Sunday, April 11, 2010

Soba noodles with mushrooms and lime ginger dressing

The weather God has been quite unpredictable recently. It seems it can not quite decide between whether to shower us with bright sunny spring days or to go back into the cold rainy lapse. I do not mind either. Rainy days like this weekend is just another excuse to finish up the ever pilling indoor work -- like say doing taxes!

I spent the whole of yesterday afternoon sitting on the dining table finishing up my taxes (phew, done finally!). The weather was getting cloudier by the hour but once in a while sun would shine through the tiny pockets between the clouds basking the surrounding foggy green hills with a warm glow. It was so easy to just give up the laptop and take a nap for a while or just stare outside mindlessly. I lost count of how many times I refilled my coffee cup after three. Just as I was finishing up the last of the state taxes I thought wouldn't it be nice to have some chinese takeout for dinner today? Telling you, its the weather making you crave all sorts of things. I figured a visit to the asian market to buy some soba noodles after the taxes was enough of a carrot for a foodie like me :)

These soba noodles are a standby in my house next to the spaghetti. Soba are a type of Japanese noodles made out of buckwheat flour and often flavored with dried wild yam. They can be served either cold or hot. They are darker in color and have a wonderful bite to it that I so much like! I can eat cooked soba just with some soy sauce and vinegar dressing.. its that good!
I added some stir fried veggies to the noodles to make it a complete meal. I think the sauteed mushrooms with soba is a match made in heaven! The minced ginger is a big flavoring for the recipe as is the lime-vinegar dressing.
Soy sauces and vinegars come in various acidity and saltiness levels, so please adjust the seasonings per your taste.

Recipe:
Ingredients:
3 small soba noodle packets (10oz in total)
2 to 3C assorted chopped stir fry veggies (I used broccoli florets, carrots and celery)
1 small can of water chestnuts - rinsed and drained
3C chopped mushrooms (I used a mixture of baby portabella and oyster mushrooms)
1Tbsp minced ginger
4Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
2Tbsp asian rice wine vinegar
1tsp chili garlic paste (reduce to 1/2 for mild noodles)
juice of 1lime
sugar or honey to taste
salt to taste
sesame oil or canola oil

chopped green onions for garnishing

Recipe:
** The idea here is to stir fry the veggies, cook the soba separately and then mix everything together with some lime, vinegar, soy, ginger dressing.

** For the stir-frys thing to remember is a good wok or a heavy base frying pan and high heat. You cook oil to high heat. Add veggies one by one (on in a batch) stir fry them for a while stirring continuously. Remove the veggies from heat, add the next veggies batch and so on. Use a high smoke point oil like canola or sesame for a more authentic asian flavor; EVOO is probably not the best oil for stir frys.

** Different soy sauces and vinegars come with different taste profiles and acidity so please adjust the seasonings as you go. Be careful with salt as the soba noodles and the soy sauce both likely have some salt so add carefully.

** This recipe has heat component from chili garlic sauce, sour component from lime juice, vinegar and sweet from sugar or honey. At the end taste and make sure that all the flavors are in balance, if not, adjust.
  1. Prepare soba noodles in boiling water per package direction. (Unlike pasta I do not add salt to the cooking water for soba - see above).
  2. Meanwhile heat oil for stir fry in a wok or a frying pan.
  3. When the oil is hot, add minced ginger, keep stirring for a minute.
  4. Add the chopped veggies and water chestnuts to the pan. Continue stirring on high heat for a couple of minutes. (Do not let it burn).
  5. Add 3Tbsp soy sauce and chili garlic paste. Keep stirring and cook for a few more minutes. 
  6. Transfer the vegetable mixture to another bowl.
  7. Heat a little more oil in the same pan. Add chopped mushrooms and keep stirring (on medium heat) until most of the moisture has oozed out of the mushrooms (couple of minutes).
  8. Turn off the heat. Transfer the mushrooms to the stir-fried vegetables.
  9. When the soba noodles are cooked, add them to the mushrooms and vegetables. Add rice wine vinegar, 1Tbsp soy sauce, lime juice, sugar or honey and salt. Mix well. 
  10. Taste! Adjust the seasonings per your taste.
  11. Drizzle with some more sesame oil (or olive oil in my case). 
  12. Add some chopped green onions and serve hot!

47 comments:

  1. lovely presentation! good to know u r finally done with ur taxes, luckily we have a good stretch of weather here, so enjoying the sun while it lasts :))

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  2. It was a beautiful sunny 80 degree day yesterday and today it rained this morning now the sun is peaking out. Seems like we have similar weather thing going. I was going to try to clean out my freezer and do some pantry cooking this week. I just might be able to make this lovely dish. My mushrooms are one the borderline dump/save.

    Taxes are on the list today! :P

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  3. huloo Pj ...these sound like some real delicious noodles and though have never had them ...they sound delicious .....
    Am also her eto leave u a little invite babes , for a party [weekend birthday party] and would love for u to make it :-)))

    Hullo Happy Sunshine pal, its GOrgeously spring ,blue skies and summer hues, we are so happy and with this happiness lets JOin the Party ,for dear CHaya 's BIRTHDAY...yeah its a suprise party for her....and she's ur pal too....
    and all u need to do is hop at the link below and leave her a birthday message and link any or all of ur deliciousness u wanna bring to the party.....looking foward to u ....at the party and CHaya ...is going to love having u over .......
    ANd if possible please send this message atleast to 5 of ur bloggin buddys , we so wanna make her day dont we....

    come to the party ....ur presence n love will make the difference.....

    to bring the joy of the gorgeously stunning Springtime right here http://brightmorningstarsfoodie.blogspot.com/2010/04/hugs-n-love-suprise-party-for-u-dear.html

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  4. Noodles looks very inviting. I am sure it would tasted YUMMY with lemon dressing!!! Hope you had a Great Weekend after successful completion of taxes!

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  5. R, thanks! Enjoy the sun while it lasts.. for us its just peeking out of the clouds but the forecasts says more rain..

    Lyndsey, thanks! Yes, looks like very similar whether pattern. I have been meaning to plant some vegetables and herbs now but think I'll just wait for the weather to get a bit more stable. Good luck with your taxes.

    Mia, thanks! Oh, the party was so wonderful.. I just had a peek at your blog and saw all the deliciousness. Let me see if I can jot something together soon :)

    Pavithra, thanks! The weekend is going great, still cloudy and soggy but as I dont have burden of taxes anymore, no complaints :)

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  6. Haiiiiiiii!! Praja,,how r u ter dear,,read ur post agree with u dear during foggy weather our system will ask to go for a tight nap, happy to hear atlast u finished ur work even in that difficult weather. btw to the recipe,,buckwheat is very very recommended ingredient its good for the health than our whole wheat flour,,,noodles came out perfect dear sure u enjoyed this noodles....

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  7. wow..love ur varied choice of recipes!
    hey I have an award for u...

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  8. What a beautiful colorful plate- I must bookmark this for summer.

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  9. oh and the Sun God here is shining soo much that we eagerly awaiting some rain. its scortching hot out here and this dish seems perfect for our side of the Earth. never had Soba and not sure if these are available here. now I will have to find out to make this gorgeously coloured noodle dish.

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  10. Sathya, thanks! in this weather nothing but cups of coffee will energize me to do anything :) I have been trying to add more buckwheat to my cooking because of all the health benefits as you mentioned.

    s, thanks! Can't wait to hop on your blog and check my award :)

    Nupur, thanks! Hope you try it and do let me know how it goes.

    Sayantani, oh yes, weather patterns seem so different, dont they! If you dont find soba, you can substitute any asian noodles of spaghetti shape.. if nothing else, I suspect even whole wheat spaghetti might work, albeit not very asian :)

    Sushma, thanks! I am so glad you liked the recipe.

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  11. This is absolutely delicious and healthy dish, addition of veggies really add color and flavor to the noodle. Great presentation too...

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  12. Ah looks delectable, love the dressing!

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  13. Those are delicious noodles PJ. Way better than Chinese take out.

    We are having good weather after the heat and a few cold days.

    I read somewhere that Japanese take pride in making soba noodles because buck wheat does not have gluten that lends itself to making noodles.

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  14. Noodlea are my any time favorite. This is new to me and looks so delicious.

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  15. Somba noodles with beautiful and colourful veggies looks awesome and truly delectable..

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  16. Treat and Trick, thanks! So glad you liked it.. addition of veggies is what makes it a complete meal for me.

    Parita, thanks! I am so glad you liked the dish.. the dressing of lime ginger goes really well with soba.

    Indo, yes, that is very true. Buckwheat has very less gluten and its difficult to make noodles out of it. The low end noodles have wheat added but the high end buckwheat and dried yam noodles are just so wonderful; they almost sort of melt in your mouth.

    Jay, thanks! I love noodles too. Glad you liked it.. you can always substitute any other asian noodles of spaghetti size if you don't find soba.

    Priya, thanks! I am so glad you liked the noodles.

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  17. i love soba noodles. ate it once at a japanese restaurant but never made it at home. wonderful photo, PJ

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  18. First time in ur blog....u have a creatively beautiful and planned site....loved the simplicity brushing ur blog...lots of delectable dishes are there...loved very much the chocolate coated strawberries.....

    This soba noodles is new to me never even heard of it...thanks to u for giving the info and sharing new dish....u r welcome to visit my blog in ur free time....following u to visit here often....have a nice day....

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  19. amita, thanks! You should cook soba at home, they are really easy and best of all you can vary the toppings and what goes into it.

    Kamalika, thanks and welcome to my blog! I am glad you stopped by and liked the posts and the chocolate covered strawberries. I am off to visit yours soon!

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  20. Soba Noodles are new to me ! Thought never had dark colored noodles, your plate looks quite colorful and tempting !

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  21. I am so attracted by the photo that I would almost snarf these noodles! I have had them once and it was not really love at first bite but I am willing to give them another shot, thanks to you!

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  22. PJ,
    what a lovely presentation and perfect photographs! Nice colors and I loved your dressing. Using all the wild and healthy vegetables, should make this dish a great meal at the table! Loved reading your post!

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  23. Tax sometimes screws up,glad that you are done with it Pj.I could see few cups of coffee has made wonders and the stress got completely kicked off with these soba noodles i guess.Healthy ingredients makes it a must try recipe.Sure it would tasted heavenly n tangy too.

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  24. Looks healthy and colorful dish..

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  25. We are enjoying the sun too :-)Loved the ingredients that went into this dish..looks yumm

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  26. Here, we always have an unpredictable weather throughout the year. And now winter is started and Sun God starts to play hide-n-seek. :|
    Oh wow...your house is surrounded by green hills? I'm jealous now! :)
    A big NO to mushrooms, though will accept your soba noodles except mushrooms. :)

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  27. oops! it's me Sonia in previous comment.

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  28. Kanchan, thanks! Now I think about it, yeah, soba are the only dark colored noodles i have had.. tastes great though!

    TasteOfBeirut, thanks! I am so glad you liked the photo and the recipe. Much is with the dressing for soba noodles.. so if you vary the dressing to something you really like (which is lime ginger for me) I am sure you would love these noodles too :)

    Kalai, thanks! I am so glad you liked the picture and the dish. using mushrooms definitely makes the dish for me.

    San, yes, coffee was surely a tax-saver yesterday :) i would fallen asleep halfway through without it.

    Panchpakwan, thanks! i am so glad you liked the dish.

    Namitha, aah, what i would give for warm sunny day now :) it has been a third rainy day in a row now... looking forward to a more cleared tomorrow as was forecasted.

    Sonia, unpredictable weather can be fun though, isn't it! Its like Shravan month observed in India. Oh no, you don't like mushrooms! may be you just haven't the right kinds ;) though i'll gladly make a non-mushroom plate for you or try to trick you into eating some oyster mushrooms :)

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  29. I am struck by the versatile dishes that I come across on your site. Good to know you are enjoying no matter the weather. Loved your post as always. By the way, Pictures are gorgeous. Have a fun day PJ

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  30. Beautiful presentation! It's definitely a unique recipe. Love the addition of shrooms and ginger dressing. Nice recipe.

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  31. Hi. Kashi ahes? I am a big fan of buckwheat and u might see something with that in my blog soon if only I feel like doing anything....
    I would love to pick soba if I get hold of them here. The dish looks so very inviting, my kind of light dinner.

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  32. This change is good! Look more brighter than be4. :)

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  33. Nostalgia, thanks! I am so glad you liked this recipe and the picture.

    Shriya, thanks! I think the mushrooms and lime-ginger dressing kinda pulls this dish together.

    Pari, great! I am so looking forward to your buckwheat recipe then :) I want to cook more of it but don't know much about cooking it other than making pancakes.

    Sonia, thanks dear! The previous color was showing up very differently on different monitors.. so thought I'll change it back to white.. need new banner still, but its a WIP :)

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  34. Looks delicious...wonderful presentation.

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  35. hi Pj, how r u?...i was off from blogging from past few weeks due to heavy load of work so missed ur mny yummy recipes which u had posted..vl c thm now...loved thi noodles, thy r new 2 me, had nvr heard abt thm...if i find thm in the stores here i vl definetly try thm...thy r loooking so yummy n healthy too....nice pics

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  36. really nice click..and love noodles with homemade dressing

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  37. Malar, thanks! I am so glad you liked the dish.

    Siddhi, welcome back! nice to see you around again.. I missed your yummy recipes :)

    Preety, thanks! I am glad you liked the dressing and the click.

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  38. Beautiful presentation as always!
    never seen soba noodles before.Thanks for sharing the recipe!

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  39. hey this looks so colorful and full of health..loved the clicks..

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  40. This year is so wet in Bay. Even in spring we had rain, gosh what a weather pattern, huh? For those High tax payers! I like the dressing with lime ginger!

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  41. i'd love this i am sure with all these veggies n such a flavorful dressing........i have never got hold of soba noodles though hey are available here.
    Interestingly i am writing a post on buckwheat and have posted a buckwheat savory pancake on my banaras blog.

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  42. Doing boring things like taxes DEFINITELY requires loads of coffee. otherwise I would be asleep at my desk!

    This pasta dish is anything but boring though. Love the dressing!

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  43. Shahana & Deepa, thanks! I am so glad you liked the dish.

    Cham, I know, this year has been so wet.. well into April and its still raining like anything. I ma hoping for a more sunny May now :)

    Sangeeta, you should definitely buy the soba noodles next time.. they are so tasty! Look forward to your buckwheat pancake recipe... sounds so yummy :)

    Joanne, I know, so many cups I needed to get through the taxes this time!

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  44. I love soba noodles as well... and the Boston weather has been crazy lately. What's up with that? I want real spring!! ;)

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  45. Chinese is def comfort food esp on a rainy day:)
    Love the pics...

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  46. Lovely looking platter....it's been long time since I had these noodles.....

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