Orange-Glazed Tofu with Soba and Spinach

I’ve always been more than okay with repetition and I know I have my parents to blame for that. in our hose growing up there were certain stories (about egg salad sandwiches or Greenbrier vans) that I heard so many times I feel like they happened to me.

I have been known to repeat stories, songs, meals, outfits, and food combinations more than is probably normal. My breakfast is always raw oatmeal with walnuts and wheat germ. I have run the same 3.5 mile loop in my hometown so many times I’m sure I could run it with my eyes closed. I’ve probably told Mike the story about getting lost in Washington DC when I was 3 years old at least two dozen times without realizing it. I have already posted two recipes with soba and spinach on this blog (here and here) and made them each a few times, but here I am posting a third. What can I say? When I find something I like, I stick with it!

This recipe incorporates some of my favorite things: orange juice in a savory dish, soba noodles, spinach, tofu, and cilantro. The recipe called for tempeh but gave tofu as a suitable substitute, and I loved it with tofu!

(adapted from 101 Cookbooks)

3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons mirin
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
2 small garlic cloves, finely minced
16 ounces extra-firm nigari tofu
2 tablespoons olive oil
a handful of cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
8 ounces soba noodles
1 medium bunch spinach, stems removed and roughly chopped

Put the orange juice in a small bowl. Squeeze the grated ginger over the bowl to extract the juices, then discard the pulp. Stir in the mirin, honey, ground coriander, and garlic. Mix together and set aside.

Cut the tofu into thin (1/4″ – 1/2″) bite-sized triangles, and press between two clean dish towels to remove excess water.

Put the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the tofu and fry for about 5 minutes, or until golden. Flip the pieces and cook an additional 5 minutes.

Pour the orange juice mixture into the pan and let it simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced to a thick glaze.

Meanwhile, cook the soba in a pot of rapidly boiling, lightly salted water, then drain.

Remove the tofu from the frying pan with a slotted spoon and set aside. Stir the spinach into the glaze that’s left in the pan, and cook, stirring, until it is just wilted. Toss the spinach and remaining glaze with the cooked soba, then top with the tofu and fresh cilantro

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