Fried Tofu Bento Box with Sesame Soba Noodles and Ginger-Carrot Broccoli

Fried Tofu Bento Box with Sesame Soba Noodles and Ginger-Carrot Broccoli

Makes 1 bento box

1 ounce uncooked soba noodles
1 tablespoon low-sodium tamari or soy sauce
2 teaspoons black or white sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons whole-wheat or gluten-free flour
2 teaspoons garlic powder
Dash black pepper
1/2 block (6 ounces) extra-firm tofu, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 cup frozen broccoli florets, thawed
2 tablespoons grated carrots
1 tablespoon finely minced ginger
1/2 cup frozen and thawed edamame

  1. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add soba noodles and cook for 4 minutes, until tender but firm. Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain again. Toss with 1 teaspoon tamari and sesame seeds, and season with white pepper.
  2. In a small bowl combine flour, garlic powder and black pepper while soba is cooking. Add tofu cubes and toss gently to coat tofu with flour mixture.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium skillet and saute tofu cubes until golden brown with a crispy exterior, about 5 minutes, turning frequently.
  4. Remove tofu from skillet. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the tamari. Sprinkle with nutritional yeast, toss to coat, and set aside.
  5. Scrape bits from skillet and add 2 tablespoons water and remaining 1 teaspoon of the tamari to the same skillet. Add broccoli, carrots and ginger. Cover pan with lid and cook for 3 minutes, until broccoli is warmed through.
  6. Assemble bento box: pack soba noodles in one compartment of a bento box, or on one side or section of a Tupperware or other portable container. Pack half of the tofu and half of the broccoli mixture in other sections or areas, reserving remaining tofu and broccoli for Later Lunch. Fill in last section with edamame. Refrigerate, uncovered, until all ingredients are chilled thoroughly. Cover box and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Originally published in Vegetarian Times.