, divide the noodles among 4 bowls and top with the tofu. Garnish with the remaining peanuts and scallions.


If you don’t have peanuts – or have an allergy – garnish with sesame seeds instead.


  • Serving Size: 1/4 of the recipe
  • Calories: 520