There were times that I’m really lazy to cook. And when I am lazy, I try cook to something very easy or I don’t cook at all. Well, maybe for a change I wanted someone to cook for me. But then again, even if I stay away from the kitchen, I always think in advance on what I am going to cook the following day (but sometimes I don’t). I have this automatic message in my brain that there are leftovers in the fridge that needs to be used up. I don’t think I am alone in this. All of us have lazy days and we want something fast but still taste delicious and healthy.
I’ve made this soba noodles with peanut dressing before but I wasn’t happy with the results. And then I thought I must be using the peanut butter from the supermarket that’s been sitting in the cupboard for a few months now. We all know that supermarket-bought peanut butter is made with hydrogenated oils and other inferior ingredients. So, I decided to make it again the other day, but this time with organic peanut butter which is made only with peanuts and nothing else. There’s a huge difference in price but big distinction in taste.
I actually thought I was just going to make the soba noodles and the peanut dressing. Talking about being lazy, I suddenly added a few more ingredients such as baked firm tofu flavored with a mixture of miso paste, lemon juice, honey and soy sauce. Then, I added some blanched broccoli, green onions and toasted sesame seeds.
If you already have the soba noodles and this dressing, you can eat it on it's own or you may add other ingredients that you like depending on your mood and what you have in your fridge. I ended up dipping the cooked tofu and broccoli in the leftover peanut dressing while eating the noodles from the bowl.
The dressing can be made ahead of time but add the freshly grated ginger before serving as the the flavor dissipates overtime. I always choose thin-skinned ginger as they are more flavorful and less fibrous that the thick-skinned ones. Sometimes, I add a lot of ginger when I feel worn out. I didn’t add any heat to the dressing but a few red chili pepper flakes would be wonderful.
In the end, this dish is just about soba noodles and the peanut dressing and the rest is up to you.
Soba Noodles with Peanut Dressing
300 grams soba noodles (about 5 bundles)
1-½ inch ginger root (about 2 tbsp grated ginger)
½ cup organic peanut butter
¼-1/3 cup of hot water
¼ cup Bragg’s Liquid Aminos or other natural soy sauce
3 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp honey
1 tbsp pure black sesame oil
To cook the noodles, heat a pot of water to a boil. When the water is boiling, lower the heat slightly and add the soba noodles and for about 5-7 minutes. Drain through a colander and rinse with water. Drain well.
To prepare the peanut dressing, peel and grate the ginger. Add the peanut butter and hot water. Stir with a whisk until combined, and then add the rest of the ingredients. If the mixture is too thick, add a little bit more water.
To serve, divide soba noodles into individual bowls and drizzle with peanut dressing. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and chopped green onions if desired.