In our humble opinion, Japanese soba noodles are the creme de la creme of Asian noodles. Served warm or cold, the squarish buckwheat noodles find their way into an inordinate amount of our home-cooked meals. At Sprouted Kitchen, Sara Forte combines Japanese and Thai culinary influences with this warming noodle bowl that brings together the best of both worlds. Catch SK's Thal Soba Noodle Bowl recipe below:
THAI SOBA NOODLE BOWL // Serves 4
Adapted from Food and Wine via Harold Dieterle of Kin Shop, New York
I know heat is subjective, so I am giving amounts for a fairly mild soup. I would start there and add accordingly. It’s tougher to neutralize the spice in a soup like this, so start moderate. The original recipe calls for fish sauce, which I can’t handle, so I opted for peanut butter and tamari. I’m sure you can find the original on their website.
1 14 oz. pkg. Extra Firm Tofu
2 Tbsp. Tamari or Low Sodium Soy Sauce
2 tsp. Sesame or Olive Oil
2 Thai Chiles or 1 Very Small Habanero, seeded and chopped
3 Stalks Fresh Lemongrass, inner bulbs, finely chopped
4 Cloves Garlic
1 Large Shallot
1/4 Cup Peeled and Chopped Fresh Ginger
1 Tbsp. Coconut Oil
2 1/2 Cups Coconut Milk (about a can and a half)
1 heaping Tbsp. Muscavado or Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp. Tamari or Low Sodium Soy Sauce
3 Tbsp. Natural Smooth Peanut Butter
Zest of Two Limes
Juice of One Lime
Salt and Pepper
2 Cups Roughly Chopped Mushrooms (I used medium portabellos)
Around 9oz. Soba Noodles
Fresh Cilantro, roughly chopped, for garnish
Wrap the tofu in a few paper towels and set it on a plate to drain with another plate on top. Leave it for an hour or up to six. Preheat the oven to 400′. Cut the tofu into 2” cubes, spread them on a baking sheet, drizzle with the tamari and oil and bake for about 25 minutes until the edges are browned.
In a blender or food processor, combine the chiles, lemongrass*, garlic, ginger, shallot and 1/4 cup water and puree until smooth.
In a large saucepan, heat the coconut oil. Add the lemongrass puree and cook over medium high heat, stirring, until fragrant. About two minutes. Whisk in the coconut milk, muscavado, tamari, peanut butter, lime zest and a cup of water. Simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes.
While the broth simmers, cook your soba noodles.
To the broth, ddd the sliced mushrooms, stir in the lime juice, taste for salt and pepper and let it sit another 5 minutes. Divide the noodles and tofu between your bowls and laddle the broth on top. Garnish with fresh cilantro.
* Lemongrass is a beautiful ingredient but try to find a store that sells nice fresh stalks. You can tell because they will be pretty firm. I find it easiest to smash them with the side of a wide knife and peel back an outer layer or two, then chop up the insides to cook with.
(via Sprouted Kitchen)
Photos: Hugh Forte