Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Spicy Sesame-Broccoli Soba Bowl

After finally finishing my new Madame Butterfly pattern, I treated myself to soba. I love all Asian noodles. I especially adore brothy soups and tangly noodles with lots of vegetables like my Soba Noodle Soup with Mushrooms & Snow Peas  or my Korean Style Soba.  My pantry and fridge are well stocked with things like naturally brewed soy sauce and rice vinegar so I can whip up a recipe in no time.

This flavorful soba bowl is brimming with bright green veggies, spicy chili, warm sesame and perky ginger. The sauce is kept on the lighter side, with just the right amount of oil necessary to coat the noodles.

Tender-crisp snow peas give it crunch. It can be eaten hot or cold, making it a good choice for the much anticipated warmer days of summer. A fried egg or tofu on top is a good idea too. Don't skip the basil. It elevates this dish, complimenting all the delicious umami flavors. Thai basil is particularly good here.  

Spicy Sesame Soba Bowl

Serves 2-3

Some Notes & Tips:

You can riff on this recipe by replacing the oyster sauce with more chili garlic or soy sauce. Have fun with it and make it your own. The idea is to create a lighter noodle bowl with bold flavors from the sesame and chili.

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. You can also find it on Amazon.  Like soy sauce, it is high in sodium. So you may want to adjust it according to your preference.

Oyster sauce is a wonderful condiment that brings rich, umami flavors to this dish. If you've ever had stir fried bok choy or Chinese broccoli at your favorite Asian restaurant, chances are you've tried it. I find it in my regular market. I like to use Lee Kum Kee Brand for its superior quality.   


  • 9-ounce package of soba noodles
  • 1 cup of snow peas
  • 2 cups of chopped broccoli 
  • 4 scallions, diced. Reserve the dark green parts for serving. 
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 red chili pepper, diced (optional)
  • A generous handful of Thai basil or regular basil torn or chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of chili garlic sauce (see notes for information)
  • 2 tablespoons of oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of regular or low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons of Asian sesame oil. I use Trader Joe's Toasted Sesame Oil.
  • 1 tablespoon of neutral tasting oil. I use sunflower. 
  • 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar
  • 3 teaspoons of of honey or sugar 
  • 4 tablespoons of water
  • 1 tablespoon or more of sesame seeds for serving


Make the sauce in a small bowl by combining the white and light green parts of the scallions, ginger, garlic, chili garlic sauce, oyster sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, sunflower oil, honey, rice vinegar and water. (I use a microplane zester to grate the garlic and ginger directly into the bowl). Set aside.

Put the snow peas in the same colander you will use to drain the soba noodles.
Put a pot of water on high heat to cook the soba noodles. Once the water is boiling, add the broccoli and the soba noodles. Cook the noodles according to the package instructions. They cook very quickly. The broccoli will cook along with them. Try not to overcook the noodles, keeping them al dente. Drain the broccoli and the noodles over the snow peas in the colander. Rinse everything with cold water. Drain well and set aside.

Place the reserved sauce in a large fry pan. Cook the sauce on medium high for about a minute or two, until it starts to bubble and reduce a little. Stir in the reserved noodles and vegetables and toss to combine. Turn off the heat. Sprinkle on the sesame seeds, the reserved scallions and a drizzle of sesame oil. Serve with fresh Thai basil and diced chili pepper (if using).

Bon Appetit!

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