I discovered what a great ingredient soba noodles were this past summer, when the temps hit the 90s here in Boston for several days in a row. Cooking a hot meal was just not an option, and sometimes salads get boring. Enter cold soba noodles: they can be boiled, cooled and then tossed with an easy dressing and some crisp veggies that just barely wilt, providing a light but satisfying meal on a hot night.
Now that winter has set in (well, officially not until tomorrow but the thermometer says otherwise), I wanted a hot, comforting version of the cold soba noodle dish I made in the summer. Because I wanted to include shrimp, I decided for a different type of sauce, eliminating the peanut butter and adding soy sauce. The results were delicious, easy to put together on a weeknight, and this will definitely stay in our winter repertoire.
Sweet & spicy shrimp with soba noodles
- 6 oz soba noodles
- 3 cloves of garlic, sliced
- 2T mirin
- 2T soy sauce
- good splash of rice vinegar
- 1 T sriracha, or to taste
- 2T oil (I used olive because I had it, but peanut oil would be great here)
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced in long strips
- 10-12 large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2-3 T toasted sesame seeds
- 3-4 green onions, chopped
Cook the soba noodles according to package directions; when finished, drain and set aside, saving some of the cooking water to loosen the sauce later. Mix together the garlic, mirin, soy, vinegar and sriracha in a small bowl.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the red pepper and sauté until just starting to soften; add the shrimp to the pan and continue to cook until the shrimp are just cooked through, about 4-5 minutes.
Add the sauce to the pan, and then the noodles and green onions, using tongs to turn the noodles in the sauce until everything is coated; add a tiny bit of the noodle cooking water to the pan if it seems too dry.
Remove from the heat, and sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Serve immediately.