Why I love it: This dish takes five minutes to make, is delicious and requires only pantry ingredients. It’s perfect when you don’t have time or groceries.
A few weeks ago we watched the series Cooked, a documentary about the history of cooking that is based on Michael Pollan’s book by the same name. It’s a very interesting show that is also absolutely beautifully shot, if you haven’t seen it I definitely recommend it. One of the things I was at first surprised to learn from Cooked was that people in the U.S. cook less today than they have in at least 30 years.
I didn’t realize that this was the case but after thinking about it a bit I can actually understand it. Cooking is a job. It takes time, planning, thinking and energy. And with all the responsibilities each of us have in our daily life, time and energy to cook a homemade meal every evening are a luxury for many of us.
And that’s where this simple noodle dish comes in. It’s delicious, cheap, super easy and takes five minutes from start to finish. You simply whisk together sesame oil, natural peanut butter, honey, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sambal and coconut milk, then toss freshly cooked soba noodles in it. Because you need nothing but pantry ingredients for this recipe it’s also a great option when you find yourself out of groceries and don’t want to go to the store.
If you have fresh vegetables like carrots or cabbage on hand by all means shred and toss them in for crunch and variety but don’t feel that that’s required, the noodles with the sauce are a perfectly satisfying meal on their own.
- 4 ounces soba noodles, uncooked
- ½ tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter (with peanuts as the only ingredient)
- ½ teaspoon honey
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sambal (more if you like it spicier)
- 2 tablespoons coconut milk
- mint leaves and sesame seeds (optional)
- Cook the soba noodles according to package instructions then rinse them with cold water.
- Whisk oil, peanut butter, honey, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sambal and coconut milk together until smooth.
- Toss the noodles with the sauce, sprinkle with mint leaves and sesame seeds (if using) and serve immediately.
- Whatever you don't eat you need to throw away, you cannot store this noodle dish.
Food Photography and Styling: A most difficult subject. Gray, thin strands covered in gooey brown sauce and nothing else. Definitely not an easy task. I made sure to lay the noodles in the bowl in an orderly and wavy pattern and positioned my strobe at about the 11 o’clock position for a dramatic look. There are chili peppers in the sambal so I put a dried chili in the composition to add a splash of color and to mirror the waviness of the noodles.
For info on what type of camera and lighting equipment I used head on over to my FAQ page.