Kitsune Soba

Kitsune Soba

This isn’t a traditional recipe. This is a quick and dirty (read: easy and yummy) version of a hot soup made with soba noodles topped with deep fried tofu. Putting fried tofu on top of soba noodle soup makes it kitsune soba. Kitsune means fox in Japanese, and folklore says fox spirits are quite fond of fried tofu, hence the name “fox soba.” It’s delicious.

I like recipes that are flexible. Once you have the broth, the noodles, and the tofu, you can add whatever else you want on top. I chose to go light and easy, a few fresh pea shoots and thinly sliced raw carrots. Then I topped everything off with Bull Dog Sauce.

I’m pretty sure you’re not supposed to put Bull Dog Sauce on soba noodle soup. But I did, and it was good, and no one yelled at me, so I’m pretty sure you can do it too if you want. It’s sort of a like a Japanese steak sauce/bbq sauce. There are many different variations, but I used the Fruit and Vegetable Semi-Sweet version. You can find it at any reasonably stocked asian grocer, or you can get it online here.

So, here’s the thing about my version of kitsune soba. The flavor is anchored in the salty, sweet, gingery broth. The tofu and vegetables are there mostly for contrasts in color, texture, and temperature. Since everything is presented plain, the broth does most the heavy lifting in the flavor department, but it also allows the raw ingredients to shine on their own.

Soba and Broth

Kitsune Soba
Serves Two

Oil, for frying
1 Package Soba Noodles
1/2 Block Extra Firm Tofu, sliced thinly
1 Small Carrot, peeled and sliced paper thin
Greens (microgreens, scallions, cilantro, whatever!)
Bull Dog Sauce, optional
Optional ideas: Sliced radish, sweet pepper, snow peas, cucumber

2 Tbs to 1/4 Cup Low Sodium Tamari (to taste, I used the whole 1/4 Cup)
1 Cup Water
1 Tbs Rice Vinegar
1 Tbs Sugar
1/2 Vegan Bullion Cube
1 Inch Ginger Root, peeled and sliced thinly

Add all the broth ingredients to a small pot and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and place a lid on the broth while preparing the rest of the meal. This allows all the gingery goodness to steep into the broth.

Place a pot of lightly salted water on to boil. Meanwhile, heat a cast iron or non-stick pan with oil, just enough to cover the bottom of the pan. Fry the tofu slices for several minutes on both sides until golden brown and very very crispy. Drain on a paper towel.

Fried Tofu

Once the water is boiling, add noodles and cook to package directions or until noodles are tender. My noodles were done in only 4 minutes, but the package said 6-7 minutes, so check them early to avoid over cooking.

Drain the noodles and rinse with cold water. Place the noodles in bowls and pour the hot broth over them, straining out the ginger pieces. Top with the fried tofu, sliced, as well as your vegetables and greens. Garnish with Bull Dog Sauce, if using.

You can easily make every part of this ahead, so this is a nice option for company, and it looks fancy too!

Kitsune Soba


  1. Masaki

    Wow, this is an interesting way to make kitsune soba! Gotta try it soon! Thanks for sharing this :)

    I’m just curious, but is the Bull Dog Sauce vegan?

      • Masaki

        Really? Great, I have to get one next time I go to an Asian store! Thanks for the info. I’m so excited now :) The one you liked to is my favourite! As a non-vegan kid, I always used the Bull Dog Sauce to eat breaded, deep-fried pork and some seafood, so I’ve never thought the sauce itself can be vegan.

  2. narf7

    Now THIS is beautiful food. I recently dug out my non centrifugal juicer and started playing with it to make noodles. I had read that you can make Korean rice cake noodles with it and sure enough pasta wasn’t far behind. I started thinking that I could make my own fresh buckwheat soba using this machine and your recipe has got me thinking that it might be sooner rather than later. Cheers for a wonderful idea :)

  3. Eileen

    Yay! This kind of noodle soup is exactly what I want to eat on a cold, blustery day, when I’m too tired to bother making something big & elaborate. :)

  4. Kathryn

    Question: did you press the tofu at all? If so, did you slice the tofu before or after you pressed? Your slices look so thin and uniform…mine are usually pretty misshapen.

    • Lolo

      Hey Kathryn! I pressed the slices briefly, after cutting, on paper towels. I literally placed them on a doubled paper towel and then pressed down with my hands on top with another paper towel for just a few seconds – so it wasn’t a formal pressing. You choose not to press them and it will work fine, but they will take slightly longer to cook.

  5. Lyf

    Have you tried cooking the noodles with the broth? It appears much simpler that way. BTW I’m so happy you are back! I’ve missed you. I can’t wait for more of your easy fun recipes and maybe even a new cookbook….

  6. AshYTim

    Wow, this looks amazing! I can’t wait to make it! I’m always looking for a quick soup recipe for those busy cold days. Thank you!

  7. Debby Sunshine

    I make a similar broth with kombu, dried mushrooms, fresh ginger, scallions, toasted sesame oil and tamari. I fry my tofu in coconut oil after seasoning it with garlic. Yours looks great! Nice photos!

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