Always In the Kitchen - Recipes

Spicy Soba

Asian dry noodles are best for this you can even use a packet of ramen, and just replace the overly-salty flavour-packet with this tasty sauce.  I use soba, a buckwheat noodle, most of the time, but I also like this with the skinny somen noodles, made from wheat (a little like vermicelli).  Most recipes for spicy soba that I've seen are as a side dish, and often involve fish sauce or other complicated things.  This is a main dish, and is perfect for those evenings when you can't face another take-out dinner, the weather is too miserable to venture out into the world to go to a restaurant, and you really don't feel like cooking.  It is healthy, it is economical, and it is easy.  Serve hot or chilled!

Serves 2

Total prep and cooking time:  15 minutes  

6 oz. dried soba noodles

3 tablespoons soy sauce 

3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar 

  - 1 teaspoon sambal oelek (or other hot chile paste)

2 cloves of garlic, crushed or minced

2 tablespoons finely minced fresh ginger root

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

1 green onion, thinly sliced or slivered (optional)


Optional Upgrades:

A dozen frozen prawns, tossed into the soba cooking water after pasta has been removed (cook only until defrosted and pink, just a few minutes)


Steamed broccoli


Pan-fried gyoza 

Heat a large pot full of water until boiling.  Do not add salt to the water.  Add soba and cook until al-dente.

While the water is coming to the boil, mix the spicy dressing (except the green onion) in the bottom of a large bowl.  Taste, and adjust add a little more garlic, or ginger or whatnot.  If it is a little too spicy for you, add a half-teaspoon of honey.

Remove the noodles from the cooking water (save some of the water) and place, steaming, into the bowl with the dressing.  The hot noodles will begin to absorb the liquids very quickly, so immediately toss to coat each noodle.  If the noodles look a little gummy or claggy, and are sticking to each other, add a little of your saved cooking water to thin them out.  Just a few tablespoons will do it.  If you like, add an extra splash of soy sauce.

Garnish with the green onions, and any of the optional extras listed above (or whatever tickles your fancy).  Serve proudly, as if it took hours to make.


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