I took a break from working on my next pattern to make this Korean-inspired lunch. Cross stitching and designing can make a girl hungry. Since I stopped working every evening in a psychiatric ER, I've been into mindful eating. Having proper meals is the new goal. Lunch is a must.
I adore Asian noodle bowls, don't you? Soba noodles are low in fat, high in fiber, amino acids, B vitamins and minerals. They're also delicious! Here, tangles of soba noodles are tossed with a spicy sauce similar to the kind served with bibimbap. The dish has delicious sesame, spinach and umami flavors. Ginger and diced scallions brighten things up with freshness. Chili and garlic bring in bold flavors.
This recipe is a great base for crispy, pan-fried tofu or thinly sliced chicken. A side of kimchi is also welcome with this meal. The recipe comes together quickly for those (like me) in need of a midday-Korean-noodle-fix.
Korean Style Soba Noodles Recipe
Some Notes & Tips
Toss in some crispy pan fried tofu or chicken for additional protein. I fried egg on top is a good idea too.
I use Lee Kum Kee Chili Garlic Sauce in this recipe. It's a delicious, medium-hot sauce with tons of flavor. I buy it in my regular market. It does contain sodium. If you're watching your salt intake, use less of it. You can also find it on Amazon.
If you'd like to try this recipe with real Korean red pepper paste, I suggest reading the labels. Many of them contain lots of corn syrup and preservatives. Here's a link for natural red pepper paste: wholly gochujang, premium gluten-free chemical-free unpasteurized artisanal korean hot pepper paste.
It's important not to overcook the soba noodles. I take them out a minute before they're done. They will soak up the sauce and finish cooking once tossed with the other ingredients. You can swap the soba noodles for rice or ramen noodles too. Real soba noodles are gluten free. Always check the package, as some contain both wheat and buckwheat.
I use a microplane zester to grate the peeled ginger.
- 1 package of baby spinach (about 8-10 cups)
- 6 scallions, diced
- 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
- 3 tablespoons of chili garlic sauce or to your taste (see notes for information)
- 3 teaspoons of honey or sugar
- 3 teaspoons of rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons of Asian sesame oil. I use Trader Joe's Toasted Sesame Oil.
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 9.5-ounce package of soba noodles
Cook the soba noodles according to the package directions. Make sure you don't overcook them. Rinse with cold water and drain very well. Set aside. You may want to spray them with a little cooking spray or drizzle them with oil to keep them from sticking together.
In a small bowl, combine the ginger, chili garlic sauce, honey or sugar, rice vinegar, sesame oil and canola oil. Set aside.
Reserve some of the green parts of the scallions for garnish. On medium-high heat, saute the rest of the diced scallions in a large fry pan with a drizzle of oil until they're starting to soften (about 2 minutes). Stir in the baby spinach and cook until the water from the spinach has evaporated. Mix in the reserved sauce and cook until the sauce bubbles and reduces a little. Mix in the soba noodles and warm through. Take off the heat. Let the noodles sit in the pan for about 3 minutes to absorb the sauce and any extra water that might still be in the pan. Sprinkle the noodles with sesame seeds and the reserved diced scallions. A tiny bit more sesame oil is also nice as a finishing touch.