A quick vegan-friendly meal that makes great leftovers!
A few times each week, I try to make a dish that can do double-duty as dinner one night and lunch the next. This is my new favourite “intentional leftovers” meal. It is so quick to prepare and I just love the combination of the tangy peanut sauce and crisp, raw vegetables. Soba noodles are a staple in Chinese cuisine; today most of them are made from a combination of white and buckwheat flour but at specialty food stores you should be able to find all-buckwheat noodles, which are gluten-free, if that’s important to you or your guests. You can also substitute with your favourite wheat, corn or rice pasta but you’ll need to adjust the cooking time for the noodles accordingly. Adding in thin slices of cooked chicken would also be delicious for a non-vegan version of this dish.
- 6 cups (1.4 L) vegetable stock (or chicken stock if not making vegan)
- 12 ounces soba (340 grams) or other flat noodles
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) creamy peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons (10 mL) sriracha sauce (or to taste)
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large red or orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 cup (250 mL) thinly sliced zucchini
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) thinly sliced green onion
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) coarsely chopped peanuts
- cilantro leaves and lime wedges for garnish
- In a large pot, bring the stock to a boil. While stock heats, put the peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil and sriracha in the bottom of a large bowl.
- Add the soba noodles to the boiling broth and cook for 4 minutes. Drain in a colander placed over a clean bowl to catch the broth that drains off; reserve the broth and set aside.
- Run the noodles under cold water and shake to remove excess liquid then set aside.
- Whisk 1/2 cup of the reserved hot cooking broth into the peanut butter mixture until well blended. Add the drained noodles to the bowl and toss gently to coat. Add another 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the reserved broth until the sauce coating the noodles is smooth and creamy but not runny. Refrigerate any remaining broth and it can be used when reheating leftover noodles.
- Taste and season with black pepper, additional soy sauce, sriracha or rice vinegar to suit your tastes.
- Gently stir into the noodles most of the sliced peppers, all of the zucchini and green onion plus half of the peanuts. Transfer noodles and vegetables to a broad serving dish and garnish with cilantro leaves plus remaining peppers and peanuts.
- Serve with lime wedges on the side; the noodles are equally delicious warm, cold, or at room temperature.
Makes 4 servings.