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Black Sesame Soba Noodles with Blanched Vegetables and Miso Dressing

Buckwheat soba noodles are very popular in Japanese cuisine. Silky, healthy, and delicious, they are my favorite of the noodles. In this recipe, they are paired with a lot of nutritious vegetables, blanched in a miso broth, which then reduced to a sauce, and mixed with a black sesame relish. Everything you need is in this bowl of food. The recipe is adopted from Ottolenghi's "Plenty more", an incredible book I highly recommend to vegetarians and vegans.

For the soba noodles, boil for 3 - 4 minutes:

  • Soba noodles, 2 bunches (they usually come in a packet of 4 bunches).

Drain, refresh under cold water, and keep submerged in water until serving (if cold, instantly dip in hot water).

For the broth, mix in a pot:

  • Vegetable stock, 2 cups

  • Miso paste, 3 tbsp (from Asian markets, once opened keep sealed in the fridge forever)

  • Soy sauce, 2 tbsp

  • Mirin, 2 tbsp (from Asian markets, keeps on the shelf forever)

  • Sugar, 1 tsp

Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to maintain a steady simmer. Add the following vegetables individually, as the don't cook at the same time, and remove using a slotted spoon on a plate before adding the next:

  • Mushrooms, 2 cups fresh, sliced in 1 cm pieces. Here I used fresh Shitake, and Shimeji (use them whole, they are very small and thin, no need to cut them), but any will do. Blanch for 3 minutes.

  • Carrot, thin buttons, from 1 pc. Blanch for 3 minutes.

  • Cucumber, thin buttons from 1 pc. Blanch for 1 minute.

  • Broccoli, in small florets, from 1 pc. Blanch for 5 minutes, check the stem is just cooked.

Increase heat and reduce sauce to a thick consistency (about 100 ml). With a rigour boil this should take about 10 minutes.

For the black sesame relish, mix in a bowl:

  • Peanuts, 1/3 cup, roughly chopped with a knife on a cutting board.

  • Black sesame seeds, 1/4 cup

  • Chilli flakes, 1 tsp

  • Vinegar, 1 tbsp

  • Maple syrup, 1 tsp

  • Olive Oil, 2 tsp

To serve, place the noodles and vegetables in a bowl, dress with the sauce and relish, and garnish with:

  • Spring Onion tops, in thin strips


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