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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Peanut Soba Noodles


Peanut Soba Noodles.  The 1st time I had these, I fell in love and then attempted any and every recipe for them out there, starting with Nigella Lawson's.  Hers was very easy and non-fussy.. but I wanted more punch and more veggies. Finally, this is what I landed on and has been my go-to for several years.   
Cooks notes:  I prefer to use a hand immersion blender, It's quick, easy and hardly any clean-up.  If you don't have one, use a blender or a small processor. Using a processor or blender makes prep a lot easier.  Then I don't have to chop the garlic or anything that fine. 
Fresh ingredients make this dish. Lime, ginger, garlic, cilantro.. don't substitute.  Health benefits come with using fresh ginger and garlic, that you do not get from dried. Speaking of health benefits.. Buckwheat Soba noodles are a really good choice when it comes to carbs. 

The Notable Nutrients in Soba

Nutritionally buckwheat provides vitamins B1 and B2, several minerals, and nearly twice the amount of proteins found in rice.  Rutin, a kind of bioflavonoid that includes the catechins of green tea and the polyphenols of red wine, is not found in other grains or beans, but is contained in great quantity in buckwheat.  This bioflavonoid strengthens capillaries and so helps people suffering from arteriosclerosis and high blood pressure. Recent studies indicate that rutin is also a powerful antioxidant that fights free radicals, which are responsible for many cancers.

Health Benefits of Buckwheat

Buckwheat also contains choline.  Choline, a compound in the vitamin B complex that plays an important role in metabolism, lowers blood pressure, and decreases cholesterol.
The following is the summary of the major health benefits of buckwheat.
Decreases cholesterol
Lowers blood pressure
Reduces fat accumulation
Promotes healthy bowel movements
Fits a well-balanced and low-calorie diet
Wow!.. Right?  That's why it is listed as one of the super foods! You can feel really good about this dish.  Hope you try this and like it as much as I do! Enjoy~

Peanut Soba Noodles

1pkg. soba (buckwheat) noodles
  cook as directed, set in ice bath or run under cold water and drain, set aside.

For PEANUT SAUCE:

Mix together using a hand or stand blender or processor :
1/3 c. soy sauce (I use low sodium) 
2 to 4 T. peanut butter (crunchy, creamy.. your choice.)  
1 T. sesame oil (if you like spicy, use hot sesame oil)
1 T. water 
1 t. ginger, freshly grated 
juice of 1 lime  
1 small clove of garlic, minced 
spicy sesame oil (if you like heat and to taste) 

Toss with noodles.  If too thick add a tablespoon more of water, til desired consistency.  Chill noodles with sauce in fridge while you prepare veggies.

Add:

1 red pepper, thinly sliced 
1 carrot, julienned 



1 cucumber, cut in half lengthwise twice & slice thick



1 cup of red cabbage, sliced thinly or shredded 

peanuts   
green onion, chopped.. finish with this on top 


sesame seeds  (Lightly toasted in a hot pan along with sesame seeds -watch carefully, so not to burn)

bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped
optional - 
siracha (for added heat)

Depending on my mood, I add whatever other vegetable I have on hand... These I cook til tender crisp and blanch.*  Be sure not to overcook.. mushy or even cooked veggies would not be good here. The veggies should still have some bite, so just a minute or 2 depending on how small you cut them. 
sugar snap peas or snow peas
broccoli
asparagus
...   Eat cold or hot.   Let sit at least 20 minutes dressed before serving.  The flavors get better as it sits. 

Cooked Chicken or shrimp added can make these noodles a complete meal. 
*Blanching simply means to have a large bowl filled with icy cold water ready when you are steaming your veggies. When they are done, scoop them out and right into the water to stop the cooking immediately.  That is how you get perfectly tender crisp veggies.    

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