Japanese noodles with tofu and bean sprouts

As interest in Japanese food increases, supermarkets are stocking a wider variety of noodles. To make this tempting lunch dish, Japanese soba – hearty noodles made from buckwheat – are simmered in a soy and ginger stock with smoked tofu and an appetising mixture of vegetables.

Japanese noodles with tofu and bean sprouts


  • 150 g soba (Japanese buckwheat noodles)
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 red capsicum, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 100 g baby corn, sliced diagonally
  • 100 g shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1.75 litres vegetable stock
  • 3 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons mirin or medium dry sherry
  • 2 spring onions, very thinly sliced
  • 1⅔ cups (50 g) watercress, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 1 cup (90 g) bean sprouts, trimmed
  • 250 g firm tofu
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, lightly toasted


  1. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil, add the noodles and boil for 5 minutes, or until softened.
  2. When they are ready, drain them well.
  3. While the noodles are cooking, heat the oil in another large saucepan.
  4. Add the ginger and garlic, and cook, stirring frequently, for about 1 minute.
  5. Add the capsicum, baby corn and shiitake mushrooms, and cook for a further 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are softened.
  6. Pour in the stock and add the soy sauce and mirin or sherry.
  7. Bring to the boil and simmer for 3 minutes.
  8. Stir in the spring onions, watercress, bean sprouts and tofu, and cook for a further 1 minute, or until the bean sprouts soften slightly.
  9. Divide the noodles among 4 large serving bowls.
  10. Ladle the vegetables and soup on top, sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve immediately.

Serves 4
Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 10 minutes


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