Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Asparagus, Pepper and Peanut Buckwheat Soba

I love buckwheat soba. They have such a rich nutty taste. Buckwheat actually has nothing to do with wheat at all; buckwheat is actually a fruit. It is a dicot in polygonacea family, which includes rhubarb and sorrel (the Landscape Architect comes out!!!). I can find both fresh and dried buckwheat noodles which are very good but I am really tempted to make homemade noodles soon which I hear are even better tasting. Buckwheat noodles sometimes will contain whole wheat flour because the addition of the whole wheat flour creates a sturdier noodle. If you can't find buckwheat noodles whole wheat spaghetti noodles are a good alternative and they are much less expensive.

The sauce in this dish is very tasty and simple. I like the recipe as is but you can for sure add different vegetables and shrimp or tofu. I did not have a red bell pepper so I had to use a green one which makes the dish not quite as pretty but still good. I also intended to add shrimp but totally forgot which probably shows that they were not really needed.


Serves 2 (can easily be doubled)

For the sauce (quantities approximate):

  • 2 Tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 tsp sriracha or other hot chili sauce (more or less, to taste)
  • 1 tsp agave nectar
  • 1 tsp fresh lime juice
  • 2 bundles (approximately 6 ounces) soba noodles, prepared according to package directions, rinsed under cold water and drained

  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1/2 lb fresh asparagus, woody parts of stems removed, tender part cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 small red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 1/2 cup peanuts, dry-roasted and unsalted, roughly chopped

In a small bowl, combine sauce ingredients; adjust to taste with more agave or lime, and set aside (can be made days ahead of time, and stored in the refrigerator in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid).

Place the soba in a mixing bowl.

In a wok or skillet, heat the oil. Stir-fry asparagus, scallions, and bell pepper until vegetables are crisp-tender, 2-3 minutes. Add the vegetables to the soba. Pour in the sauce, and stir well to combine. Transfer to individual serving bowls, and top with chopped peanuts. Serve at room temperature or cold.

Recipe courtesy The Perfect Pantry

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