Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Cool Peanut Soba Noodles

There's something about the spring and summer that inspires me to try different things food-wise. Maybe it's the longer days or the warmer weather, but I start to think in more exotic terms.

In the fall and winter it's all meatloaf and pot roast. In the summer, it's "the islands" and far away places. For some reason, taking chances on new recipes and ingredients just feels right. It must be the safety valve effect; that feeling of "what the heck, if it doesn't work out I can always cook burgers". The downside just doesn't seem so far down.

Noodles. So today, in a recipe that my Asian food fans will find none to exotic, I introduce SobaSoba is made from Buckwheat. Buckwheat is a plant (not a grain), whose seeds, husks intact, are typically milled into a dark brown-gray flour. The result is high in both fiber and protein. The flour is then turned into noodles. An interesting and completely worthless side note, buckwheat is vaguely related to rhubarb and sorrel (don't you just love that there Internet?).

Cool Soba Peanut Noodles
adapted by Crabby, from various Internet sources

4 TBSP Peanut Butter
3 TBSP Honey
4 TBSP Water
2 TBSP Soy
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
1 Tbsp Sesame Oil
Crushed Red Pepper Flakes, to taste

8 oz. cooked soba noodles (from buckwheat)
3/4 cup julienned carrots
2 green onions, sliced
1 red or orange bell pepper, cut into strips
Sesame Seeds for garnish (optional)

Cook the soba noodles according to package directions. Run under cold water and then allow to drain fully.

While soba are cooking, combine all sauce ingredients in a large bowl.

Toss soba and vegetables with sauce, mix well, ensuring the noodles are evenly covered in sauce.

Cover and allow to rest at least 30 minutes before serving.

You're done. These noodles, when chilled, tend to get dry and "gloppy" (a technical cooking term), so if you like your noodle salads soupier, make additional sauce. If the noodles have been sitting in the 'fridge for a day, microwave them for 30 seconds and then add a mixture of 1 TBSP each of soy, rice vinegar and water. It won't restore the salad to its original slickness, but it will help loosen things.

OK, I'm out of here. Next time I'll probably grill some sort of animal. Until then, just remember, you can do it, you can cook.


Anonymous said...

Bacon goes with eggs, peanut butter goes with jelly and Californian Pinot Noir goes with these Asian influenced noodles. And if you want an inexpensive white wine to go with these, try the Fetzer Gewurztraminer, under 12 a bottle. This wine is semi-sweet and picks up the flavors perfectly. And it goes with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Oh, if you can't pronounce Gewurztraminer, just ask for the Gesundheit wine, every wine shop will know what you are talking about.


hungryandfrozen said...

That looks delicious, I'm on a bit of a soba noodle kick myself :) The freshness of the rice vinegar would cut through the peanut butter nicely (and I love anything with sesame oil in it!!)

Laura :)

Thinking About Food said...

Yum, I love soba noodles, they are great for a salad type side dish, I do them with Nigella's Mirin Salmon, delish!!!!!!!Sesame oil is a must too!

Anonymous said...

hm...soba noodles and peanut sauce. my mom makes this a lot during the summer and i've always loved it. nice job.

Sharon said...

Found your blog while searching for a soba recipe. I'm making these for a sushi party tonight!