Comfort food that's clean and light - the perfect January pick-me-up.
This is the perfect January dish when you want something clean and light but don't want to give up on comfort. It's nourishing and warming, and it's so simple to make. Soba noodles have always been a favourite of mine, I actually usually have them cold but a craving for this sort of comforting hot broth inspired me to change it up. You can add in extras but this classic combo is just perfect.
Serves 4. Gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan option
125ml tamari (or soy sauce)
2 cloves garlic
200g gluten-free soba noodles
100g enoki or shitake mushrooms
250g pak choi
3 spring onions
Optional: 2 eggs
Add the water and tamari to a large pot on medium heat. Very finely mince the garlic and add it in. Bring it to a simmer and let it simmer for about 15 minutes.
Bring another pot of water to the boil and then add in your soba and cook to the packet instructions (approx. 5 minutes), then drain and set aside. If using eggs, boil them now too, for about 9 minutes.
Slice your mushrooms depending on their size and quarter the pak choi. Add them to the soy broth and simmer for a few more minutes until tender.
Add the soba to your serving bowls and pour the hot broth on top. Sprinkle chopped spring onions on top and add in your egg before serving.
Step 1: make soy broth
Step 2: Cook soba
Step 3: add veg
SOBA, SO GOOD
Soba noodles are made from buckwheat flour, however some varieties contain wheat, too. Look for 100pc buckwheat soba, which are naturally gluten-free. They’re sold in shops in dried versions that look like spaghetti but with a grey colour. I like to use a brand called King — for more information, visit kingsoba.com — and I always have some in the back of my cupboard, because they’re so versatile and quick to cook. They’re delicious hot or cold and can be prepared in loads of different ways. Thanks to the buckwheat, they’re high in fibre, rich in flavonoids, which help protect against disease, are great for heart health and controlling blood sugar. I think I’ll have to share a recipe for cold soba soon so you can taste how good it is — so keep an eye out in Weekend magazine and thelittlegreenspoon.com!
Toasted nori. Nori is pressed seaweed that you’ll recognise from sushi. I love toasting it for snacks and for sprinkling on top of dishes like this. You can buy nori in any Asian market and in some supermarkets. Even if you buy it roasted, I still like to lightly toast it for loads of flavour and texture. Hold one corner of a sheet with a tongs and gently drag it over a low flame or medium hot electric hob, about an inch above the heat. Repeat holding alternate corners until the sheet starts to wrinkle and crisp. For dishes like this, I roughly chop or crunch it on top.
PAK CHOI POWER
Pak choi is a powerhouse of antioxidants and an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin A and manganese and it’s rich in zinc, too. It’s packed with phytonutrients which allow for optimal cellular function and communication. When our cells communicate effectively, the proper sequence of enzymatic reactions takes place allowing for biochemical reactions that create healthier tissues and organ systems, proper detoxification of foreign substances, a strong immune system and healthy muscle function. The antioxidants in pak choi also make it a great anti-inflammatory.