I love a good noodle bowl. But then again, who doesn’t?! I’m an equal opportunity noodle lover, whether it’s spaghetti & parm, miso & ramen, or rice noodles & curry. Whatever, let’s use our noodle. If only we could use it all day, every day.
Summer calls for a break from the heavy baked pasta dishes, gnocchi with cheek meat, and fettuccine of winter. Pasta salads are all the rage and pad Thai is always a favorite. But I wanted something quicker and simpler. Something that I could whip together and leave in the fridge for the hungry little noodle lovers who run in from the camp bus. Customizable, because one doesn’t eat greens, one doesn’t eat mushrooms… you know the drill!
(For the record, they slurped these down and asked for more!)
Soba noodles are thin, tender noodles make of buckwheat or a mix of buckwheat and wheat flour. They cook up in minutes and have a light almost nutty flavor. I use them here because they play so nicely with the hint of sweetness in the dressing.
The toppings are interchangeable- use what you like! Leftover steamed or roasted veggies are great here. Too hot to turn on the oven? All raw toppings are great- use carrots, snow peas, and shredded cabbage. The key is texture and color.
The best part of this recipe is the dressing. Creamy and smooth from the coconut, zingy from the lime, this is summer in a blender. Fresh basil (not from my garden, I have a black thumb) adds a grassiness and hint of freshness. Leftover dressing will last in the fridge for a while. If it even gets to the fridge. (Just sayin!)
Coconut Basil Dressing
- 1.5 c fresh basil leaves
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/2 shallot
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 TB soy sauce or coconut aminos
- Juice of 1 lime (1/4c)
1.5c light coconut milk
Pinch of black pepper
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
Combine all in a blender or food processor. Taste for seasonings and add salt if necessary. Pour into a mason jar and store in the refrigerator. Shake well before serving.
Soba Noodle Bowl
- 8-10oz soba noodles
- 1 tb toasted sesame oil
- 16oz oyster mushrooms
- 8oz baby bok choy
- 8oz shishito peppers
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 shallot
- Cooking spray
- Salt & pepper
- Sesame seeds
- Fresh lime
Bring 3 quarts of heavily salted water to a rolling boil. Add soba noodles and cook as directed on package. Drain and rinse well. Toss noodles with sesame oil to prevent sticking.
While noodles are cooking, prepare the vegetables. Tear the mushrooms into fist sized pieces. Wash and trim the stems of the shishito peppers. Spread mushrooms and shishitos on a baking sheet and spray with cooking spray. Sprinkle with salt. Roast at 425 for 20 minutes.
Slice each baby bok choy in half lengthwise. Arrange in a glass bowl or dish and add a sprinkle of water. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Steam in the microwave for 1-2 minutes. Bok choy should be bright green and tender crisp.
Core and seed bell pepper. Slice into thin strips. Peel and thinly slice shallot.
To assemble, pile a mound of noodles into each bowl. Top with vegetables, sesame seeds, and Coconut Basil Dressing.
Sylvia Fallas is a Brooklyn-based blogger and cooking instructor you can check her out at her blog at www.cookingformypeople.com and on Instagram @sylviafallas