Soba noodles are typically eaten cold, with some kind of dipping sauce. In this case, I just took the easy route and decided to just plate the noodle with the sauce. After I started heading down the road of sloth, I went all in; the sauce to go with the noodles is particularly idiot-proof. It requires no cooking and contains four ingredients, all of which come out of either a bottle or a jar. Despite the relative simplicity, this dish does pretty well in the taste category. There is not a lot of subtly, just a blast of vinegar and chili flavor with a bit of peanut to bring it back in line. I think that you really need some form of garnish to compete with the sauce and I found that sliced scallion provided a hint of something natural and kept the dish from being monotonous.
Soba noodles are an excellent and flavorful alternative to the more common egg or wheat-flour noodles. I also really like them because they do really well chilled. They seem to be decidedly less starchy than their wheaty cousins and, once cooled and rinsed, can just hang out until eaten without significantly degrading in quality. I have tried both the dried and the soft-frozen varieties, and although the flavor is better with the soft-frozen type, it is hard to beat the convenience of the dried type. Just boil 5 to 8 minutes, chill, sauce, and serve.
- 4 oz. dried soba noodles
- ¼ cup chunky peanut butter
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- 1 Tbs. soy sauce
- 3 Tbs. chili sauce, such as Sriracha
- 1 scallion, sliced for garnish
- 3 medium precooked prawns, for garnish
- Bring water to boil in a medium saucepan and add the soba noodles. Reduce heat to a moderate boil and cook according to the package instructions (typically 5 to 8 minutes, depending on brand).
- While noodles are cooking, whisk together the peanut butter, vinegar, chili sauce, and soy. Whisk until smooth.
- When nobles have finished cooking, cool immediately with cold water and rinse for several minutes.
- Plate and sauce noodles to taste, garnishing with scallions and shrimp.