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Lately I find myself on a constant hunt for meals that are simple to prepare and loaded with flavor. This Soba Noodle Bowl qualifies.
This recipe is a riff on my Spicy Sesame and Ginger Bok Choy, where baby bok choy is the star. I just added soba noodles, almonds, green onions, and an egg so we could call it lunch.
Ingredients You Need to Make this Soba Noodle Bowl
- Dry Soba Noodles: Your favorite grocery store brand. Here is a great resource if you're looking for advice on which brand is best.
- Red Chili Paste: Sambal oelek or other red chili paste. Sriracha would also work.
- Garlic: Look for a firm, tight bulb with taut skin and large, plump garlic cloves.
- Ginger: A fresh hand of ginger should have shiny, taut, thin skin. Don't buy fresh ginger that is shriveled, a sure sign that it's old.
- Green Onion: Or fresh chives, just enough to finish the dish.
- Eggs: Large or Extra-Large
- Tamari Almonds: Or other roasted, salted almonds.
- Sesame Oil: Use regular, un-toasted sesame oil to stir fry the bok choy and aromatics.
- Toasted Sesame Oil: Use the toasted version of sesame oil to round out these bowls.
- Soy Sauce: Regular or light soy sauce. (This is my hands-down favorite brand.)
- Baby Bok Choy: Look for smooth, firm light green stocks with bright green leaves that have no brown or yellow marks.
What are soba noodles?
Soba (Japanese for "buckwheat") are noodles made from buckwheat flour and water. Fresh soba noodles are widely available in Japan, despite the notoriously complicated process required to make them by hand. In the United States, soba noodles are typically dried and packaged in little bundles secured with a thin paper ribbon.
Regardless of the name, buckwheat isn't a wheat at all, but a gluten-free seed. Though you can find 100% buckwheat soba noodles, made entirely of buckwheat flour, most are made with a combination of buckwheat and whole wheat flour. If you are gluten sensitive, be sure to check the package ingredients.
- For extra nutty flavor, add a tablespoon of tahini or peanut butter along with the chili paste and soy sauce in step 3 of the recipe.
- Add extra vegetables to the bok choy like sugar snap peas, red bell pepper, and/or mushrooms. Or top the final dish with cold, thinly sliced cucumber and a scatter of sesame seeds and/or cilantro.
- To make this dish even heartier, top with sliced Grilled Tuna Steaks.
- Toss in a handful of cooked edamame for extra heft or in place of eggs for a vegan version.
- Stir in white or red miso for added umami flavor.
You can make these bowls start to finish in 30 minutes, perfect for lunch or a weeknight dinner. I’ve written the recipe to serve four, but you can easily scale it up or down to serve more or fewer people.
More of My Favorite Asian Recipes
- Cauliflower Fried Rice (The crispy ginger and garlic make this irresistible!)
- Crispy Baked Egg Rolls (So crisp and baked not fried.)
- Egg Roll in a Bowl (A deconstructed egg roll complete with wonton crisps.)
- Chinese Cucumber Salad (A smashed cucumber salad with a tangy sweet dressing that everyone loves!)
- Three Cup Chicken (A truly restaurant worthy dish!)
How to Make Soba Noodle Bowls
Step 1: Add eggs to a saucepan of enough boiling water to cover by an inch; let boil 30 seconds. Reduce heat and cover; let simmer 8 minutes. Remove eggs with slotted spoon and pour water from saucepan. Return eggs to pan and cover with cold water.
Step 2: Meanwhile, cook, drain and rinse soba noodles in cold water, according to package directions.
Step 3: While eggs and noodles cook, sauté garlic and ginger in sesame oil until fragrant. Add baby bok choy, and red chili paste; cook and stir until bok choy stocks are crisp tender and leaves have wilted. Remove from heat. When noodles are rinsed, add them to baby bok choy mixture along with the soy sauce; stir to combine and set over low heat until warm enough to serve.
Step 4: To serve, peel and cut each egg in half. Divide noodle mixture between 4 bowls and divide toasted sesame oil, almonds, and green onion evenly among them; serve.
Soba Noodle Bowl
- 4 eggs
- 8 ounces dry soba noodles
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil or more to taste
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger about a 2-inch piece
- 4 heads baby bok choy rinsed and coarsely chopped
- 1 teaspoon red chili paste or more (such as sambal oelek)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 4 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- ¼ cup chopped Tamari roasted almonds
- 1 green onion thinly sliced
- In a small saucepan, bring to boil enough water to cover eggs by one inch. Once water boils, slowly lower each egg into boiling water with a spoon. Let boil uncovered 30 seconds; cover, reduce heat and simmer 8 minutes. Lift eggs out of saucepan with slotted spoon and pour out water. Return eggs to pan and cover with cold water.
- Meanwhile, bring water to boil for dry soba noodles; cook and rinse according to package directions (recipe note #1).
- While noodles and eggs cook, heat sesame oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and ginger; cook and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add baby bok choy and red chili paste; cook 3 to 5 minutes, until greens have wilted and stalks are crisp-tender. Remove from heat.
- When noodles are drained and rinsed, return pan to burner over low heat. Add cooked noodles and soy sauce; gently toss to combine. Cook, stirring often until heated through.
- Meanwhile, peel and cut each egg in half. Divide noodle mixture between four serving bowls; top each bowl with one egg, one teaspoon toasted sesame oil, and one quarter of the almonds and green onions. Serve.
- I like to cook soba noodles for less time than most packages suggest. I recommend testing the noodles for desired doneness 1 or 2 minutes earlier then drain and rinse with cold water.