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Soba Noodles and Grilled Brussels Sprouts with Tofu and Crispy Chili Oil

Serves 6


    Smoky Brussels sprouts and a crunchy topping are the trick to this comforting buckwheat noodle dish. If you don’t have a grill, you can stir-fry the sprouts in a high-heat skillet for 2 minutes to char them, then roast them in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, turning them halfway through. Heat lovers should make a double batch of the chili oil, since it’ll keep for a few months in the fridge—and you’ll likely want to put it on everything.


    Avoiding allergens

    Peanuts are a great substitute for sesame seeds in the crispy chili oil, but if you wish to avoid sesame and nuts, use hulled and salted sunflower seeds instead. To avoid gluten, check ingredient labels and be sure to choose 100 percent buckwheat noodles. Although buckwheat is naturally wheat free, most buckwheat noodles are made with a combination of buckwheat and wheat for texture.


    Soba Noodles and Grilled Brussels Sprouts with Tofu and Crispy Chili Oil


      Crispy chili oil
      • 6 small dried red chilies, pinky-length
      • 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) piece gingerroot, peeled and finely chopped
      • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
      • 1 small green onion, trimmed and diced
      • 1 star anise petal
      • 1 tsp (5 mL) roasted white or black sesame seeds, or 2 tsp (10 mL) crushed salted peanuts
      • 1/4 cup (60 mL) vegetable oil
      • 1 tsp (5 mL) Sichuan peppercorns
      • 3 Tbsp (45 mL) black or rice vinegar
      • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) sodium-reduced soy sauce
      • 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) salt
      Soba noodles and Brussels sprouts
      • 14 oz (400 g) Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved (about 4 cups/1 L)
      • 2 tsp (10 mL) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
      • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
      • 1/2 in (1.25 cm) piece gingerroot, peeled
      • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) miso
      • 1 dried red chili pepper (optional)
      • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) sodium-reduced soy sauce or tamari
      • 2 tsp (10 mL) unseasoned rice vinegar
      • 1 lb (450 g) buckwheat noodles
      • 10 oz (290 g) pkg firm tofu, drained and chopped into 3/4 inch (2 cm) cubes
      • 4 Tbsp (60 mL) green onions, finely chopped, divided
      • 3 Tbsp (45 mL) sake or mirin


      Per serving:

      • calories432
      • protein15 g
      • total fat 14 g
        • sat fat3 g
      • total carbohydrates63 g
        • sugar4 g
        • fibre11 g
      • sodium521 mg



      For crispy chili oil, in mortar and pestle, or by hand, roughly crush dried chili peppers. Wash hands well. Transfer chilies to heatproof jar or medium bowl and add ginger, garlic, green onion, star anise, and sesame seeds.


      In small skillet, heat 1/4 cup (60 mL) vegetable oil over low heat. Add Sichuan peppercorns and cook for 1 minute. Remove peppercorns and discard, reserving oil. Heat oil until shimmering, but not smoking. Pour over spices in jar. Stir and infuse for 1 minute before adding vinegar, soy sauce, salt, and 1 Tbsp (15 mL) water. Stir to combine.


      Preheat grill.


      In large bowl, toss Brussels sprouts with 1 tsp (5 mL) olive oil. Add Brussels sprouts directly to grill if gap between grates is narrow or skewer sprouts (pre-soak for 30 minutes if using wooden skewers) before adding to grill. Grill for 10 minutes. Turn and grill for 15 to 20 minutes more, until charred and tender.


      In blender or food processor, purée garlic, ginger, miso, dried chili pepper, soy sauce, and rice vinegar. If needed, add 1 Tbsp (15 mL) water to help blend.


      Cook buckwheat noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse. Leave to soak in cold water until needed so noodles don’t stick.


      Heat remaining 1 tsp (5 mL) olive oil in large pot over medium heat. When hot, add garlic purée and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add tofu cubes and half the green onions. Cook for 1 minute. Add sake or mirin.


      Re-drain noodles and stir into pot. Remove pot from heat. Divide among 6 bowls and top with roasted Brussels sprouts. Drizzle with crispy chili oil and garnish with remaining green onions.



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