Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Shall We Wok: Citrus & Soba

    Before we fire up the stove, let's just take a moment to get acquainted with Soba. Soba are an 'authentic Japanese noodle' made with buckwheat flour and water. These amazing things caught my eye one day and have now made themselves right at home here in the wok. I can not tell you how readily they absorb the flavors you add to them; tangy soy, pungent ginger or fiery peppers and garlic- yum! Four minutes in boiling water and you have tasty, oh so versatile, noodles to toss in your favorite stir fry. (Okay, and they are organic, and healthy- low carb, but they really taste good).

    Now that introductions are complete, let's stroll on over to the gas and fire it up.  I am using a stainless steel wok; I had a non-stick one, but ruined it completely and never went back. Note, before we actually lite the fire, all supplies are gathered and chopping complete. There is no time for grabbing anything from the fridge or smashing garlic once the wok is hot. When cooking with a wok, set that big beauty on the burner and light it up; full fire here, ladies- get it hot! You want that puppy smoking before you add anything to it. To test for readiness, drop water into the wok. If it dances and evaporates quickly- ready.
    My method comes after reading and reading and testing and screaming; it took me a bit, but we found a plan and we are at peace. Once the wok is ready, a slight drizzle of oil runs down the sides of the wok bowl as I lift it off the burner and swirl it around. A few aromatics are introduced to season the surface (generally a garlic clove and a chili). I cook meat, remove to cook veggies, remove to introduce a sauce and then toss. Quick charring starts the process, resting redistributes the juices, and returning allows the dish to come together; a good two minute toss usually gets the job done. That said, let's cook!

Citrus Soba Stir Fry

The elements:                                                                  The Sauce:

4 oz. Soba, cooked                                                         1/4 cup orange juice
6 cups fresh Julianned veggies,                                         1 Tablespoon soy sauce
   such as broccoli stems, carrot,                                      1/2 Tablespoon siracha sauce
   cabbage, or squash                                                       1 teaspoon sesame oil
oil to drizzle in the pan (olive, peanut, or coconut)             2 teaspoons minced ginger
clove of garlic                                                                  1 clove garlic, minced
one red chili

   Wish together the ingredients for the sauce and set it aside. Prep all veggies (a precut veg pack works well; we tried the broccoli slaw bag with success). Heat the wok. Drizzle oil adding the garlic clove and chili. Allow the aromatics to sizzle a bit, but remove them before they burn (we are done with them, so toss them out). 
    Add the slivered veggies to the seasoned oil. Toss veggies vigorously pushing them from the bottom to the sides and back again until a slight char can be seen; generally about two minutes. Remove them and set aside. Add the sauce to the pan by drizzling it down the sides of the wok- this keeps the wok temp high. Toss gently allowing the sauce to reduce a bit. 
    Now return the veggies giving them a nice coat of sauce and letting them heat a bit. If they are not cooked enough for you (I like mine rather crunchy) set a lid over them and steam two to five minutes. Add the cooked and drained Soba, tossing to coat. 
    Plate and enjoy!

    Let me say, this is delicious, but not quite spicy enough for my family. We added additional siracha to the plated meal as well as a bit of salt. To complete the meal, we had roast chicken and a bowl of fresh fruit; perfect 'after work out' meal! 


Michelle said...

We cook a dish similar to this. I'll have to give yours a try. It sounds really good.

Simply Scaife Family said...

Would you like to share what you do differently? I would enjoy trying something new:)