Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Green Tea Buckwheat Soba Noodles with Edamame and Tofu

Some gardeners suggest that the best way to harvest edamame is to pull out the entire plant and then pluck off the beans. The rationale is that the edamame tend to ripen at the same time, so there's no point to leaving the plant in the garden.  It also eliminates the tedious bending and searching for mature edamame.  But it takes fortitude to yank up a perfectly healthy vegetable plant, especially one that is still growing and flowering, so we chose to leave the plants in the ground and harvest the mature edamame every few weeks.  Our approach produced edamame all summer, plus a massive late crop of edamame that we harvested this week.  The plants were loaded from top to bottom with the last beans of the season, so laden with pods that the plants were drooping under the weight of the soybeans.  With no new flowers in sight, and few immature pods that needed more time to mature, we finally pulled up the plants.  Just four plants yielded several pounds of gorgeous, fat edamame pods. 

Now the tough decision -- how to use them.   One of our favorite weeknight dinners is a Japanese dish using green tea buckwheat soba noodles.  This dish is heavy on the protein (using both edamame and tofu), and the green noodles look beautiful with our freshly picked edamame.  The noodles are also surprisingly hearty, making for a very filling meal.  We use fresh tofu, but packaged works just as well.  For that matter, if you don't have any fresh edamame, frozen are fine.  Make sure you select the beans that have already been removed from the pods.

Green Tea Buckwheat Soba Noodles 
(Uji Cha Soba) 
with Edamame and Tofu 
(makes 2 entree portions)


7          oz         (1 package) uji cha
                         green tea buckwheat soba noodles
2         Tbs        Japanese soy sauce
1         Tbs        Japanese rice vinegar
1         Tbs        mirin
1         Tbs        tahini
1         cup         fresh edamame, removed from pods
10       oz           fresh tofu or firm packaged tofu, cubed
                         peanut oil
3         Tbs        sesame seeds

  1. Heat oven to 350.  Place sesame seeds on sheet pan and toast in oven until fragrant and golden, about 3 minutes.  Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
  2. Cook noodles in boiling water 3 to 4 minutes.  Drain immediately in a collander and run under cold water to stop the cooking process.
  3. Heat peanut oil over medium high in a pan or wok.  Fry tofu until golden brown, flip over and repeat.  Remove from pan and place on paper towels to dry.
  4. Boil a pot of salted water.  Add edamame and cook until tender.  Our fresh edamame cooked in 3 minutes.  If using frozen, it may take longer.  Drain immediately in collander.
  5. Combine soy sauce, rice vinegar, mirin and tahini.  Add to the noodles and mix well.  Fold in the tofu and edamame.  Spinkle with toasted sesame seeds.  Serve hot or cold.



  1. I think we're thinking alike. I would love to add edamame in soba noodles. I think I've said this before that I love edamame and I want to live in your garden. :)Great recipe.

  2. I was growing edamame 20 years ago before they were "cool" and agree with your harvesting suggestions. The shelled beans freeze very well and are terrific in recipes like this one. They make a great 'succotash' combined with corn. This is a veg more folks should discover!

  3. Beautiful colors! I could beans and eggplant all the time, so no fear! My hubby on the other hand cannot! LOL

  4. Looks Superhealthy and yummy!

  5. I actually just found green tea soba noodles at our local Vietnamese grocery story -- and am quite excited to try them. This might just make it onto my list of ideas.

    Love soba -- does the green tea flavor come out at all? or is it mostly the color?

    Any other applications you'd particularly recommend?

  6. This looks delicious. I was hoping to find that you used green tea (Matcha powder) in the recipe. I've got a pound of it and am looking for things to do with it other than drink it.

  7. Nice post, thanks for sharing this wonderful and useful information with us.

    Green Tea Weight Loss


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