Sesame Noodles with Asparagus

I’m gotten very good about getting veggies into my dinners, but I don’t do as well with lunch – so I’ve been trying to incorporate vegetables into my midday meals more often.  Quick and easy, this dish is ideal for lunch.  It’s also a great dinner option on a busy evening.  Made with whole wheat buckwheat noodles, asparagus, and tofu, this meal is light and healthy… and, best of all, delicious!

Sesame Noodles

This recipe is adapted from Deborah Madison’s sesame noodle recipe in Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone – a wonderful cookbook if you’re trying to get more vegetables in your diet or cut back on your meat consumption.  I liked the dressing she used for her noodles, but I chose to use soba noodles because A) they’re whole wheat and therefore healthier, and B) I like them.  I also added grilled tofu to make this a more filling dish.  Finally, I turned this into a hot dish rather than a cold one.  It may be traditional to serve sesame noodles cold, but I don’t care for cold pasta.  I hope you enjoy my version of this dish!

Sesame Noodles with Asparagus

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Serves: 2


6 oz. Teriyaki Baked Tofu
1 bundle Soba Noodles (~3 oz.)
1/2 bundle Asparagus (~10 stalks)
3 Green Onions
1 tbsp. Sesame Seeds
1 tbsp. Sesame Oil
2 scant tbsp. Soy Sauce
1 scant tbsp. Black Vinegar
1 tbsp. Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Chili Oil
1 tsp. grated Ginger
1 small clove Garlic, minced

1.  Heat a grill pan over medium heat.

2.  While your pan is heating, wash and trim the asparagus and wash the green onions.  Slice the asparagus into 1 – 1 1/2″ lengths and thinly slice the green parts of the green onions.

3.  Once your pan is hot, grill your tofu.  Cook it long enough to get beautiful grill marks on both sides of your tofu and heat it through.

I use Wildwood’s Teriyaki Baked Tofu to cut down on the prep work for this dish, but you could marinate plain tofu in teriyaki sauce after it has been drained and pressed (see How to Make Tofu Edible).  Just make sure you give it a few hours to marinate so the flavor can penetrate the tofu.

Grilled Tofu

4.  While your tofu is cooking (or even while the grill pan is heating if you want to speed things up) begin bringing 2 pots of water to a boil – one small pot for the asparagus and one normal-sized pot for the soba noodles.

5.  Whisk together the sauce ingredients.

Sesame Sauce

6.  Once your water is boiling, cook asparagus for 3 minutes then drain.  Cook the soba according to the package directions (~4 minutes) and drain.

Note: I call for “one bundle” of soba noodles.  The noodles I buy come in a plastic bag with three wrapped bundles inside, but I’m not sure how other soba brands are packaged.  The package I buy is 9.5 oz. so that would be a little over 3 oz. per bundle.

7.  While the noodles are cooking, slice your tofu into bite-sized pieces.

8.  Return the noodles to the pot (off the heat) and add the asparagus, green onions, sauce, and almost all the sesame seeds and mix to combine.

Mix Together

9.  Plate your noodles, top with tofu slices, and finish with the remaining sesame seeds.

Sesame Noodles

You’ll love how quick and easy it is to make this guilt-free dish, but most of all, you’ll love how it tastes!


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