This dish came together nicely and felt oh so good finishing a weeknight with a warm bowl full of healing Asian properties. Ginger aids in digestion, reduces pain-causing inflammation in the body, and also has antimicrobial and antiviral properties that kill germs. I use it often in dishes and always end the night with a cup of ginger tea. Shiitake contain powerful cancer-fighting properties and boost the immune system, thanks to the antiviral and antimicrobial carbohydrate lentinan, and Sesame is high in linoleic acid, and has anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties as well. With the added vegetables in this dish, the simmering broth will to keep you feeling grounded and healthy.
I opted for tofu, as the recipe calls for below, and my husband added shredded chicken to his from a leftover prepared roast. I did not get a picture of the ‘his-and-hers’ options as ‘his’ was gone by the time I was done photographing ‘hers’. I could also see salmon working well with the flavors and feel free to use any noodle of choice. Many options to choose from- kelp, whole wheat, spelt… Make it your own and enjoy!
Ginger Soba Noodles
1 bunch soba noodles
1/2 block of extra firm tofu, pressed and diced into 1-inch cubes (optional)
splash of unrefined SESAME* or grape seed oil
pinch red pepper flakes
1/2 cup shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1/3 bunch broccolini, chopped into bite-sized pieces
small handful matchstick carrots
1/2 baby bok choy, thinly sliced
1/2 cup thinly chopped kale (about 1/2 a bunch)
2 teaspoons minced ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
2 cups vegetable broth
1 – 2 tablespoons NAMA SHOYU*, or soy sauce
1 handful thinly sliced fresh basil
a squeeze of lime juice
drizzle of toasted sesame oil
Prepare your noodles as directed. Drain, rinse and set aside.
Add a splash of oil into a large skillet on medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the tofu, shaking the pan occasionally to cook the tofu evenly until edges are browned. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Add the mushrooms, broccolini, carrots, bok choy, and a pinch of sea salt and red pepper flakes to the same pan. Cook, stirring occasionally until they have wilted down, about 5 minutes. Toss in kale, ginger, garlic and shallot. Stir fry for a few minutes until the kale starts to wilt down, but garlic is not burning. Add the broth and noodles and simmer for a few minutes. Add more broth, if necessary.
Turn off heat, stir in nama shoyu, basil, lime juice and toasted sesame oil. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Ladle into bowls and finish with desired garnishes. Top with cooked tofu, salmon or chicken, if using.