Soba noodles with two sauces
I usually have a package or two of soba noodles in the pantry to whip up an Asian flavoured lunch now and then. These are Japanese noodles made from buckwheat flour and are not very thick, similar to spaghettini. They can be used with either hot or colds sauces and are quite versatile. Soba noodles do not cook al dente like a regular pasta so be careful not to overcook them or they will become mushy.
I am offering this recipe with two sauces because I find that soba noodles with only peanut sauce are a bit sticky for my taste. The second sauce not only adds flavour but also helps with the texture of the dish. The sauces keep in the fridge well and are both good to have on hand. This way whipping up the dish means only boiling the pasta and mixing it with the already made sauces. The dish is also good with just one of the sauces.
I like to serve the soba noodles with a vegetable and today I had local spring asparagus so that’s what I used. A drizzle of the sauces over the asparagus is all you need to flavour them.
If you haven’t cooked with soba noodles before I hope this will inspire you to expand your culinary horizon and give it a try.
1 package soba noodles (mine has 3 one-serving individual noodle packs inside, you can use 2 or three), about 6-7 oz.
8 asparagus spears
1/3 cup roasted peanuts, chopped
A handful of chopped cilantro (or chives, parsley, green onion)
1 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup mirin
1 tablespoon agave syrup
1 garlic clove, grated
A squeeze of lime wedge
1/2 cup water or as needed
Mix all the ingredients together and thin the sauce out with as much water as you need to reach a consistency of whipping cream. If you refrigerate it you may need to add more water before using.
4 tablespoon hoisin sauce
3 tablespoon mirin
2 tablespoons tamari sauce
2 tablespoons agave syrup or brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablesponn fresh lime juice
4 tablespoons water
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
Cut the asparagus into 3-4 pieces each and steam over boiling water until crisp tender. Remove and set aside.
Bring a pot of water to a boil, drop the noodles into the water and cook just until they are done. Be careful not to overcook the noodles or they become mushy.
Drain the noodles and mix with some of the peanut sauce.
Add some of the Asian sauce and lift the noodles with a fork to distribute the dressing and thin out the peanut sauce.
Add the chopped peanuts and cilantro and mix gently.
Place the noodles in a bowl, sprinkle more peanuts and parsley over.
Serve with the cooked asparagus with additional sauce on the side.