One thing I don't cook enough of is Asian food. I go nuts over a bowl of good pad Thai and love other Asian noodle dishes, dumplings, sushi, soups, and so on, but I don't tend to cook much of it at home besides simple stir-fries and fried rice. I feel like I need someone to take me to an Asian market and help me stock my pantry, and then I would just go to town making Asian food, especially anything with noodles.
But even though I don't have a fully stocked Asian pantry, I am starting to branch out a bit. Soba noodles -- thin Japanese noodles made with buckwheat flour -- are easy enough to come by, and I've used them in the past, so I sought out something new to do with them. When I saw the noodle soup roundup on Williams-Sonoma's Taste blog and realized how accessible the ingredients were in the soba noodle soup (I had most of them already), I decided to make it, with some adaptations.
The soup starts with a base of chicken broth. Through simmering and steeping, the broth gets infused with the flavors of scallion, soy sauce, sesame, and ginger. Then the soba noodles cook right in the fragrant broth.
Some sautéed mushrooms add depth, while carrots and snow peas ramp up the soup with bright color and crunch. And a simple garnish of sliced green scallions is the final touch.
The resulting dish is a medley of fresh flavors, savory broth, and a little kick of heat from the ginger. I set out bowls of the soup with both chopsticks and spoons -- because I read that this is the traditional way to eat soba noodle soups. Oh, and I also read that it's perfectly acceptable to slurp. So make this soup and slurp away!
Soba Noodle Soup With Ginger-Scallion Broth
(adapted from Williams-Sonoma)
This simple soup features a ginger-scallion broth, silky soba noodles, and crisp-tender vegetables.
Print this recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Yield: 2 to 4 servings
4 cups chicken broth
2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon mirin
3 drops sesame oil
3 ounces soba noodles, broken in half
2 teaspoons olive oil
6 white mushrooms, sliced thin
2 ounces matchstick carrots
3 ounces snowpeas, halved
Slice scallions thin, keeping white and pale green parts separate from dark green parts.
Bring broth, ginger, soy sauce, mirin, sesame oil, and white and pale green scallion parts to boil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove pan from heat, cover, and let steep for 10 minutes. Strain broth, discard solids, and return broth to pot.
Bring broth to boil. Add soba noodles, and cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
While broth simmers and steeps, heat olive oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms, and sauté until lightly browned, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in carrots and snow peas. Continue to sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, until carrots and snow peas no longer look raw.
Divide soba noodles and vegetables among bowls, ladle broth into each bowl, and garnish with dark green scallion parts. Serve.
Do you cook Asian food at home? What do you make?