Takeout-Style Sesame Soba Noodles – Recipe
How is everyone doing? Has cabin/quarantine fever hit you yet? Personally, it hasn’t hit me yet as I’ve been super busy these days. If you follow me on Instagram, you may already know that I had a baby two weeks ago in the midst of all this coronavirus craziness! ????
So basically, it’s been doubly crazy at home. I had planned on a pseudo-quarantine anyway because of the baby, but with the pandemic, there’s been a few complications I hadn’t expected. For example, my hands have never been this dry and cracked my whole entire life! With all the hand-washing and disinfecting going on in my house, soft manicured hands are now a distant memory. Hello, dry, wrinkly witch fingers!!! It also hasn’t helped that the cold water pressure in my bathroom has gone kaput since I got back home from the hospital and I’ve been washing my hands in scalding hot water. Unfortunately, the contractors in my building won’t be able to fix the issue for a few more weeks because of everything going on. On top of that, my local laundromat decided to temporarily close this past weekend, which led to emergency baby clothes and swaddle hand-washing. I would say it’s been the perfect storm, but that sounds too hydrating.
Because of all this, combined with the typical sleep deprivation that comes with having a baby, I’ve been trying to take it easy when it comes to meals. Pre-mom Tia was all about making everything from scratch, but now jarred pasta sauce and dried spaghetti is good enough for me. Delivery is even better. No dishes! However, on nights when I don’t want to deal with delivery, and don’t want to eat ramyun, I make sesame noodles. If you’ve ever had sesame noodles from a Chinese takeout restaurant, this recipe adapted from Sam Sifton’s recipe from the New York Times is pretty spot-on, but even better as you can adjust it to your taste. In my case, I sub wheat noodles with Japanese soba (buckwheat) noodles, and reduce the sugar and salt content. Also, since you can make the sauce days in advance, and eat it within minutes as soon as your noodle are ready, there’s no loss of noodle integrity in transit which I’m all about. Considering the times, it’s just one less thing to worry about.
Stay strong, and happy eating!
Takeout-Style Sesame Soba Noodles
- 5 bundles (90 gm each) soba noodles (I prefer soba noodles for taste, texture and health benefits, but feel free to sub in a pound of your favorite noodles.)
- 2 tbsp dark Asian sesame oil, and extra for drizzling
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp white vinegar
- 2 tbsp tahini (Original recipe calls for Chinese sesame paste, but I use tahini as I always have it in the fridge to make hummus.)
- 1 tbsp peanut butter (smooth or chunky)
- 1/2 tbsp sugar (I often sub half a packet of Splenda or Equal for the sugar. Maple syrup is another option.)
- 1 tbsp minced ginger
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 2 tsp chili-garlic paste (Chili oil is even better if you have it.)
- 1/4 cucumber or carrot julienned (Cucumber is preferred, but a carrot works in a pinch.)
- 2 large eggs, hard or soft-boiled depending on preference
- dash sesame seeds or furikake (optional)
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add soba noodles and cook according to directions, about 5-6 minutes. Noodles should be chewy, not mushy. Drain and rinse with cold water.
- In a large bowl, mix together the remaining ingredients except the eggs, cucumber/carrot, and sesame seeds/furikake.
- Add the noodles into the bowl and toss. Transfer to 4 serving bowls, and garnish with cucumber/carrot, half an egg, and sesame seeds/furikake. Finish each bowl with a drizzle of sesame oil. NOTE: If you don't plan on making 4 servings, refrigerate the sauce and boil noodles right before eating. Cooked soba doesn't keep well in the fridge.