Tag Archives: soba noodles

If You Lead



Welcome to the FINAL Secret Recipe Club for 2014!  I can’t believe this year is almost over – it has flown by way faster than I thought possible.  While the year hasn’t been the best at times, I’ve come out of it stronger – or at least more determined than ever to succeed.  Enough about that, time to focus on the recipe!  This month I was assigned the Saturday Evening Pot which is run by a husband wife duo, which is rather awesome.   Their motto is “Faith, Family, Food: Flavors of a Fabulous Life” and fully covers everything they feature on their blog.  There are so many amazing recipes on their blog, some created by Chef John while others are ones sent in from friends all over the globe.  I was immediately drawn to their Okinawa Cooking Class recipe for Yoka Soba – minus the pork of course!  Instead I greatly increased the amount of vegetables already featured in the dish, to include adding in a second type of cabbage.

If You Lead

Serves 4-5


1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 green pepper, chopped

3 shallots, chopped

4 large carrots, chopped

1/2 package soba noodles

1 small green cabbage, chopped

1/2 red cabage, chopped

3 scallions, chopped white and greens

1/2 cup soy sauce

1 tbsp sesame seeds

ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a wok over medium heat. Add the green pepper and shallots and cook for 5 minutes before adding the carrots. Continue cooking for another 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the soba noodles according to the package. Drain, and rinse with cold water and then set aside.
  3. Once the carrots are tender, add the white part of the scallions along with half of the cabbage. As the cabbage wilts, continue to add to the wok.
  4. Add the noodles along with the soy sauce and stir well. Season to taste with the black pepper then top with the scallion greens and the sesame seeds.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

I also added some sesame seeds for a crunch, but that’s just me – they can easily be left out.  For those craving a meaty version, please check out the original recipe!  I also have a feeling tofu would work great, but still on a low-soy diet as we get ready for next round of fertility treatments.  In theory our transfer will be in a few weeks so will know if it worked sometime around the start of the year.  If it doesn’t work, then we’ll be going for a session every other month for essentially the entire year.  A lot to take in – but hopeful that 2015 will be our year!

In food news, there is a mini-SRC post coming up in two weeks so for those of you looking for something sweet  make sure to come back on the 15th!  The next “real” SRC post will be in early February, which seems so far off now but will be here in just a blink of an eye.

Trust in Me

Braised Eggplant in Spicy Garlic Sauce

Braised Garlic Eggplant

Eggplant is a standard ingredient in my house, it can be cooked in so many ways and essentially goes with everything.  However I tend to always prep it the same way – pressed – and cook it one of two ways: stir fry or baked.  I’ve branched out once before with poached eggplant and wanted to do that again, even it meant having pasta on hand just in case.  So I searched the internet, and my cookbooks, and decided to give braised eggplant a whirl after seeing claims of a softer more flavorful dish.  It’s closer to how eggplant is cooked in most Oriental restaurants and I liked the idea of the eggplant absorbing more sauce, and with that more flavor.  This cooking method also meant I needed to salt my eggplant, instead of pressing it, to insure it was as “dry” as possible for maximum sauce.

Trust in Me

serves 4


3 Japanese (Ichiban) eggplant, roll cut


2 tbsp vegetable oil

5 garlic cloves, diced

1 tsp ginger, diced

3 scallions, diced

4 shallots (green onions), diced - whites and greens

1 thai chili, chopped

1/2 tbsp rice vinegar

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp water


  1. Salt the eggplant in a strainer and allow to sit for 30 minutes. Meanwhile chop and prep the remaining vegetables.
  2. Heat the oil in a large flat bottom saute pan. Add the eggplant and cook for 7 minutes, or until eggplant is soft. Add the garlic, ginger, and scallions and continue to cook for another 7-10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile puree the white parts of the shallots with the chili, soy sauce, and rice vinegar - forming a sticky paste.
  4. Add the paste to the eggplant along with the water. Stir, cover, and cook for 10 minutes then add the green tips of the onions stir and Serve!

Feel It In

Coconut Soba Noodles

Sometimes the best dishes are the ones that result from emptying out the cabinets and seeing what all is hiding.  I was inspired by last month’s Random Recipes to continue going through my pantry as part of my fall cleaning.  In doing this it turned out that I have a large collection of soba noodles, probably because I only have a few recipes for cooking them and lately fresh ginger has been scarce.  So I decided to start throwing ingredients together, based on some of my favorite ingredients.  The result was a very rich dish popping with flavor and crazy filling, the fact that it came together in no time at all just made it even better.

Coconut Soba Noodles

Serves 4-5


1/2 lb soba noodles, cooked per instructions on pan

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 tbsp curry powder

1/4 tsp cayenne powder

1/4 tsp mango powder - aka amchur powder (optional)

3 scallions, sliced

4 garlic cloves, diced

8 oz tofu, well pressed/drained

2 cups broccoli

1/2 cup coconut milk


  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a wok over medium heat, add the curry, cayenne, and mango powder. Cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly then add the scallions and garlic. Cook for an additional 5-7minutes, the garlic should start to turn golden. Then add the tofu and cook for 10minutes, until golden on each side.
  2. Add the kale and bok choy, allowing to slightly wilt before adding the cooked noodles and coconut milk. Cover and allow to cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Add additional curry to taste
  3. Serve and enjoy!

One day I’ll get better about keeping my cabinets clean, but until then I’ll be turning to quick and easy pantry cleaning recipes.  I will certainly keep experimenting with the soba noodles, there are a few Thai inspired recipes I want to try as well as another Burmese noodle dish.

My First

Japanese Soba Noodles with Ginger Soy Sauce

When I first saw the /52weeks of cooking challenge for last week was Japanese, I was all sorts of excited.  While I have had Japanese food a number of times, outside of some girls nights doing “sushi” I have no experience cooking the cuisine.  So off to the cookbooks I went to get some ideas!  Unfortunately my cookbooks turned out to be very light on Japanese recipes, which is probably why I haven’t cooked it.   I might have over a dozen curry recipes but I was only able to find locate one Japanese recipe that didn’t have a notation about being fusion or “in the style of”.  So I start Googling Japanese restaurants, hoping that I would find inspiration in menu items, something that I have done before with some success.  After seeing a few dozen recipes calling for Soba Noodles in some type of sauce I decided to give them a whirl.  I also decided to go out of my comfort zone and work with ginger, an ingredient that has caused problems for me in the past.  For the vegetables I decided to keep it simple and green, since I wanted the noodles and the ginger to be the start of the show.   I grabbed bok choy, which I had never cooked with before, and kale, and old friend, and headed off to heat up my wok.

My First

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes



1/2 lb soba noodles (buckwheat noodles), cooked and set aside

1/2 tbsp ginger, grated

3 gloves garlic, minced

2 tbsp dark soy sauce

1 tbsp light soy sauce

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 tsp rice vinegar

2 cups kale, torn

1 cup bok choy, torn

3/4 cup cherry tomatoes, halved


  1. Use a small blender to mix the ginger, garlic, and soy sauces. Set aside
  2. Heat a large wok over medium heat, add the vegetable oil and rice vinegar. Once sizzling add the kale and bok choy and cook until just starting to wilt, about 7 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking.
  3. Turn heat to low and add the soy sauce along with the noodles. Stir well and cover, cook for a final 7-10minutes stirring as needed. Serve topped with the halved cherry tomatoes

I’m know this recipe is more “in the style of” Japanese cooking, seeing as how bok choy didn’t make it to Japan until the early 20th century, but it has certainly inspired me to find some vegetarian Japanese cookbooks.  With that said, if anyone has a cookbook, vegetarian or not, that they would recommend please leave a comment!  I look forward to many more Japanese cooking adventures in my near future.