Cucumber-Soba Bowls with chile oil
1 medium seedless cucumber, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, finely chopped or grated
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
9 ounces soba noodles
14 ounces silken tofu
Hot chile oil
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
Large handful torn fresh basil leaves
Place the cucumbers in a large bowl and season with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Set aside, tossing occasionally, until the cucumbers have release some of their liquid, about 15 minutes.
Drain off any accumulated juices into a separate medium bowl, and whisk in the ginger, garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, and oil. Pour over the cucumbers and toss to combine.
Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add the soba noodles and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold water, then drain once more.
Add the drained soba noodles to the cucumber mixture and toss to combine. Divide the noodles and cucumbers among 4 bowls and top each with a spoonful of tofu. Drizzle each bowl with some hot chile oil, sprinkle with sesame seeds and basil, and serve.
Fried tofu and Maifun
14 oz. extra firm tofu
6 oz. thin rice noodles (maifun)
1 small serrano chile, thinly sliced
3 cups washed baby spinach (or larger leaves roughly chopped)
1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
Press tofu. In a large bowl, soak rice noodles, chile, and spinach in hot water. While the tofu is being pressed, mix together Sriracha, soy sauce, sesame oil, and rice vinegar.
Slice the tofu into slabs, heat vegetable oil in a high-sided skillet, and fry the tofu pieces until brown. Chop the fried tofu into chunks, spoon over drained rice noodle mixture, then pour the dressing over everything.