Noodles. My favorite food group in the world. Something I could have every day if I really wanted to.
Living in Seattle we are blessed to be surrounded by so many Asian markets where you can get any and every kind of noodle you could ever ask for. I frequent the noodle aisle at Uwajimaya one of my favorite Seattle markets and load up on all shapes and sizes. To me, out of all the noodles, Soba is the most satisfying, has the least amount of sodium and can be found at almost every grocery store!
Soba, or buckwheat noodles are a great pantry staple. They are a pleasant change when you get tired of rice being the main starch in your Asian inspired meals. They are naturally gluten free and have a nice nutty flavor profile.
I wanted to share a dish that is very simple, can be prepped ahead of time, and quickly tossed together for a nice meal. This recipe is particularly satisfying because it can be served warm or cold. Perfect for school or office lunches when you may not have access to heating up your food.
When conceptualizing a meal, I always like to make sure that the components of the dish are close in size or structure. So, if you have noodles, you will want your vegetables to be long and thin so it’s easier to pick up each ingredient with every bite. One way to achieve a noodle shape from a vegetable is to use a spiralizer. This is a great option if you really enjoy using this tool, and cleaning it for that matter. But most of the time I am super lazy and just want to use an easier method. Using a plain old vegetable peeler, you can achieve long, thin beautiful veggie ribbons. I love making these fun strings out of daikon radish and carrots. When you can no longer peel your vegetables, eat the core or save it for soup. It is a wonderful way to add bulk to your dish and it’s fun to prepare!
The spicy peanut sauce is a great oil free dressing to have on hand in your fridge and can be used for many foods, like spring rolls, rice dishes, or even drizzled over baked sweet potatoes.
Using crisp, beautiful vegetables with the nutty soba noodles gives this dish great balance and texture, all swirled into the peanut sauce you have a dish that’s
Soba Noodles with Spicy Peanut Sauce
Delicious soba noodles paired with crisp fresh vegetables are swirled together in a creamy spicy peanut sauce. Perfect for lunches on the go!
Spicy Peanut Sauce
- 2 small cloves garlic
- 2 tsp miso paste white or yellow
- 2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp tamari or soy sauce
- 3 heaping Tbsp creamy peanut butter
- 1 tsp sriracha
- 1 tsp fresh ginger grated
- 1 lime juiced
- 1 tsp maple syrup or agave nectar
- 1/2 cup hot water
- 2 bundles soba noodles
- 2 carrots
- 1 daikon radish small
- 1/4 purple cabbage thinly sliced
- 4-6 baby bok choy thinly sliced lengthwise
- 2 scallions thinly sliced
- roasted peanuts
- sesame seeds
- chopped cilantro
In a small bowl add all the sauce ingredients except the water and mix together. Whisk in the hot water until you get a smooth textured sauce. If you want it to be thinner add a few tablespoons of hot water, if you want it to be thicker add another tablespoon of peanut butter. Set Aside.*
Prepare a large bowl full of ice then cover with cold water, set aside.
Fill a medium sauce-pot with water and bring to a boil. Add the carrots, daikon, cabbage and bok choy and blanch for 30 seconds. Using tongs remove the vegetables and shock them in the ice water to stop the cooking process. Once cool, remove from the ice and place on a plate with a towel to get rid of the excess water. This quick cook will bring some nice color to the vegetables.
Add the noodles to the pot of boiling water and bring the heat down to medium low.* Cook the soba noodles according to the instructions on the packet, should take around 5-7 minutes depending on the brand and thickness of the noodle. When cooked through but not mushy, drain and immediately rinse with cold water, set aside.
Pace your soba and vegetables into bowls and serve with the peanut sauce. Top the bowls with your choice of cilantro, crushed peanuts or sesame seeds. This dish would also be great with some fresh edamame!
*If you do not like small pieces of garlic or ginger in your sauce you can always blend it!
*When cooking soba noodles, if the pan is not big enough or if the temperature gets too hot it sometimes will boil over with starchy water, just be careful to watch your noodles. If you need to turn down the heat or add some cold water go ahead.
* If you can't use peanuts this sauce would be just as delicious with some almond butter.