Spicy Soba Noodles with Peanut Sauce

IMG_6953

Please don’t steal this image. Thanks.

 

Let me pontificate for a few moments.  *steps on soap box and claps hands*

Regarding copyright infringement/plagiarism.

Oh yes, a topic that anyone who contributes anything to the world (which is everyone, I assume) should be familiar with.

In the past few weeks, a few readers have brought to my attention more than just a few websites/links where my content has been blatantly stolen.  The sad thing is that this isn’t new to me.  But, I have noticed a steep incline in the past few weeks because of your vigilance for me. And for that, I thank you.  I love that you:

A) even recognize that the photos (the most common thing) or the text is actually and rightfully mine.

B) you care enough and take the time to contact me and let me know.  Some of you have even gone out of your way to contact these sites/links on my behalf.  Thanks.  I have your back, too.  Seriously, if you have a blog that I read often and I see one of your pictures in a place that they shouldn’t be, I will track you down and let you know.  It’s common courtesy.

Now, besides filling out more DMCA complaints that I can count on both hands in the past two weeks alone, it’s just exhausting.  And, yes, I do try to take the time to address every single situation that comes to my attention because I truly think it’s on the far end of the spectrum of wrong.  I’m making a point here.  And the saddest thing is that this is an uphill battle…always.  And I think it’s getting worse.

Some people will claim innocence, but I find that hard to believe.  If you have even been alive with a few brain cells AND maybe attended junior high where you knew copying verbatim from the encyclopedia was wrong (I grew up in the pre-internet days..it was the most technologically savvy thing to make a Hypercard presentation when I was a senior.   And that presentation was on the 1980′s…which actually was a very recent decade at that time.), then you should know that right-clicking on an image…and maybe also right-clicking on all of the text (including the endless rambling that I usually include at the beginning of each post…see?  You are in one right now. This will probably pop up on some random site, too.), is just wrong.

Ok.  So some people claim innocence and then remove the content.  End of story.  Don’t do it again.  Or, if you want to use my images, just ask.

Some people have had the audacity to argue with me via a few heated email conversations, saying that it’s not plagiarism.  But usually after I let them know how I really feel and include a DMCA complaint, they back off and remove it.

There are few situations that I feel are the absolute worst, though:

There was a particular person who would just copy my images and the direct recipe in random posts as her own.  I read the comments.  The readers actually believed that these were her recipes, and she played along with it!  I then became convinced that she does not have a soul.  Finally, after multiple DMCA complaints, she was forced to remove my content from her site.  The sad part?  There were a billion other pictures and recipes on there that weren’t mine, and I don’t know who they belonged to (definitely not hers.)

The other situation is the sneaky website that does “collections”  of “excellent recipes”  or “amazing recipes”.  They have a lot of anonymity with a generic admin listing, so it’s hard to contact them.  All they do is copy every thing from the blog…even down to an emoticon or font…and then paste.  They make money off of this by hosting (usually) Google Ad Sense ads on the side and then essentially projectile vomiting their links all over places like Tumblr and Pinterest.  So, as a responsible Pinterest user (for both my personal Pinterest page as well as my Curvy Carrot Pinterest page), I ALWAYS track and link back to the post to make sure it’s legitimate if it’s a recipe before I pin it.

And another thing.  I’ve heard that if you change three things from a recipe to modify it, then you can “technically” call it your own.  I call that BS.  If you change a “1/4 teaspoon salt” to a “Pinch of salt”, a “handful” of basil to “a 1/4 cup” of basil, or you just change anything that would be considered a garnish, then you aren’t changing the foundation of the recipe itself, and you certainly didn’t come up with the rest of the ingredients on your own.  So please, give credit where credit is due.  Always cite back to the ORIGINAL place that the recipe was found.  If you saw it on I’mawesome.com (which might be a super famous food blog) but she got it from you’re awesome.com (a not famous food blog), post both the links.  “Technically”, you aren’t citing properly, which really can make you look like a jerk.  Because people notice these things (at least food bloggers do).  I’ve had posts where I’ve literally linked back to about 5 blogs….because I care about doing the right thing and being respectful of my fellow bloggers.

I refuse to watermark my pictures, because I don’t think that really helps…well, I guess to prove that the photo had a watermark when it was stolen.  I think it takes away from the whole point of the picture.  And the point of the pictures is to make you want to eat that food because it was delicious.  (Please, don’t get me started on my opinion of the pictures of obvious macaroni and cheese that say “MACARONI AND CHEESE” all over it.  Oh, is that what it is?  Wasn’t sure.  There.  Now you know my opinion.)

I’m also curious as to how the rest of you out there handle this.  I don’t think food bloggers actually plagiarize that much because we all put a lot of time, effort, and love into the whole process.  It’s the random websites/people promoting Skinny Fiber (long story-don’t ask)/ignorant people out there who break the rules.  For me, it’s not about the money you are making off my pictures/recipes/posts…it’s the common principle that it’s wrong and you still do it.

*steps off soap box and evil cat claws retract*

 

On to something a little more up-lifting…the food.  I don’t want to bring (more) negative energy into the food blogging world, but it needs to be said.  We all work way too hard to have others get away with doing wrong things that take away from the efforts we pour into this thing.

 

Spicy soba noodles.  With peanut sauce.  Add in more veggies if you like.  I fried some tofu (make sure it’s extra-firm, or you will have to press it and get the excess moisture out…but extra-firm seems ok for purposes like this…at least to me.) to put on top.  This recipe makes a lot, so unless you have a smallish army to feed, you will have leftovers.  And the leftovers are actually pretty awesome, too.  I took mine for lunch each day and after heating it up (I have a microwave in my office), people made the comment, “Oh my.  What is that?  It smells amazing!”, so you know this has to be a good one.  Make sure to prepare the tofu marinade in advance to save on time.

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Don’t steal this one either, ok?

 

Spicy Soba Noodles with Peanut Sauce

 

Ingredients

For the tofu marinade:

1/4 cup rice vinegar

1/4 cup toasted sesame oil

1 tablespoon minced ginger

1 tablespoon minced garlic

14 ounces extra-firm tofu, chopped into bite-sized cubes

For the spicy soba noodles:

1 carrot, peeled and grated in strips

1/3 cup water

1/3 cup peanut butter

1 tablespoon chopped peeled fresh ginger

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 garlic clove, minced

5 cups soba noodles (about 10 ounces uncooked buckwheat noodles), cooked according to package directions

For garnish/to taste:

Green onions, unsalted peanuts  (I added about a 1/2 cup of peanuts because I love them so much!)

 

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Don’t even think about it, mmmmkkkaayyy?

 

Instructions

1. For the tofu marinade: In a sealable container, mix together the rice vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, and garlic, stirring to combine.

2. Add the tofu, tossing gently to thoroughly coat.  Seal the container tightly and chill for at least two hours, stirring or shaking the container every so often to coat the tofu well.

3. For the spicy soba noodles: Combine 1/3 cup water, peanut butter, ginger, soy sauce, honey, pepper, and garlic; stir with a whisk until smooth.  Set aside.

4. Place a grill pan over medium-high heat and lightly coat with cooking spray.

5. Place the tofu, in batches, on the heated grill and cook until the tofu is lightly crisped on each side, about 10 minutes or so.  **It would make sense to make the soba noodles at this point.

6. In a large bowl, mix together the carrot, prepared peanut sauce, tofu, and noodles, tossing to coat the noodles thoroughly.

7. Add in your desired amount of peanuts and green onions, according to taste.  Enjoy.

 

Source:  Adapted from Cooking Light.

July 5, 2013 - 8:40 am

Amy @ Elephant Eats - I’m sorry to hear so many people have been taking your content! I seriously don’t understand how someone can do things like that and not feel bad or guilty…but then I suppose there’s a lot of things people do that I don’t understand. But on a brighter note, this recipe sounds absolutely delicious. I think I’ll add it to my menu plan for next week :)

July 5, 2013 - 11:46 am

Kelly Mitchem - That’s so terrible to hear that people are stealing your work. I love reading your blog, your always so witty and hilarious plus your food always turns out amazing!

July 5, 2013 - 11:52 am

Sarah - “So, as a responsible Pinterest user (for both my personal Pinterest page as well as my Curvy Carrot Pinterest page), I ALWAYS track and link back to the post to make sure it’s legitimate if it’s a recipe before I pin it.”

This. I wish more people were as conscientious as you. I always do this – partially because of unfortunate experiences like yours but, also, it is so dang annoying to see something that looks delicious, click on it, and be transported to a spam bot site. I yell (metaphorically) at the people on the other end of the Pinterest tubes, “Are you just posting pretty pictures or are you hoping to share something of substance?! How hard is it to single click the picture to see if it’s legit?!”

Sorry to hear of your troubles,
A fan who found you through Pinterest

July 5, 2013 - 11:57 am

srlacy - Amen! Sarah, thank you for this.

July 5, 2013 - 11:59 am

srlacy - Thanks, Kelly. In a twisted way, it’s a bit flattering but then after two seconds I realize that once again, I have spun it in a way to deny the obvious. I’m really touched by the nice things you said.

July 5, 2013 - 6:54 pm

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar - Gah! Picture stealers are the WORST! Preach it sister! Also, this looks phenomenal!

July 6, 2013 - 8:18 am

Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies - Agree, agree, agree! The amount of plagiarism that has been going on lately is so demoralizing and what makes it even worse is that the general public’s attitude seems to be, “Well, if you don’t want your content taken, don’t put it on the internet.” Which: ARGH. No. That’s not how it works. I have had people steal my stuff and then, in response to my DMCA takedowns, they file a counter-complaint against ME. I have received threats, hate mail, been called all kinds of names, just because I don’t want people making a profit from the recipes I have developed and photographed. How did I become the bad guy?!

The other thing I’m noticing more and more is that a lot of sites are cropping up that are taking our photos only and linking to the recipe. Normally, I don’t mind this, but these sites are making me second guess that. Every square inch of these sites is plastered in ads and they’ve got pinbots set up to get our photos all over Pinterest with links to THEIR site–and while, yes, some of that traffic eventually filters down to us, they’re still making money off of our photos.

I could just go on and on about this forever. (I really could, but I don’t think you want that. Just ask my husband.)

July 6, 2013 - 11:34 am

Virginia - Amen sister! I am sorry that this is happening to you and other bloggers, and that this kind of commentary is even necessary. On a happier note- did you get new dishes? I don’t think I’ve seen that plate before! I like! Saving this one for lunch when school starts back.

July 6, 2013 - 12:56 pm

srlacy - Hey Virginia!

Thanks for noticing the plate-it’s actually quite old. I really don’t have any matching plates or cups, to be honest with you. My collection is a bit “eclectic” (which is probably a polite way of saying that it’s a hodge podge of random plates that I pick up everywhere.) If I am out and about and I see something I like (or if it’s on clearance, which is usually the case), I’ll just pick up one. The joys of always thinking about how something is going to look in a photograph…. :)

July 7, 2013 - 3:43 pm

Beth - After reading this post, I started to question my own citations on my blog. I don’t think I necessarily ever thought of including multiple sources on a recipe. I do think that there are some bloggers out there who definitely do not know what is appropriate when citing recipes because if you try to research it, every source will say something different (I also once read that if you change 3 ingredients you can call it your own, which seemed weird to me). I came across a blog that had copied and pasted a recipe that I had, and she only linked back by mentioning my name, but not my blog name. I emailed her, and she said she was new to the blogging world and just had no idea. I always make sure to link back to where I got the recipe from or idea from, it just seems right.
Anyways, this dish looks amazing & I love the picture! I have never been very successful with cooking tofu – but I love it.

July 7, 2013 - 9:44 pm

Sara @ Confectionary Tales - I hate how ignorant people (especially kids) are nowadays regarding copyright and plagiarism. It’s not that hard to credit someone. When writing essays, pinning on pinterest, or writing for my own blog, I try and make sure I am always crediting correctly. It takes 1 minute longer and it’s not that difficult. I guess I get particularly frustrated because as a 23 year old, I grew up with the internet and using online sources quite a bit, and I feel like I have seen way too many people my age and younger completely disregard what they’re supposed to do in terms of citation. So, I totally understand your soapbox.

That being said, this recipe looks delicious!! I’m not a tofu fan but I would love to try this with chicken.

July 8, 2013 - 8:19 pm

Local Loco Locale Low-Cal - By any chance do you know the calories for this yummy sounding receipe?

July 8, 2013 - 8:22 pm

srlacy - I do not offer calorie counts on my recipes. Please feel free to use an online calorie counter using the ingredients listed.

July 9, 2013 - 6:48 pm

Kristen - I found this earlier today and it sounded so good that I ended up making it for dinner tonight! I didn’t have every single ingredient so I tweaked it a little and it was still ‘oh-my-gosh-amazing!’ This is so delicious; thank you!

July 9, 2013 - 10:05 pm

srlacy - Hi Kristen!

I am so glad to hear that-thank you for the feedback!

Shanon

July 10, 2013 - 9:13 pm

GDC - Hi
I am one who repinned your southwestern “falafel” with poached egg recipe/image on my Pinterest board. I was notified by Pinterest that the pin was deleted on your request. I apologize for doing so. I just wanted you to know that mistakes happen because posting/pinning etiquette is so ill defined – - at least for me as a new Pinterest user and blogger. The one good thing out of this situation is that I found your lovely blog!
Take care,
Gayle

July 11, 2013 - 3:57 pm

Annie - I love you to pieces, but my love for you just grew so much more in reading this post. Sing it, sister! I am sick and tired of seeing content stolen (yours, mine, anyone’s) and people thinking it’s fine. It’s not fine. That’s work you put effort, time, and emotions into and someone else took it as their own. Not okay.

(And also, there are a good number of bloggers who barely follow the three things rule so they can steal ideas left and right, and then create their Pinterest-targeted-unnecessarily-labeled-with-gaudy-fonts photos. Don’t even get me started.)

July 12, 2013 - 9:46 pm

Andrea - I was incredibly interested in your post! Soapbox and all!!! After having a couple of your pins removed, I had to check out your blog! I had never even though that someone would do such a thing! (Of course I now realize how nieave this was!) So I had not been checking the Pinterest sources! I quickly go through in my 20 minutes of free time in the mornings before the babies wake and pin everything that looks yummy! I apologize for my niaevity! However because of this I am now better informed and an avid fan! Thank you!!

July 22, 2013 - 7:05 pm

steph70atl - I never realized the politics…although, I don’t take pics and/or share with anyone so to steal them :) They are amazing, though!! :D I doubt I could make mine look like this at home!! Haha!! I’m an at home cook just for me and the hub and this is one of those recipes that I just crave!! He does not care for this at all!! So this will be one of those that is made for one at lunch time with maybe enough leftovers for the next day…luckily, that’s kind of how soba noodles are packaged!! :D He just does not like the peanut sauce, and I’ll tell ya something, when I first thought about it, it didn’t grab me until the first time I tried to make it…then I was hooked! I couldn’t find that recipe and I don’t venture on my own too much, so I cannot wait to try yours!! Thanks!!

September 23, 2013 - 10:38 am

Weekly Menu #16 | Laundry in Louboutins - [...] Spicy Soba Noodles and Tofu with Peanut Sauce [...]

November 11, 2013 - 5:15 pm

artinme - I agree that plagiarism is out of control. That said, are you aware that this spicy noodle recipe was published by Cooking Light in 2002? They did pair it with chicken, not tofu,but the noodles are the same.

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/spicy-soba-noodles-with-chicken-peanut-sauce-10000000665587/

November 11, 2013 - 10:16 pm

srlacy - Hi there-

At the end of my post, you’ll see that I did cite Cooking Light as the original source. I would never claim this to be my own original version since I do have such strong feelings about plagiarism. This was part of my ongoing contribution to the Cooking Light bloggers’ connection, as I am contracturally obligated to adapt/post two of their recipes per month.

November 12, 2013 - 8:39 pm

Artinme - Glad to see that! Must say, I did miss it through all the comments. I am an artist so I face the same challenges on a daily basis – kind of a sore spot :)

November 13, 2013 - 8:19 am

Artinme - By the way, the noodles were a huge hit with my family! Very tasty.

February 24, 2014 - 6:25 pm

PG - You could always disable copy/cut/right click functions when you post content. At least that way if someone wanted to copy your stuff they’d have to go through a lot more to do it.

April 9, 2014 - 6:27 pm

Arunie - I see water in the ingredient list , but the directions say broth. Which do I use? Looking forward to making this .. Looks amazing.

April 9, 2014 - 8:48 pm

srlacy - Hi Arunie-

Use water-thanks for letting me know about the typo. I have fixed it!

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