I have been a neglectful terrible blogger. It wasn’t on purpose, I swear. I had my notes on this recipe and the photos ready a couple of weeks ago. I was so prepared! And then life happened — a flurry of last-minute appointments that ate up my schedule and saw me barely home, except to sleep. And then there was a short trip to Ontario, Canada, that had been planned a couple of months earlier and also ended up being a day longer than planned because thunderstorms resulted in flight cancellations. And this past weekend, I spent all my time catching up on sleep and everything else on my to-do list that fell by the wayside, but didn’t quite get to putting this blog entry together.
Anyway, you may consider that my very long, rambling apology. And I suppose now, I really should just go on to talking about food, right? Your wish is my command.
So here we are, at the start of summer — perhaps you’ve already encountered a heatwave or two that makes you less inclined toward turning on the stove. That was the position I was in when I made these soba noodles. It was a painfully hot weekend, but I needed dinner, and I also needed at least a handful of leftovers so that I could avoid buying lunch during the week. That… is where these soba noodles, inspired by this post on The Kitchn, came in.
I wanted this recipe to be a little more filling than most soba noodle bowls I’ve made before, where I find myself with a ton of noodles, but not a lot of other ingredients, so I made a couple of simple tweaks, namely by adding some carrots and red cabbage (delicious, and a nice colorful contrast!) into the mix. If some other vegetables appealed to you, I don’t see why you couldn’t add them in as well.
The best part of making this dish is that it barely takes up any time — you can cook the noodles, drain and rinse them while getting your veggies and the sauce prepped, and before you know it, it’s time to mix all the ingredients together and eat them up.
I kept my noodles pretty simple, accompanied by a sliced up hardboiled egg with each serving. You could do the same or prepare some grilled chicken or tofu to go along with yours. Meanwhile, here’s a look at how to make those noodles:
- 8 to 10 ounces dried soba noodles
- 3 scallions, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1.5 tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons sambal oelek (or any other Asian red chili paste)
- Approximately 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 to 3/4 of an English cucumber (halved and sliced)
- 1 1/4 cup shredded red cabbage
- 1 cup julienned carrot
- Optional garnish per serving: Cilantro/freshly squeezed juice from a lime wedge
- 1. Boil a pot of water and cook the soba noodles according to your package directions. In the meantime, you can prepare the rest of the components.
- 2. Whisk vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, sambal oelek, scallions and garlic together in a bowl — keep the mixture aside.
- 3. Put the cucumber, carrots and cabbage in a large bowl and set aside.
- 4. Drain the soba noodles when they're ready and run cold water over them until they cool down. Then drain the noodles again.
- 5. Add the noodles to the bowl of vegetables, toss slightly to start combining the ingredients. Then add the garlic dressing and toss all the ingredients so that they're as evenly mixed together as possible. Divide the noodles up into the servings you need and dig in.
- Adapted from "Garlicky Soba Noodle Bowls" on The Kitchn.
- These noodles keep well in the refrigerator for about four days, as long as they're stored in an airtight container.
If you haven’t listened to the new Slowdive album, their first release in ages, you should. It’s pretty fantastic and one of those rare occasions where a band does a comeback album that’s on par with its earlier material. Pop this tune, a pretty chill one (much like Slowdive’s material), on in the background while you prep these noodles on a hot summer day and I guarantee you’ll feel nicely cooled down.