Cooking with CSUMB: Keeping cool with soba peanut noodles

California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) and the Basic Needs Initiative program paired up once again to produce their monthly Cooking with CSUMB virtual event for the first time this semester on Aug. 25.

Cooking with CSUMB is a live Zoom series demonstrating and sharing easy recipes targeted to college students. The Zoom demonstration was hosted by Basic Needs Case Manager Ashley Ramsden.

This month’s demonstration was a recipe for soba noodles with peanut sauce led by Care Manager Joanna Snawder-Manzo. 

The natural ease of this recipe comes from its versatility to be enjoyed at any temperature.

“It’s something you can make a batch of, throw it into a reusable container, and take to campus for lunch without having to heat up because it is really good cold!” said Snawder-Manzo.

The recipe for the noodles goes as follows:

Noodle bowl

  • 12 ounces soba noodles or spaghetti noodles of choice
  • 5–6 tightly bunched broccoli stems (about 1½ to 2 pounds), cut into florets
  • 1–2 tablespoons vegetable oil for stir-frying
  • 2 handfuls of fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1 small bunch of green onions, thinly sliced
  • A handful of roasted peanuts for topping


  • ⅔ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari
  • Big pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¼ to ½ cup hot water


  1. Boil noodles (according to the instructions on the package). Drain and rinse with cold water. 
  2. Chop veggies and press liquid out of the tofu before cutting into bite-sized pieces.
  3. Sauté your broccoli and tofu over medium-high heat with a splash of vegetable oil for about 5 minutes, or roast at 350ºF for 20 minutes.
  4. Whisk together the sauce, adding the hot water to thin in increments until desired consistency.
  5. Once your noodles are done cooking, rinsed and drained, toss together the noodles, veggies, tofu, cilantro, green onions and sauce.
  6. Portion into small bowls and top with a sprinkling of dry roasted peanuts.

Snawder-Manzo recommends substituting almond butter for peanut butter for those who do not enjoy the taste of peanut butter.

The broccoli can be swapped for any vegetables that you enjoy, or you could even add more vegetables for a more diversified flavor. 

The Basic Needs Initiative’s will return with another installment of Cooking with CSUMB next month. Until then, students can look for Basic Needs Initiative opportunities such as food-based assistance programs at

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