Lately I’ve been toying around with some meatless meals. Which also means that I’ve been toying with Mr. Clean, Green & Bold’s emotions. You’ve heard the saying, “Happy Wife, Happy Life.” Well, trust me that Happy Husbands start with their Happy Tummies!
So, I’ll be honest. Some of the meals have been a little dicey. Some have been promptly fed to the Clean Green & Bold insinkerator. But today I struck gold… Soba Noodles!
I’ll start by telling you that I actually made a Vegetarian Stock. From scratch. After all, it is January. I might have a little time on my hands. If you lack the desire to spend hours on some simple broth, then by all means purchase away. (I’ve been happy with the Wolfgang Puck brand of Vegetarian Stock. It has just the right umami quality for Asian cooking.)
But if you’re feeling adventurous, go ahead and experiment with your own Stock! Mine started with Celery, Carrot and Onion, which I highly caramelized in Vegetable Oil. I then added Bay Leaves, Ginger, Fresh Lemongrass, Garlic Cloves, One Half of a Fresh Lime, a Bunch of Cilantro, and some Thai Chili Paste (Fresh Chilis would have been wonderful, but no dice.) I covered the whole thing with 3 cups of Cold Water, added Salt and Pepper, and slowly brought to a Boil. After that I cut it back to a simmer for about an hour.
Honesty time again. I was NOT HAPPY with the taste. It came pretty close to a date with the overfed insinkerator. Disappointed, I decided to just throw the whole thing in the fridge anyway. And guess what? Overnight, something magical happened. Same culinary phenomena as what happens to many Soups, Stews and Braises. They just mellow overnight and get so much damned better!
After straining the whole thing, I added Tamari Soy Sauce for extra Salt, Chili Oil for extra heat, and some Toasted Sesame Oil for extra depth.
Time for the noodles. After boiling the Soba (Buckwheat) Noodles, I added them to the reheated Broth. (As an aside, I don’t even want to tell you how long they’ve been in my pantry, waiting for the day that I’d be just a little more adventerous!) Apparantly the answer was “a lazy Saturday afternoon in January.”
Next step… the toppings. I stir fried some gorgeous Lacinato Kale and then added a few bias cut Scallions. You could also successfully add Shitake Mushrooms, a Soft Poached Egg, Shredded Pork or perhaps a Chevy Cavalier. That’s the awesome point of slurpy noodle dishes…you can add just about anything.
So, we just ate our Noodles for a Saturday lunch. They were delicious, satisfying and very filling. AND keep in mind that this whole thing was low in calories, low in fat, gluten-free and even vegan. Not too shabby. Hubbie’s tummy was happy. Now after two days of cooking, for one simple lunch, all I have to figure out is what’s for dinner. Uggg.
On second thought, just buy the Stock!