Can we just talk about Soba noodles for a second??
I had actually never tried them before making this recipe. I see them all over the place, though. I guess I’m jumping on the bandwagon a little late…
But they are so dang good! I was definitely expecting them to taste more…healthy…than they taste.
But I actually liked these Soba noodles just as much as regular pasta. Except these are way healthier… literally half the calories.
There are just a little over 100 calories in an entire cup of cooked Soba noodles. That’s what we call a win, people.
Take these yummy, nutty noodles and add in some red bell pepper, edamame, scallions, and a dressing that will knock your socks off, and you have a filling, healthy, and SUPER flavorful meal!
So I have a few Soba noodle tips and tricks for you because they are a little different cooking wise than regular ol’ pasta.
1. They only take about 4-6 minutes to cook (maybe more depending on the brand), so I would get all your other prep work done first so you can focus on watching your noodles. They can overcook really quickly and will become mushy fast.
2. Stir the noodles and pull them apart with tongs as they are cooking so you don’t get noodle clumps.
3. Once the 3 minute mark hits, pull a noodle out every 30 seconds or so and test it for done-ness.
4. Have a colander ready to go in the sink along with a big bowl of cold water next to it. When the noodles are done, add them to your colander and rinse them with cold water. Transfer them to your bowl of cold water and “wash” them with your hands. Just grab handfuls of noodles and rub. This will take away some of the excess starch and help assure that your noodles wont turn out all gummy.
So – Kansas. We heard so, so, SO many bad things about Fort Riley and how there is nothing to do here, and it’s only a good base if you are obsessed with hunting and fishing, and blah blah blaaahhhh blah blah.
Obviously we didn’t have super high hopes for this base. We are so confused now that we are here, because we absolutely love it. I have zero idea what so many people were complaining about. It is seriously gorgeous…like out of a movie. Miles of rolling green hills, tons of trees…did I mention green? Green places make me happy.
And as for the “nothing to do” complaint, these people be cray cray…
There is a big college (K-State) 20 minutes away from the base…meaning there is a college town…with lots of stuff to do. For example…yesterday we went to this Thai place and had seriously the best red curry I have ever had in my life. And then after that we went to this little zoo that’s in Manhattan (yes, the town is called Manhattan…it’s nicknamed “The Little Apple”), and it was SO much fun.
I’ve never been to a zoo like it before – they let some of the animals roam free around the zoo. Like the peacocks for example. Just random peacocks walkin’ around all over the place.
This is a horrible phone picture, but look at this dude!
We were like a foot away from them. Seth touched a feather.
I got nervous and chickened out.
And then in other exhibits they didn’t even have cages between you and the animals. There was just a dirt path through their little habitats. It was crazy!
Then we came back and sat out on our porch because it felt amazing outside.
Here’s another bad phone picture for you…the view from our front porch – this is part of our little neighborhood.
And here is the front of our house:
Boone looks like he is roaming free, but he is really attached to the railing by his leash because when we let him off his leash outside he decides that he wants to be chased and REFUSES to come when we call him.
He just gets close to us and then runs away.
It’s really fun. We really enjoy that.
Anyway, my point in all this is to say, yay Kansas!
Here’s to awesome Soba Noodle Salad and Kansas not sucking :)!
- 9.5 oz package Soba noodles
- 3 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 5 large basil leaves, thinly sliced
- 2 cups edamame (I used the pre-shelled edamame from the frozen vegetable section. Make sure you thaw them completely before adding them into the salad)
- For the sauce:
- ¼ cup soy sauce (or Tamari if gluten free)
- ¼ cup water
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 clove garlic
- ½ teaspoon minced ginger
- ¼ teaspoon sriracha
- ½ teaspoon honey (omit if vegan)
- Black sesame seeds for garnish (optional)
- Bring a pot of water to a boil
- Meanwhile, prep all your vegetables and make your sauce
- For the sauce, add all ingredients into a blender and blend until everything is combined and there are no chunks of garlic or ginger
- When your water is boiling, add in your Soba noodles and reduce to a simmer
- Simmer for 4-6 minutes (or longer depending on the brand - there will be cooking instructions on the package), stirring often so the noodles don't stick together
- Place a colander in the sink and place a big bowl of very cold water next to the sink
- After 3-4 minutes, start testing noodles for done-ness every 30 seconds or so by pulling one out at a time and biting into it - the noodle should be soft but not mushy
- When the noodles are done, drain them into the colander and run cold water over the noodles
- Add them to the bowl of cold water and "wash" them - grab handfuls of noodles and rub together (this will remove extra starch so the noodles won't be gummy)
- Add them back into the colander and let drain for about 5 minutes
- Add the noodles to a big bowl and throw in your peppers, scallions, and edamame
- Add some of the sauce and toss to combine - add more sauce to taste
- Top with the sliced basil leaves and sesame seeds
*This recipe is gluten free and vegan – if you are gluten free, make sure to get 100% buckwheat Soba noodles; there are some brands that also include wheat flour*
If you make this or any of my other recipes, be sure to Instagram it and hashtag #thegarlicdiaries!