I’m completely obsessed with cold noodle dishes this summer, they just feel right to me. Lots of Pad Thai, and now soba noodles. The Japanese are the ultimate masters at clean, healthy eating. I can’t think of another kind of food that makes me feel as instantly energized and balanced. This recipe is a perfect example — it has a nice minimal quality, focusing on the play between the soba, or buckwheat, noodles, and a spicy Mandarin orange sauce. It’s light and bright, naturally vegan, low calorie, and, most importantly, satisfying.
Soba is the Japanese word for buckwheat, and I have fallen in love with it. It sounds like it would be a grain, and it’s cultivated like a grain, but it’s actually more of an herb, with grain-like seeds that get ground into flour. It has a distinctive grey brown speckled color and an earthy taste. It’s really good for you, too. It contains all 8 amino acids, making it a complete protein, it’s also low in calories and very filling. It’s pretty much a super food.
Look for soba noodles in the Thai or Asian section of your supermarket. Mandarin oranges are a Japanese variety, a little bit like a large tangerine. You can substitute tangerines or regular oranges for this dish, but it does pay to squeeze your own fresh juice. You will need about 2 oranges.
- 6 oz soba noodles
- 2/3 cup fresh mandarin orange juice (you can use tangerines or regular oranges)
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp sesame oil
- 1 - 1 1/2 tsp hot chili paste (use more or less to taste)
- 1 inch piece of ginger, grated
- 4 scallions, thinly sliced
- sesame seeds for garnish
- orange peel for garnish
- Cook the noodles in a pot of boiling water for 5 minutes or until just tender. Don't over cook them. Rise them in plenty of cold water to cool them down, then drain well and set aside.
- Put the orange juice in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil gently for about 15 minutes or until it is thickened and almost syrupy.
- Take off the heat and whisk in the soy sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, sesame oil, ginger and hot chili sauce. Blend well and taste the sauce to adjust the seasonings. You should have about 2/3 cup sauce.
- Toss with the noodles and scallions.
- Serve cold or at room temperature with a sprinkle of sesame seeds and a twist of orange zest.
This recipe is slightly adapted from Delish.com