Since openings its doors earlier this year, HOBNOB has quickly become a prime urban core dining destination, located at Unity Plaza within the Brooklyn neighborhood of Jacksonville. The wide-ranging menu reflects Chef Roger Regulacion’s desire to bring together a world of flavorful cuisines under one roof. “We just try to take these classic dishes people love from different cuisines, like the pancit [noodles] from the Philippines or the shakshuka [eggs poached in tomato sauce] from North Africa, and elevate it to fit our style of dining here,” Chef Regulacion says.
This month’s featured recipe, a Miso Marinated Tofu & Soba Noodle Salad, was originally developed to appeal to the vegetarian diner but has quickly become a customer favorite at HOBNOB. “There was always this forgotten crowd of people, who were vegetarians, and there was never anything on the menu that was intentionally made for them,” Regulacion says. The marinated tofu provides a good source of protein, while the soba noodles provide a tasty alternative to white flour pasta, with about half of the calories.
HOBNOB is located at 220 Riverside Ave. For more info visit: hobnobwithus.com
1 lb. white miso paste
1 lb. granulated sugar
2 cups mirin (rice wine)
2 cups sake (rice wine)
Spicy Soy Vinaigrette:
1 cup teriyaki sauce
1 roasted and seeded jalapeno
1 tsp. sambal oelek (chile sauce)
1 tsp. Rayu (chili oil)
Quick Pickling Liquid:
1 cup distilled vinegar
1/2 cup sugar cane vinegar
1 cup granulated sugar
6 black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
Buckwheat Soba Noodles:
1 lb. Korean or Japanese buckwheat soba noodles
1 tbsp. sesame oil
1 tbsp. canola oil
12-16 oz. firm tofu
1 lb. cooked soba noodles
2 cups Napa cabbage
1/2 cup grape tomatoes
1/2 cup julienned jalapeños
1/2 cup fresh cilantro (or less, to taste)
1/2 cup julienned carrots (marinated in quick pickling liquid for 1 hour)
1/2 cup julienned red onions (marinated in quick pickling liquid for 1 hour)
1/2 cup radish, thinly sliced (marinated in quick pickling liquid for 1 hour)
1. Place all miso marinade ingredients in a heavy gauge sauce pot over medium heat and whisk thoroughly.
2. Slowly simmer until mixture reaches the color of caramel. Remove from heat, transfer liquid to a bowl, and let cool completely in the refrigerator. Once the marinade has completely cooled, divide equally into two bowls. Add tofu to one bowl and marinate for two hours. Reserve the other bowl for salad assembly.
3. While tofu is marinating, prepare the quick pickling liquid. Place all pickling liquid ingredients in a heavy gauge saucepot and bring to a boil, or just until all the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and let cool completely in a bowl. Add carrots, red onions, and radishes, and marinate for one hour in a refrigerator.
4. Next, make the spicy soy vinaigrette. Blend all vinaigrette ingredients until the jalapeño is completely puréed. Set aside.
5. Prepare the buckwheat soba noodles according to package instructions. Once noodles are cooked to al dente, remove from heat and place in an ice bath. Drain and toss in the sesame and canola oil until well coated and no noodles stick together. Chill in a refrigerator.
1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees and warm a sauté pan over medium heat.
2. Grill or pan-sear the marinated tofu until it develops a light brown. Flip tofu, remove pan from heat, and finish in the oven for 4-5 minutes or until just heated through.
3. Toss soba noodles in a small bowl with just enough spicy soy vinaigrette to coat the noodles.
4. Drain the pickling liquid off carrots, red onions, and radish.
5. Transfer noodles to two serving plates.
6. Arrange pickled and raw vegetables around the noodles.
7. Place tofu on top of noodles and vegetables. Garnish with a drizzle of spicy soy vinaigrette on the noodles, and leftover miso marinade on the tofu.
8. Top the dish with fresh cilantro and serve immediately.