These otsu noodles are absolutely one of my favorite dishes I have made in the past two years. I can’t believe it’s taken me even this long to share them here, because I love them so much and have made them at least ten times in the past year. My boyfriend loves them too, and we’ve made them when people come over, always to great success.
They use my absolute favorite noodles (soba noodles) with a fantastic sauce on top. The veggies are really pretty customizable, but I try not to overload it with too many. Just add whatever crunchy veggies you like and if you hate eggplant and tofu, maybe try zucchini and chicken. It could only be delicious.
I doubled the amount of sauce that is in the original recipe, because we usually want a bit more and its a good sauce to have leftovers of. I imagine it would go good on just about anything – chicken breasts, pork, other roasted vegetables, rice… It’s just such a good, versatile and flavorful sauce that makes anything tasty. It’s sort of like peanut sauce, tangy and nutty but with lemony ginger flavor to it also. If you make and enjoy these otsu noodles as much as I do, let me know!
Otsu Sesame Noodles
via Use Real Butter
Makes 4 servings
Make the sauce:
1/2 cup tahini
4 tbsp soy sauce
4 tsp sugar
4 tsp rice vinegar
1 lemon, zest of
2 lemons, juice of (or more – I usually add more lemon because I love it)
1 to 2-inch nub of ginger, peeled and grated (or more to taste)
2 tsp Sriracha, to taste
1 tsp sesame oil
Stir the sauce ingredients together until smooth. If you’d like a “thinner” sauce, just add a bit of water and adjust seasonings to taste. Set aside until ready to use.
Assemble the rest:
14 oz. firm tofu
1 eggplant, sliced into 2-inch batons
2-3 tbsps vegetable oil
pinch of salt
9 oz. soba noodles, boiled according to package instructions, drained and rinsed in cold water
2 cups cucumber, cut into 2-inch batons (I used about 3 mini-cucumbers)
2 green onions, sliced thin
2 cups fresh mung bean sprouts (optional, for topping)
1/3 cup toasted sesame seeds
Wrap the tofu in several layers of paper towels and set on a plate. Place something heavy on top of the tofu to press out the water (I usually put a plate on top with heavy cans on top of it). Let it sit and press for 20 minutes to drain off excess liquid.
Meanwhile, heat a frying pan over high flame and put the eggplant slices into the pan in a single layer without oil – this allows them to dry out so they won’t get soggy when the oil is added. When the eggplant begins to brown (after a few minutes), flip the slices over and brown. Continue until the eggplant has wilted and browned, but don’t burn it. Then add a tablespoon of vegetable oil and some salt to the pan and cook the eggplant a bit more. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Prepare the the noodles, cucumber, and green onions. Unwrap the tofu and slice it into 2-inch pieces. Heat 1-2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in the frying pan and place the tofu in a single layer in the pan – be careful, because the tofu can really pop in the oil. Fry until golden on one side (takes 3-5 minutes) then flip over and fry the other side until golden. When finished, toss all of the ingredients together with half of the sauce (use half at first then add more as needed on top). Then sprinkle more sesame seeds, green onion, and bean sprouts on top and serve.