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Soba soba addicted

August 25, 2011

Specfically, I’m addicted to the way I’ve started making soba noodles recently. It’s simple and quick yet incredibly satisfying. Golden garlic, Yamasa soy sauce (yes, the brand is important), mirin and sesame oil are the key components of the saucey bit. Then you have to use bok choy or gai lan or something similar in flavour, preferably home grown and quite old so it’s fairly strong in flavour (old but fresh, if you know what I mean). It gives this a nice bitter tingle. A bit of cabbage for sweetness, and bean sprouts for crunch, and you’re set. Add either tofu or a white meat if you like, or keep it simple for a delicious vegan lunch. This is rich and packed with enough umami to satisfy anyone, but still refreshing and interesting.

Sumptuous soba

serves two

  • one inch thick bundle of soba
  • large handful chopped bok choy (chop at 1″ intervals) – try to get very fresh stuff, mine came from the garden!
  • two handfuls of sliced cabbage
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
  • generous splash or two of Yamasa soy sauce
  • little splash of mirin
  • cooking oil
  • drizzle of sesame oil
Bring a medium saucepan to a rapid boil. Meanwhile, heat some cooking oil on medium high heat in a large frypan. Add the soba to the saucepan once the water is rapidly boiling, and reduce heat to medium, partially covering.
Add cabbage to the frypan, and once brown flecks appear on the bottom, reduce the heat to medium, add the garlic, and cook until it starts going golden. Stir in the bean sprouts and boy choy, and flip the lot often until the boy choy wilts. Turn off heat, but leave the frypan on the heat. Stir through soy sauce, mirin and sesame oil. If using meat, stir through cooked stuff now.
Quickly drain the soba noodles, which should be done by now, and rinse thoroughly under cold water. Stir through the vegetables in the pan and serve. If using tofu, top with the tofu.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. August 25, 2011 9:38 pm

    Looks awesome, quick and delicious. Such a soba noodle fan.

    The bok choy in my garden is REALLY bitter. As it can only be eaten if stewed right down in a tomato-y base. Blanched, its pretty much inedible.. is this normal or have I left it in the ground for too long??

  2. August 25, 2011 11:30 pm

    C: Wow, I mine is pretty bitter but I wouldn’t call it inedible, even though it had multiple branches with flowers. It sounds like you may have left it a little long. Although the bitterness is kinda part of the flavour appeal…I’d try it cut into thin ribbons and only use a bit (it would probably work well in this soba dish actually!).

  3. August 26, 2011 11:17 am

    I really love soba, one of my favourite Japanese ingredients :-). I was actually thinking of cooking some tonight too, a Japanese friend brought me some for Japan :-), but maybe I will do a soup, it is still a bit chilly in the evenings.

    Ciao
    Alessandra

  4. August 26, 2011 11:20 am

    Z: Mmm I love soba noodle soups too. I could probably turn this into a noodle soup if I wanted to actually! Will try that before winter is well and truly over!

  5. August 28, 2011 11:23 am

    Oh yum, I’m a Kikkoman girl myself but apart from that, totally agree with the ingredients here: looks fantastic and easy to whip up. I just bought some red bok choy from the market (sadly I don’t have a garden to grow it in!) and was thinking about what I should do with it… I think I’ve found my answer! :)

  6. August 28, 2011 11:27 am

    ps. not dissing your soy sauce choice, Yamasa is good, Kikkoman is my personal preference. I totally agree it’s important to choose carefully ;)

  7. August 28, 2011 7:37 pm

    M: Hehe, I’m not offended at all! I too like kikkoman, and to be honest I should probably try it with that as well before touting that yamasa is the best for this. It’s my parents’ favourite too so I will try and sneak some from home and compare :)

  8. August 28, 2011 9:27 pm

    I love soba so much. Glad to see sesame oil making an appearance too, it’s magical stuff :)

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