Wednesday, 1 October 2014


I love Asian food and one of our guilty pleasures is to take a trip to Wagamamas for a big plate of Yaki Soba. Looking for some inspiration for a pack of tofu we had sitting in the fridge I took inspiration from our many trips there and created a tofu yaki soba so that we could enjoy this little treat from the comfort of our own home. It required a bit of work waiting for the tofu to press and marinate but your patience will yield fabulous results, creating a dish bursting to the brim with tastes of the orient.

So as mentioned it the tofu that requires all the prep work. First of all you need to make sure that you remove any excess moisture from the tofu. Do this by placing the tofu onto a large plate. Cover this with a tea towel and then place two or three heavy books on top of the tea towel and then leave for as long as you can bear it. An hour minimum but overnight is ideal. It all depends on how much time you have. Once pressed you can remove any last moisture using some kitchen roll and then cut into 2cm cubes. Then begins the marination:

Marinated Asian Tofu

400g Block Of Tofu
2 Tbsp Honey
3 Tbsp Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
½ tsp sesame oil
1 Tsp Grated Ginger
2 Grated Garlic Cloved
¼ Tsp Cayenne Pepper

Simply chuck everything in a large bowl and give everything a mix, cover with film and leave to marinate. Tofu is a great sucker upper of flavors so let everything marinade for as long as possible to maximise the taste of the tofu. Again if your pushed for time, give it one hour minimum. Once marinated the rest of the dish really doesn't take that long which is why I say prep this the night before if you have more time and you can just take it out the next day and whip this in in now time, great if you have a more hectic evening planned.

For the more authentic Wagamama experience I've used soba noodles in this dish. They are just that bit more luxurious in my eyes and really make the dish special. Never fear; if you can't get hold of them then you can use the more readily available egg noodles however I do think if you have gone the whole hog with pressing and marinating the tofu then you should really get a noodle that will shine alongside it.

Why, for a final flourish I even topped the dish with some pickled ginger, the sharpness of which really takes the dish up to the next level, proper makes it pop as it were. You an get this in Chinese and larger supermarkets. It last forever so even if your not planning to make this any time soon and you see a jar anywhere pick one up and keep it for when this day comes. You will thank yourself for being s forward thinking.

Go on treat yourself! Quite possibly the finest "stir fry" you will ever make:

Tofu Yaki Soba

100g Soba Noodles
25ml Light Soy Sauce
1/2 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tsp Golden Caster Sugar
1/2 Tsp Dark Soy Sauce
1 Finely Chopped Onion
1 Chopped Sweet Red Pepper
200g Chopped Mushrooms
400g Asian Marinated Tofu
Approx. 10 Whole Pak Choi Leaves
Hand Full Of Beansprouts
4 Chopped Spring Onions
2 Whole Eggs
4 Tbsp Pickled Ginger
2 Tsp Sesame Seeds

  1. Start by preparing the noodles as per the packet instructions. This should only take around 2-3 in boiling water to get them just tender. Once done, drain and run them under cold water. Leave to one side.
  2. Next, take a lightly oiled pan and add in the light soy, salt, sugar and dark soy with both the onions and fry for 5 minutes until the onions are just soft.
  3. Add in the pepper and mushrooms and fry again for 2-3 minutes followed by the tofu cut into thumb sized cubes and continue for a further 5 minutes.
  4. Add the pak choi leaves, beansprouts and spring onions and heat until the pak choi leaves have wilted slightly. Whilst they do this crack open the eggs in a bowl and beat.
  5. Tip in the noodles and the eggs and give everything a good mix until the eggs have cooked through and the noodles are coated in the sauce.
  6. Remove from the heat and serve up your portions, placing a tbsp of the ginger on top and scattering over the sesame seeds.
And your ready to go. Get your chopsticks out and tuck in. There is so much going on in this dish. Beautiful tender noodles coated in the delicious Asian sauce, the tofu which will be packed full of the marinade flavor which will really compliment the zing of the ginger on top and finally, lots of crunch from the veg and sesame seeds.

It's so worth all the preparation that goes into it. I'm sure you'll agree it's not just any old "Yaki" stir fry. It's a tofutastic treat!

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