You might have noticed that I’m on an Asian kick lately. I blame this cookbook: The 30-Minute Vegan’s Taste of the East. If it has sesame, soy sauce, ginger, chili sauce, seaweed… I just can’t get enough of it.
Last night I adapted Broccoli and Bell Pepper Soba Noodles (or something like that) from the aforementioned cookbook using things that I had (crushed ginger, rice vinegar, Sriracha), and omitting things the recipe called for that I didn’t have (scallions, lime, fresh cilantro). It turned out spicy, flavorful, and delicious. Mark and I both enjoyed it. For him the noodles weren’t warm enough: if you are a hot-food person, I would suggest timing the noodles to be done at the same time as the veggies and then tossing them together straight out of the pot. For me, as usual, it was fine.
Might I suggest adding some crushed peanuts? Or using an equal quantity of whatever veggies you like? And while we’re speaking of veggies, I’ve been loving these carrots that come as sort of crinkle-cut chips:
I like to throw them into my lunch to eat with hummus. And for some reason, they just taste better than baby carrots.
For herbs, because I can never seem to buy a small enough quantity of fresh herbs, I keep some of these nice little frozen herb trays on hand:
My favorites are cilantro, parsley and ginger. One cube = 1 tsp, and 3 tsp = 1 Tbsp. Just FYI.
Oh my gosh, I almost forgot to mention the greatest discover mankind has ever made: Takii Umami Powder. It’s made out of mushrooms, is totally natural and vegan, and gives the same rich, meaty, delicious flavor-bomb effect (AKA “Umami”) that MSG does without the bad reputation and nastiness. Get some. (I found mine at Uwajimaya.)
Finally, if gluten and/or wheat is not your thing, look for soba noodles made from 100% buckwheat.
Spicy Sesame Soba Bowls
Time commitment: 30 minutes
Makes: 2 dinner servings + one lunch
- about 8 oz. soba noodles (half of a 16 oz. package)
- 3/4 cup water
- 2 cups fresh broccoli florets
- 1 cup thinly sliced carrots
- 1/2 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
- 2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 Tbsp mirin
- 1 Tbsp Sriracha chili garlic sauce
- 2 tsp chopped cilantro
- 2 tsp grated ginger
- 1 Tbsp Takii Umami Powder, optional
- toasted sesame seeds
- Put a large pot of water on to boil. Add water, broccoli and carrots to a large skillet. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring frequently, until all the water has evaporated, 5 minutes or so.
- Meanwhile, combine sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar, mirin, Sriracha, cilantro, ginger and Umami Powder (if using) in a small bowl.
- When water is boiling, add noodles, stir, and cook according to package directions. Add bell pepper strips to skillet, reduce heat to medium low, and cook till veggies are tender, 5 minutes or so.
- When noodles and veggies are cooked to perfection, toss them together in a bowl with the sauce and however much sesame seeds you like. Serve in bowls. Or on plates. Store leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge for a noodle salad lunch.