Am I the only one who picks up ingredients in a store, never having used them before, and declaring to oneself that a challenge has been created? A challenge to try something new and see either (a) what you’ve been missing out on all these years; or (b) something you know to pass up the next time you see it on a menu.
I was in Belize recently and I saw these soba noodles. Belize has a very high concentration of Asian food and their grocery stores are fun to walk through. I’m a noodle fan so I will ALWAYS pick up a pack of noodles. When I saw these, I knew I had to try them.
Soba is a Japanese word that means buckwheat so in actuality, these are buckwheat noodles. That may not sound that appealing and to be honest, I wasn’t sure if I would like the taste. However, I can guarantee that they are delicious. They are chewy with a grainy texture and can be eaten hot, cold, or even at room temperature. It’s a nutritious, gluten free noodle, despite the fact that the word “wheat” is in it’s name. Of course, many noodles these days have wheat flour added to them so please check your package to see what yours contains.
I had some free time one day and dug these out of the pantry. My husband is a salesman and often comes home mid-afternoon not having eaten all day. I almost never have food ready for him at this time of the day, but this one day I thought I would try something to please his palate. So out these noodles came and a simple sauce to go with it.
Although you may have had a variation of this sauce many times over, it goes really well with these hearty noodles. My husband doesn’t like when I use the regular peanut butter with sugar in it, says it has a weird taste (insert eye roll here). So I used the natural kind. But you can use whatever you want.
Go find some soba noodles and enjoy this yummy Japanese dish!
- 250 grams soba noodles
- 1/4 cup sesame oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 TAB fresh ginger, minced
- 1 red, orange, or yellow red pepper, cut into slices
- 1/2 cup soy sauce (I use light sodium)
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 TAB rice vinegar
- 1 TAB hot sauce (optional – necessary in my house)
- 1/2 cup natural or regular peanut butter
- 2 chicken breasts, grilled and cut into strips (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
- green onions, chopped, for garnish
- you can also add other veggies, I added mushrooms to mine
Cook soba noodles according to directions. Do not rinse. Set aside.
In a large skillet, heat sesame oil on medium heat. Add ginger and garlic and saute for about one minute until the aromas are released. Be careful not to burn. Add pepper and saute an additional few minutes until softened. Add soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey, and hot sauce if using. Combine well and cook for two minutes. Add peanut butter and about 1/2 cup water to thin out (using more or less to make it the consistency you prefer). Cook for a few minutes until sauce is warmed through and to your desired consistency.
Add soba noodles and toss well to make sure they are coated well. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with green onions and toss some roasted peanuts on there for crunch if you want and enjoy!