Asian Kale and Soba Noodles

Cold noodles in the winter? The looks of disgust I presume I’d get from some of my soup fanatic friends still doesn’t scare me from sharing this recipe with you. I’m a bit of a soup junkie too, but I save that addiction for the evenings. For lunch, what I’m eating is often premeditated and snapped away in my backpack during the early hours of the morning, meaning I could care less whether it was a steam-filled meal. In fact, I generally prefer a meal that tastes best at room temp. because that’s how I’ll be eating it come lunchtime. (See hummus recipe 1 – 1,000,000).

Really, this plate of noodles can be eaten at any temperature, but it was designed for my need to fulfill an unusual lunch craving. Tired of sandwiches and certainly tired of plain old noodles, I reached for Soba, which I don’t even put in the same category as pasta. Unlike pasta (unless it’s the doughy kind from the Italian market) Soba remains a novelty. It’s nutty, but notably less dense than whole wheat pasta, and has this unique texture that’s significantly easier to chew than your typical al dente spaghetti.

The noodles lends themselves particularly well to Asian flavors, hence their name Soba, the Japanese word for buckwheat. Here, I tossed them with gingery kale and a little sesame oil for a noodle dish that works either hot or cold. That way you can pick the temperature depending on your personal temperament. Can’t do cold in the winter? Then don’t. But if cold noodles for lunch don’t sound like a bad idea, pack them up and just be sure to add an extra sprinkle of salt before you head on your way. Whatever style you choose, this healthful meal is sure to help ward off any all too common winter colds from taking over your body. Enjoy.

Asian Kale and Soba Noodles

(Serves 4)

-1 Tbsp. olive oil
-1 Tbsp. soy sauce
-1 large bunch of kale, stems removed, and torn into bite-sized pieces
-3 garlic cloves, diced
-1 Tbsp. ginger, minced
-Scant 2 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
-8 oz. Buckwheat noodles
-2 scallions, diced, optional
-Salt and pepper, to taste

Cook noodles according to package (6-8 minutes).

Meanwhile, heat olive oil over medium-high in large saute pan. Add garlic and ginger, and saute until browned, stirring as needed. Add soy sauce, and then stir in kale, and cook until just tender, 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat.

Toss noodles with sesame oil. Add kale. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Serve, topped with scallions, if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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  • Reply
    Emily S
    January 23, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    I just made this for lunch (warm). It was do delicious and I could see that it would be excellent warm or cold. Thank you!

  • Reply
    Kaci Pawelczyk
    April 2, 2013 at 3:49 am

    Asian food is every bit as diverse as it is delicious. I used to think that I knew Asian foods growing up. You see, we used to go out to Chinese and practically every weekend. They were a couple Chinese restaurants in the neighborhood, and they were perfect for us kids. They were greasy, flavorful, and we got a cookie at the end of every meal. What more could a child ask for?:

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