Soba soba soba.

Soba. Soba Soba.

Piles of delicious noodles.
Warm broth.
Vegetables infused with toasted sesame flavour.
Chewy lemony tofu.

In other words, comfort in a bowl.
I can count on one hand the number of times I have eaten noodles in the last few years.

It's sad, because I was in Japan where Udon and Soba were a plenty.
But, it was hard to find 100% buckwheat noodles...most places use a mix of wheat/buckwheat noodles in soba, and udon, while insanely delicious, is made with wheat flour. I did indulge a few times, and loved every bite, but it was very infrequent.

Well, I found all buckwheat noodles here. And it's plenty cold right now (Winter seems to have forgotten that it missed it's chance...March is not time to start blizzarding and freezing). And on a Friday, simple meals are much appreciated. So here it is:

Sesame Veggie Soba Bowl

Ingredients (for 2 big servings):
* 2 bundles of soba noodles (usually they come pacakged with each serving wrapped in a little paper band).
* 6 cups water
* few pinches of sea salt
*2 Tbsp kuzu or arrowroot powder (for a slight thickening)
*1 Tbsp sesame oil
*1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
*1 head of broccoli in small pieces (including the stem)
* 2 smallish carrots, in thin rounds
*2" of daikon, in thin half moons
*half a package of firm pressed tofu (2 servings), cut into pieces and marinated in lemon juice, shoyu, and a few drops sesame oil for at least an hour if possible
* grated or minced ginger to your preference, or about 1Tbsp ginger juice
*1T or more shoyu or tamari (your preference).
1. Boil water. Add salt, then noodles. Boil according to pkg (mine said for 6 mins).
2. Scoop out noodles into a colander, and rinse with cold water. Let noodles drain.  Keep the noodle water.
3. Mix kuzu/arrowroot powder with a tiny bit of water, stirring until lumps are gone.
4. Add kuzu and ginger juice to noodle water and stir occasionally, letting it come back to boil, then simmer.
6.  Meanwhile, sautΓ© veggies in sesame oils with a lid on. If they become dry, add a teeny tiny bit of water.
6. When veggies are 80% cooked (just about soft), add them to the broth. Shake the condensation from the lid into the noodle pot. Trust me on this one---it's very flavourful.
7.  Add shoyu or tamari to the broth, to taste. Let simmer for at least 5 minutes.
8.  Meanwhile, saute tofu in pan until browned a bit on each side, adding water/oil if needed.
9. Put noodles into the bottom of 2 bowls.
10.. Once the tofu's browned, add it to the veggies and broth. Simmer for ~3 mins.
11. Scoop veggies and tofu into each bowl, and then pour the broth over top.
One of the most satisfying meals I've eaten in ages.

P.S. Recommended eating utensils are chopsticks. Slurp and pour the broth into your mouth straight from the bowl.
How do you like your noodles?