I was so busy today trying to get info for my first time buying clients on a house they love, but probably shouldn’t buy, that I forgot to take anything out for dinner. Soooo,
I went to my old standby – stirfry. And, as you all know, I’ve fallen in love with Soba noodles. What exactly are soba noodles? Soba noodles are a type of noodle that became popular in Japan during the late 1800s. Made from buckwheat flour, these noodles are typically cooked, rinsed and served cold with a variety of dipping sauces or in a hot, clear broth or as a base for stirfry. Buckwheat noodles are fat- and cholesterol-free and are a good source of nutrients like manganese, lean protein, carbohydrates and thiamine.
NOTE: Since buckwheat does not contain gluten, buckwheat noodles are a good choice for people following a gluten-free diet.
These are dried and what I used tonight. Each bundle is considered one serving. You can also buy them fresh in the Asian market.
Still trying to keep calories lower, this meal is cooked with little or not fat, though there is a small bit of sesame oil in the sauce for flavor.
INGREDIENTS FOR THE SAUCE:
- 1/3 C low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tbsp. oyster sauce
- 2 tbsp. brown sugar or 1 tbsp. honey
- 1 tbsp. or more to taste, Sambal Oelek (spicy chili sauce – use to taste)
- 3 cloves garlic, diced
- 2 tsp. sesame oil
- 1 tbsp. fresh grated ginger
- 2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar, optional
Stir the sauce together and set it aside. I mixed it in a 2 cup measuring cup, to make it easy to pour. It made about 1 C of sauce
Boil Soba Noodles – follow the directions on the package, whether they are fresh or dried. Usually 4 to 7 minutes, depending on the thickness of the noodles. Then, put them in a colander or strainer and rinse with cold water until they are truly cooled off. Alternatively, you can plunge them into a bowl with ice water and then drain.
Finally, cut up whatever veggies you want. Today I basically cleaned out my fridge. I used the last of my bok choy, button mushrooms, carrot, scallion, yellow squash, and snow peas. Also good in this kind of dish are broccoli, sweet peppers, enoki mushrooms, shitake mushrooms, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, asparagus.
To make a stir-fry, there are a couple of essentials. You need a large enough wok or pan and it should NOT be non-stick or Teflon coated. You need to have all your ingredients prepped as it takes just a few minutes to put everything together. And your pan needs to be hot.
READY TO COOK?
- Turn your stove on until the pan is hot. You can tell if it’s hot enough by laying our flat palm over the pan, about 1 1/2″ above the bottom. If you feel the heat it’s probably hot enough. DO NOT TOUCH THE SURFACE OF THE PAN!
- Add about 3 tbsp. of the sauce to the pan, then lay the raw shrimp into the sauce. Cook only a minute or 2, turning once. They will turn bright pink and curl. Remove them from the pan and set them aside. NOTE: if the sauce begins to burn, turn down the heat a little, and throw in 1/2C low sodium chicken broth. This will just cook off but help everything from sticking.
- Now add the veggies to the pan, beginning with mushrooms, carrot and bok choy, as they take a little longer. After stir frying about 2 minutes (once the mushrooms start to brown), add the scallion, squash, and snow peas.
- Now add the soba noodles and remaining sauce into the pan, tossing so the veggies and noodles and sauce all blend together.
- Finally, add the shrimp back into the pan and stir once or twice to make sure the shrimp are hot.
Truthfully, this dish cooks so quickly, in less then 5 minutes total, the shrimp were still steaming as I threw them back into the pan. You want your veggies to be cooked but still crispy and tasty.
Now, here’s a “do as I say, not as I do” moment. I measured out 1 tbsp. of the Sambal Oelek when I made the sauce. I stirred it, but couldn’t see the peppers in the sauce, so I added another teaspoon or so. Yes, I just poured and didn’t measure the 2nd time. Let’s just say that it’s a good think my family likes spicy food. As I poured the sauce over the noodles suddenly the amount of peppers because visible and I was a little concerned. So, add the spice slowly. You can always add a little more directly into your own serving.
From start to finish, this meal took me about 17 minutes to make, including cutting up the veggies. It turned out healthy and delicious. I had planned on left overs for my son, and there might be enough for his lunch tomorrow, if he’s not too hungry. LOL