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Vegetable Yaki-Soba

Reprinted from Feeding the Whole Family by Cynthia Lair (Sasquatch Books, 2008).

This traditional Japanese dish is one of my favorite dishes.  My daughter has loved yaki-soba from kindergarten to college. I like to pan-fry the tofu cubes before adding them but the dish is equally good if the tofu is added raw.  Soba is a hearty noodle made from buckwheat and wheat flour.  Watch our video about soba.

1 package soba noodles
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
I onion, cut in thin half moons
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, cut into matchsticks
5 shitake mushrooms
, cut into bite-size pieces
4 cups water
1/3 cup tamari or shoyu
˝ pound firm tofu, cut into ˝" cubes or fried tofu
1 tablespoon freshly grated gingerroot

2 cups chopped
bok choy
2 scallions, cut into thin slices

Prepare soba noodles according to package directions.  Drain and set aside.

Heat oil in a 4-quart soup pot.  Add onion and garlic; sauté over medium heat until onion begins to soften.  Add carrot and mushroom pieces; sauté a few minutes more.  Add water, tamari, tofu and gingerroot.  Bring heat up until mixture begins to simmer.  Cover and let simmer for 10 minutes.  Add bok choy and simmer until leaves are bright green.  Serve this dish by placing a handful of noodles in each serving dish.  Ladle broth and vegetables over the noodles.  Garnish with scallions.

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Makes 4 servings

FOR BABIES 6 MONTHS & OLDER:  Reserve some carrots and bok choy.  Steam until tender, puree with some of the broth and serve.

FOR BABIES 10 MONTHS & OLDER: Serve plain slices of tofu and/or cooked soba noodles cut into small pieces.


Sophia K
If I make a big vat of this should the noodles be kept separate from the rest of the soup while it is in the fridge? Do soba noodles soak up a lot of liquid? Thanks!
January 28, 2010, 5:12 pm

Joan TUCker
I started watching because i am a fan of Matt's then I got hooked on you and the recipes, then I started cooking healthier- then I got your cookbook, then more cookbooks, them I changed out my pantry. Now at least 60% of the time I am cooking whole foods and we are eating much better.Your humor and no nosense got to me more than classes and lectures. Thank you.Joan Tucker
January 28, 2010, 5:19 pm

Cynthia Lair
Sophia, Yes I would keep the noodles separate but toss them with a oil first so they don't get too sticky. They can be steamed and reserved. Joan - your comment made our day!
January 29, 2010, 9:22 am

Julie Sullivan
I am really to find your website and am copying a chocolate cake recipe to later today. Thanks, Julie
January 29, 2010, 9:50 am

Hayley Alloway
We are soy intolerant, what would you use in place of the soy sauce? Thank you.
January 29, 2010, 3:05 pm

Cynthia Lair I haven't tried this but it looks like it would work as a soy sauce substitution.
January 29, 2010, 6:41 pm

kyndale pease
my family loves your videos. We sit together and watch them. My kids all love food and cooking. We're making two of your recipes this week. The Yaki Soba (gluten-free version) and June's chili (with turkey instead). By the way, I won a chili cook-off with that recipe a few months ago. We love it. Kyndale
January 31, 2010, 2:46 am

Angela Johnson
This was a real winner - my mother who is allergic to wheat loved it over rice sticks. The broth is so fantastic... I must have an earlier version of the cookbook because this recipe and the fried tofu recipe are not in mine - mine is dated 1997. Would you recommend me getting an updated version, as there may be other recipes that are not in mine? Thanks for all you do.
February 3, 2010, 10:11 am

Cynthia Lair
Angela, The newest edition of my book has about 60 new recipes. Also I am continuously changing and tweaking my recipes. I use them in my classes at Bastyr University and when 6 groups of people make the same recipe I seem to always find things to change. Nature of the beast...
February 3, 2010, 2:17 pm

Ieneke van Houten
What a neat site. I stumbled upon it while researching rice cookers. I have been doing much of this anyway for the last 45 years, but one can always use some fresh inspiration. It is great to see young people get turned on to good simple wholesome cooking. Keep up the good work!
October 25, 2010, 1:16 pm

Hyacynth Barbera
My husband now likes mushrooms because of this soup....Shitake mushrooms at least.
December 2, 2010, 7:00 pm

Kazuki Sawanoi
I like it. The soup recipe is very similar to the way I make miso soup. Instead of soy source, you can put miso with the same ingredients (you can try other vegetables as well). It will make a good miso soup.
December 16, 2010, 3:55 pm

Kazuki Sawanoi
By the way, 'Yaki Soba' means stir fried noodle (not with buck wheat noodle, but wheat noodle) in Japanese. So you might want to call this dish 'Vegetable Soba Soup' or something.
December 16, 2010, 4:02 pm

Lynne Watanabe
Looks good! (& I agree with the comment above, its misleading because you're not pan frying but putting into a broth & the noodles are buckwheat= soba noodle). Do you have the cal per serving? All your recipes look great! Thanks!
May 1, 2011, 12:36 pm

Cynthia Lair
Hi Lynne, Nutritional Information: Per Serving: 201 calories 11.49g protein 9.66g fat 1407 mg sodium 19.30g carbohydrate 3.18g fiber 3.50 sugar
May 3, 2011, 2:05 pm

Retta Retta
BION I'm iprmessed! Cool post!
May 4, 2011, 4:26 am

Heidi Denis
My 2 year old LOVES this soup. She scoops the broth with her little spoon and picks up every last bit of tofu, bok choy, and mushroom with unbridled enthusiasm. I love your recipes and best of all my family does too! Thank you!
May 19, 2011, 4:56 pm

Karla Tobey
Both of my girls (1.5yrs. & 5.5yrs.)INHALE this scrumptious soup. They pretty much inhale most of the food that I make from the recipes in your 'purple' book. Thanks for all the goodness!
June 7, 2011, 11:46 pm

Cheryl C
Delicious twist on the traditional stir-fried yakisoba that I'm used to. Never thought of turning it into a soup. Yummy on a cold winter day here in the northwest(we didn't need hot soup when I lived in Hawaii).
January 12, 2012, 3:21 pm

krista l
Really, really wanted to make this tonite, but now the recipe is gone!
January 17, 2012, 4:52 pm

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