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Sweet and Spicy Soba

I'm guessing my English teacher would credit me for my alliterative title. Well, at least after our poetry unit, I hope so. Sorry, back to the recipe.

Like most Asian food, this dish presents multiple flavors, with an initial sweet and savory burst complemented by a nice hint of heat (alliteration again sorry). Well, like I said before this dish is just really really good. It can be whipped up in under 20 minutes, most of which time is spent unattended and serves as an undeniably great weekend meal. Additionally, this recipe is much healthier than anything you'd ever find outside. I mean it. Just look at any fast food restaurant, an overload on salt and ton of oil. This recipe simply isn't that. It's got less than 1.5 tablespoons of oil, not much at all considering it serves 2-3. It also has no unnecessary salt bombs (soy sauce I'm looking at you).

As traditional on this blog, we're going to look at some science. "How is there any science in this recipe?" one might ask. Well, it all starts in the noodles – the foundation of any good noodle dish. I'm also going bring up an opinion of mine that can be a little polemic. Soba is better than ramen which. I said it. I'm sorry. But here's why. Soba is 100% buckwheat, meaning that it aids digestion and is high in antioxidants, which helps with all the spicy food. Secondly, buckwheat has more protein and amino acids than something like rice. But coming to the most preponderant point, soba just tastes better. I mean, it has a nice chewiness but not too much like ramen, and it actually blends well with vegetables, unlike ramen which only seems to go well with meat. (My opinion)

Here's the recipe:

1.5 packets of raw soba noodles (buckwheat) - 375g total

1 cup broccoli, chopped in half

2 carrots, medium diced

1 onion, finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 yellow bell pepper, medium diced

1 1/2 tablespoons oil (really any kind works here)

Salt to taste (anything more than a tablespoon is unbearable for me, but you do you)

1 1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp chili powder

1 tsp sugar

3 tbsp soy sauce

1/2 tsp sesame oil (optional)

1/4 cup water if the sauce gets too dry

  1. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add the raw buckwheat/soba. Cook for 4 minutes. The noodles will cook more in the steam of the veggies.

  2. At the same time, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium low heat. Once shimmering, add in the onion and garlic. After 30 seconds, add in the broccoli and bell pepper. After 2 minutes, add in the carrots. After 1 minute, add in the noodles.

  3. Turn off the heat and cover the skillet. Let steam for 3-4 minutes until everything is cooked through. If the sauce is looking a little dry, add in 1/4 cup of water.

  4. Serve warm.

  5. Enjoy!

Note: the noodles usually look white-brown but I think because of the camera and light, they look yellow.

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