Spicy Soba Noodle Stir-Fry

I guess you can say that I’ve been on a stir-fry kick but I can’t help but share this with you- definitely a dinner worth trying for yourselves. I caught a glimpse of Mario Batali this morning on the Today Show making a raw asparagus salad that looked fresh and appropriate for the season. I thought I’d try something similar instead of the usual green salad to start. The Parmesan really adds an bold taste to the dish but it is also wonderful without it if you’re doing the vegan thing.

This Spicy Soba Noodle Stir-Fry recipe is taken from the The Candle Cafe Cookbook, one of New York’s renowned and one of my favorite vegan restaurants in the city. I actually introduced my husband to tempeh tonight and, let’s just say, this is the perfect dish for a meat-eating Texan, “no tofu please” guy to try it. Not only did he enjoy it, he officially approved the dish and has added Spicy Soba Noodle Stir-Fry to our ultimate “dinner rotation”. I did some of the prep work ahead of time (the peanut sauce can be made well in advance and Whole Foods does a great job of having prepped vegetables in their refrigerator section!). Don’t be intimidated by the amount of ingredients. It really is an easy recipe to follow.

Shaved Asparagus with Parmesan
Asparagus bunch, ends snapped off
Parmigiano-Reggiano, shaved
Juice of a lemon
splash of olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Using a mandolin or vegetable peeler, shave the asparagus into thin long strips. Put the Parmigiano in a large bowl and whisk in the lemon juice, slowly drizzling in the oil. Add the asparagus and toss gently to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Spicy Soba Noodle Stir-Fry

Peanut Sauce
1 1/2 cups smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup brown rice vinegar
1 small red onion, finely chopped
2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
1 Tbsp crushed red chili flakes
1 Tbsp ketchup (I know, I thought this was weird too but trust me)
1/4 cup Tamari soy sauce
1 Tbsp Tabasco
1/4 cup agave nectar
1 Tbsp sesame oil

Soba Noodles and Tempeh
1 8-ounce package Tempeh, cubed
pinch of sea salt
1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb soba noodles

3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp minced fresh ginger
3/4 chopped onion
1 cup shredded cabbage
1/2 cup trimmed and blanched string beans
1 1/2 cups cut and blanched broccoli florets
1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1/2 cup sliced shitake mushrooms
1 Tbsp Tamari soy sauce
2 1/2 tsp sesame oil

To prepare the peanut sauce, place all of the ingredients with 2 cups of water in a blender and blend until smooth. The sauce will keep in the refrigerator, covered, for up to a week. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Place the tempeh cubes in a bowl and cover with the peanut sauce. Refrigerate for at least an hour or up to overnight. Drain and set aside.

To prepare the soba noodles, bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the salt and olive oil. Add the soba noodles and cook until just tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

To prepare the stir-fry, heat the olive oil in a large saute pan or wok over high heat. Add tempeh and saute for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, onion, cabbage, string beans, and broccoli and stir-fry for 5 minutes, then add the peppers and mushrooms and saute for about 2 minutes. Add some peanut sauce and continue to saute, tossing the vegetables, tempeh and sauce together until the desired doneness, about 5 to 10 minutes.

Add the tamari soy sauce and sesame oil and stir-fry for an additional 3 minutes. Serve over the soba noodles with additional peanut sauce. Serves about 6.

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