Five-Spice Soba Noodles

Kitchen Tested
  • Yield 8 servings
  • Prep 10 mins
  • Cook 55 mins

Buckwheat, with a bold yet slightly nutty flavor are balanced by the mild vegetable broth and Asian greens and spices.

Mark Boughton

In a pinch, you can substitute other noodles, such as Japanese udon or spaghettini.


Five-Spice Hoisin Tofu:
1 jar (7-ounce) hoisin sauce
1/3 cup rice wine or sake
3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon five-spice powder
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2 packages (14-ounce) extra-firm tofu, drained and cut in half horizontally
Broth and Noodles:
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
1/2 cup rice wine or sake
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 cups diagonally sliced green onions (mainly green part)
1/2 pound baby spinach
1/2 pound soba noodles


  1. To prepare tofu, mix hoisin sauce, rice wine, soy sauce, garlic, five-spice powder and sesame oil together. Add tofu and carefully toss to coat. Let stand 1 hour at room temperature.
  2. Preheat oven to 375F.
  3. Arrange tofu on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Pour marinade on top. Bake 35 minutes. Remove from oven and cool slightly. Cut into 1/4-inch thick pieces, making sure slices are still coated with marinade.
  4. To prepare broth, combine vegetable broth, water, rice wine, ginger and soy sauce in a large saucepan. Heat until very hot. Cook 10 minutes to blend flavors. Add tofu slices and green onion; cook until liquid comes back to a boil. Add spinach and stir carefully. Cook until spinach is slightly wilted. Turn off heat.
  5. To prepare noodles, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add noodles and stir to separate. When water returns to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cook 3 1/2 to 4 minutes, until al dente. Drain noodles, rinse under warm water, and divide among serving bowls. Spoon broth, tofu and spinach over noodles.

Adapted with permission from Nina Simonds’ Spices of Life (Aldred A. Knopf, 2005).



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