I know what you’re thinking. Soba what? Soba who? But before you pass judgement and contribute to my bounce rate, hear me out.
I’ve never been a picky eater. I come from the motto of trying anything at least once. Then, decide if you like it or not. After all, what if that new food is the best thing you never tasted? This belief may or may not be the reason that I have a love/hate relationship with buffets. But that’s another post entirely.
Perhaps it’s a birth order thing? Growing up my sister (first-born) was always the particular one when it came to food. I remember years and years of chicken sandwich orders and a nothing but cinnamon toast stage as well. I’ve noticed that my older nephew, Owen, is the same way. He politely says no thank you whenever you offer him a taste of something new. He sticks with his comfort zone of pop-tarts and chicken like his momma. Now my younger nephew, Jake, is another story. Morning Glory mystery muffins? Don’t mind if he does. Chippies and hummus? Absolutely, yes. A few weeks ago he even picked up a piece of Finn’s kibble and told me matter-o-factly:
I eat this dog food, Sarah?
Oh, Jake. I don’t think you’ll like that.
Oh yes I will. I’ll try it. (pops kibble in his mouth and crunches down)
(a few minutes pass)
Sarah? That Finny food was yucky. I said it was yummy but it was really yucky.
Yes, Jake. It was yucky. But I suppose I should give you credit for at least trying it once.
My mom and I leave for Europe next week and between my recent work travel, packing for the trip and not wanting to waste food, this week I’ve taken to throwing random meals together with whatever I have on hand. Monday was everything but the kitchen sink pizza night and Tuesday I opted for the soba noodle salad.
I’ve made a similar soba noodle salad in the past but the new Bon Appetit had a peanut sauce I wanted to try so I threw what veggies I had together made a double batch. If you’ve not tried soba (buckwheat) noodles or are scared they will turn you into a skinny jean and granola-loving hipster, fear not. Just think of them like a whole wheat spaghetti. Or, if you like granola and skinny jeans like me, accept them as they are. Sobawesome.
Soba Noodle Salad
- 2-4 oz (1 inch round bunch or so) soba noodles
- 2-3 radishes, sliced
- 1/2 Red Pepper
- 1/4 C carrots
- 2 tsp green onion
- 1 TBL Cilantro
In a small sauce pan bring water to a boil. Cook soba noodles for 5-6 minutes being careful not to overcook. They don’t take long at all. Strain and rinse under cold water.
While noodles are cooking, chop radishes, red pepper, carrots, cilantro and green onions. Feel free to add other veggies as well. I’ve used fresh green beans, sprouts and cucumber in other versions. It really depends on your taste. I do recommend adding crunchy veggies as the noodles are soft and it off-sets the texture.
- 1 1-inch piece ginger, peeled
- 1 small garlic clove
- 1/4-1/2 C peanut butter (I used mostly chunky and a teaspoon of creamy)
- 2 TBL reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 1 TBL rice wine vinegar
- 1 TBL fresh lime juice
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- dash crushed red pepper
Blend ginger and garlic clove until finely chopped. Add peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, and vinegar and blend until smooth. Note: add water to thin if needed. Sauce can be made ahead but is best served at room temperature.
Spicy Seared Tofu
- 1 block extra firm tofu
- dash red pepper flakes
- 1 TBL rice vinegar
- 1 TBL soy sauce
- dash sesame oil
OR just use
- 1/4 C Trader Ming’s Gyoza Dipping Sauce (noted by the girl who had this in her fridge but proceeded to make her own replica of the marinade accidentally)
Heat dutch oven over medium heat. Pat tofu dry and slice into 1 inch cubes.
In a large bowl, toss tofu in marinade. Cook over medium heat until browned.
The rest is up to you. Add a few teaspoons of peanut sauce to your serving of noodles and garnish with your choice of veggies, tofu or chicken.
Dig in. Try something new and then go shopping for some skinny jeans. Everybody’s doing it.