It’s that phase of the winter. Soups and stews are in full throttle, making dinners a parade of muddy concoctions with nary a fresh vegetable in sight. If you’re longing for a bit of color with your comfort food, the Japanese, as always, have the solution. Their answer to New Years food revolves around the soba noodle, a thin pasta made out of buckwheat and rich in fiber and protein. Traditionally, the Japanese will eat soba noodle soup called toshikoshi, which literally means “year-passing”. Soba noodles have historically symbolized good fortune. And fortunately for your New Years diet, buckwheat is among the healthiest of flours, although it is not actually a wheat. Closer to rhubarb or sorrel, buckwheat flour is made out of the seeds of the plant rather than the kernels.
Though this recipe is far from authentically Japanese, any noodle bowl has a way of being infinitely comforting. In this more Americanized noodle bowl, the sauce is made with ingredients you might already have around the house, and vegetables can be substituted according to taste. You can try veggies from the winter Los Ranchos growers’ market or the Corrales Market in Albuquerque, or the Santa Fe Farmers Market at the Railyards. For a complete list of winter farmers’ markets in New Mexico, visit the New Mexico Farmers’ Markets website. Try the Talin Market, the biggest international grocery store in Albuquerque, for soba noodles and fish sauce.
Soba Noodle Bowl with Peanut-Soy Sauce and Fresh Vegetables
Prep time: 20-30 min
- 1/2 package soba noodles
- 4 tablespoons peanut sauce (directions below)
- Toasted sesame seeds
Fresh vegetables of your choice, such as:
- Cucumbers, sliced thin
- Carrots, shaved
- Snap peas
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1-2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 teaspoon rice vinegar
- 1-2 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Spicy-agent of choice (Sriracha, Huy Fong chile garlic sauce, or even NM red chile!)
- Ground beef, sliced chicken or tofu
- Extra sauce mixture with peanut butter omitted or other teriyaki sauce of choice
Boil water for noodles. While water is heating, chop vegetables into small pieces and set aside. Whisk together peanut butter, soy sauce, fish sauce, vinegar, sesame oil and honey. Pan fry your protein of choice in enough sauce to coat it. Drop soba noodles in boiling water and let cook for 7-9 minutes. Drain soba noodles and mix with as much sauce as desired. Assemble bowl with noodle and sauce mixture first, then veggies and protein. Top with a generous showering of sesame seeds.
Talin Market – Albuquerque
88 Louisiana Blvd SE
Albuquerque, NM 87108
Talin Market – Santa Fe
505 Cerrillos Rd
Santa Fe, NM 87501
Sophie Putka is a Massachusetts transplant in love with New Mexico. She writes, makes lattes, and haunts Albuquerque eateries in search of a good bagel. She can usually be found in the kitchen trying to use up as many leftovers as possible and plotting her next adventure.