If you were stranded on a deserted island and you could only choose one food to eat, what would it be?
My answer to this question is always SUSHI! It seems like a good choice because not only is it DELICIOUS, it has all the nutrients required for optimum health and there are so many different types to choose from that you could never get bored with it (I do presume that on the deserted island I get to pick from a myriad of sushi types, like on the train? haha)!
Despite my love for sushi and having visited a few Japanese restaurants around Adelaide, I have never tried other types of Japanese fast food, in particular their noodles. I’ve heard about ramen and udon being really popular but for some reason, I’ve never tried it. With Japan in the top 3 healthiest countries in the world, they must be doing something right with their food!
The other night, I was looking for a recipe that would be suitable for someone with an upset tummy; the criteria being subtle in flavour, low fat, gluten free but also filling and soothing. That’s when I came across this delicious recipe from The Longevity Kitchen via Epicurious. It’s a Japanese soup with a miso base, tofu, vegetables and soba noodles. Soba noodles are made of buckwheat so they are gluten free! Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any that were 100% buckwheat in the stores so I had to settle for a buckwheat/wheat combination. The soup was flavoursome and very satisfying! And it also inspired me to explore recipes using soba noodles.
Today I hit up my fave asian grocery store in the city, the Kim Wang Asian Supermarket, which stocks a very nice range of Japanese goods at decent prices. They have many brands of soba noodles to choose from so I was a bit confused as to which one was the best! I finally decided on a bulk 900g pack which was not only better value for money than the other brands (about 60 cents per 100g compared to over $1 per 100g in regular grocery stores), but the noodles were also darker in colour which I can safely assume means a higher buckwheat content. So go for the darker noodles!
This dish is very easy to put together with whatever vegetables you have leftover in your fridge and it takes no time at all. The recipe I’ve used is based on the one I’ve put a link to above with some inspiration from some ramen noodle recipes. I have no idea how authentic it is – it’s more about experimenting with the ingredients and your personal preferences as to what you include in the dish! That’s the great thing about cooking for yourself, you can make it up just as long as you think it tastes good!
Hope you enjoy this recipe!
Vegetarian Soba Noodles
Ingredients (Serves 1)
Any vegetables you like! I used –
1 handful of baby spinach
4 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 small carrot, peeled and grated
Small handful of bean sprouts
1 spring onion/scallion, sliced diagonally
1/2 tbsp Soy Sauce or Tamari
1 tsp Vegetable stock dissolved in 2 cups of hot water
Wasabi, pickled ginger or nori (on the side)
1. Cook the soba noodles in boiling water for 4-5 minutes, or until just tender. Drain and rinse with cold water to prevent futher cooking and drizzle some sesame oil over the top. Put it to the side.
2. In another small saucepan, bring water to the boil and cook a whole egg for a few minutes. Switch heat off and leave the egg in the water while you prepare the broth.
3.. Put the 2 cups of vegetable stock in a saucepan and bring to boil. Reduce heat to a simmer while adding all of your vegetables except the spring onion and bean sprouts. Only add half of the spring onion and save the rest for garnish, along with the bean sprouts. Add soy sauce and another drizzle of sesame oil. Let veggies simmer for 5 minutes.
4. Take 1/4 cup of the broth and mix 1 tbsp of white miso paste, mix until dissolved and add it back to the main broth.
5. Take your hard boiled egg and run it under cold water until it is no longer warm to touch. Peel off shell and cut in half.
6. Assemble your soup. Place some noodles in a bowl, fill it up with the vegetable broth, add the two halves of egg, bean sprouts and spring onion. On the side you can have wasabi, nori and some pickled ginger. Easy & delish!