Spicy Almond Soba Noodles with Edamame
This is one of my go-to vegetarian meals, probably because the almonds and almond butter (one of my addictions) helps me forget the dish is meatless. The combination of textures also helps make this dish satisfying, and the salad keeps well at room temperature, making it perfect for brown-bagging.
2 oz. dried soba noodles
1/2 cup shelled edamame (fresh or frozen)
1 Tbs. sliced raw almonds
1 Tbs. almond butter (or substitute peanut or other nut butter)
2 tsp. unseasoned rice vinegar, or more to taste
1 clove garlic, crushed and finely chopped
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes, plus more to taste
Kosher or sea salt
1 scallion, white and green parts, thinly sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and thinly sliced
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the soba noodles and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, or according to package directions, until they are barely tender. Use tongs to transfer the cooked noodles to an individual-serving bowl, reserving the cooking water in the pot. Return the water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the edamame and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and add to the noodles.
Meanwhile, toast the almonds in a small, dry skillet over medium-high heat, shaking the pan frequently, until lightly browned and smelling toasty, 2 to 3 minutes. Be careful not to let them burn. Immediately transfer to a plate to cool. When they have cooled, coarsely chop them.
To make the dressing, combine the almond butter, vinegar, garlic, and red pepper flakes in a small bowl. Add 2 Tbs. hot water, stirring to mix well. If the dressing seems too thick, add more hot water, a teaspoon at a time, until it has reached the consistency you want.
Add salt to taste; add more vinegar if you want the sauce tangier, and more red pepper flakes if you'd like it spicier. Add the dressing to the noodles and edamame, along with the scallion, bell pepper, and chopped almonds. Toss to combine, adding more water if necessary, and eat.
Any leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
photo: Ed Anderson © 2011
From Book Serve Yourself
, pp. 147
March 1, 2011
Reprinted with permission from Serve Yourself: Nightly Adventures in Cooking for One by Joe Yonan copyright © 2011. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc."