Buckwheat soba noodles are my current jam. I never really cooked with them until recently when I started experimenting with some Asian noodle-y dishes, and now I can’t get enough. Their heartiness can stand up to all kinds of raw and cooked vegetables, and since they’re bursting with nutty flavor, they really don’t need the cheese and oil that many pasta dishes rely on (super healthy noodles are in your future!) You may have noticed that I’m a total sucker for any kind of “build-your-own” concept — see bagel buffet and nacho bar for proof — and these soba noodle bowls are no exception.
I can’t imagine a more fun concept for a party menu that setting out bowls of soy & ginger-infused soba noodles, plus an array of veggie, nut & protein toppings, and some dipping sauce on the side, and then letting guests go to town creating their own unique flavor combinations. We certainly enjoyed ourselves the day of this shoot as our team dug into the smorgasbord for the best on-set lunch ever. This is truly a one-dish menu — no sides required! — and an added bonus is that it suits a variety of dietary needs. We used all-vegetarian ingredients, and if you make sure that the soba noodles you purchase are made from 100% buckwheat, it’s a gluten-free dish too. And of course, since your guests are calling the shots, they can personalize to their heart’s content.
The best part is that there’s no need to wait for a party to whip up this recipe. Why not make a big pot of soba noodles on Sunday night and fill your fridge with bowls of prepped veggies just waiting to be tossed together for a week full of delicious lunches? It doesn’t get much easier – or healthier – than that for a week of desk-side feasting. Though be forewarned: serious coworker envy will ensue.*photos by Kate LeSueur
- 1 1/4 cups soy sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoons grated ginger
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 1 pound buckwheat soba noodles
- 8 ounce block of tempeh
- toppings (choose your faves!)
- roasted brussels sprouts, halved
- thinly-sliced kale
- toasted walnuts
- thinly-sliced radishes
- carrots, cut into matchsticks
- scallions, sliced on the diagonal
- avocado, sliced
- basil and cilantro, roughly torn
- thinly-sliced thai chiles
- black sesame seeds
- First, make the soy-ginger sauce: combine soy sauce and grated ginger in a small saucepan, bring to a simmer, then remove from heat. Stir in honey and dijon.
- Pan-fry the tempeh: Cut the tempeh into 1/4-inch thick slices, then marinate in 1/2 cup of the soy-ginger sauce for 20 minutes. Remove from marinade, then pan-fry over medium heat until crispy. Transfer to serving bowl.
- Make the noodles: Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and cook the buckwheat soba noodles according to package directions. Drain well, then pan fry with 1/2 cup of the soy-ginger sauce for 2 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl.
- Arrange all your toppings, and let guests have fun mixing up their own favorite flavor combinations! Serve the remaining soy-ginger sauce on the side.