Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Soba Noodles with Fresh Vegetables

A while back, my sister's friend sent her this recipe for an easy soba noodle dish. If you've never eaten or cooked soba noodles before, don't worry. Soba noodles are made from buckwheat, and though they cook quicker than traditional pasta, their taste is not too different. When my sister first made made this dish, I was instantly hooked. The dressing is delicious and pairs perfectly with the flavors of each ingredient, the veggies are crispy and fresh, and it still tastes amazing the next day.

I've had this a couple times now, and each time it has been slightly different. Once I was out of cilantro, but didn't feel like anything was missing since the dressing is so flavorful. Another time I forgot to use tofu, and realized that it does not play an important role in the dish. Feel free to leave it out and save yourself a step by not having to fry cubes of tofu. You can also play around with the vegetables used. Last time I made this, I added extra napa cabbage and edamame since I was trying to use them up.

Recipe from Andrea
Serves 3 to 4

10 ounces (285 grams) soba noodles
1 tablespoon sesame oil*
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for frying tofu (if using)
6 ounces (170 grams) tofu, lightly pressed and cubed (optional)
1 carrot, thinly sliced or julienned
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup thinly sliced napa cabbage
1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced or julienned
1/2 cup shelled edamame, thawed if frozen
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

*I use a sesame chili oil. If you don't have this, mix some chili paste into the dressing to add a little kick.

In a pot, bring water to boil and cook the soba noodles until done (about 5 minutes). When cooked, drain and rinse with cold water. Set Aside.

If using tofu, heat some oil in a pan and fry tofu until golden on each side. Set Aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the sesame oil, vinegar, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, and olive oil. Add the vegetables, noodles, and tofu and mix well. Serve at room temperature or cold.

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