Cooking for One: Cold Soba Noodles with Spicy Chili Sauce
It’s been a little while, right? I’ve been cooking for myself, but I haven’t had many good solo recipes. A lot of old favorites repeated, some cold pizza here and there, making enough food to eat off of for a couple of days– all of sudden, three months pass. Then, a night comes where I get too wrapped up in American Idol to eat, and I’m desperate for something when it’s too late to call for takeout. My pantry is down to nothing with the upcoming move, but there are a few staples still lurking.
I’ve had a love affair going with Sriracha Chili Sauce for three or four years now. I first spied it when a Doc Chey’s Noodle House opened downtown in Athens. It was red, it was chili, it was there. I doused my peanut noodle salad with it, and it now has Most Favored Condiment status. It’s available in most grocery stores, and definitely at Asian grocers. It’s warm but not too hot, and it has great flavor. As you eat it, you begin to feel a warm, tingling feeling on your lips. This happy tingly feeling then spreads to the sides of your tongue. After the flames dance there a bit, a general light heat will trickle down your throat. None of this is particularly overpowering, but it’s still a very physical heat, with lots of fruity chili overtones.
A great way to enjoy this particular delight is in sauce for cold soba noodles. The cool noodles play off the heat beautifully, and it’s a great way to spice up the often salty treat. This is one of those great, easy recipes that comes together in the time it takes to cook the noodles. A key step in the recipe is rinsing the cooked noodles well. Not only does this cool them off, but it removes much of the starch from the noodles. Soba are very starchy, and rinsing changes the flavor profile of the noodles considerably.
Cold Soba Noodles with Spicy Chili Sauce
- 4 oz soba noodles
- 4 T soy sauce
- 4 T toasted sesame seeds
- 2 tsp sriracha chili sauce
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 T rice vinegar
- 1 T honey
- juice of half a lime
- 3 scallions, sliced thin
- handful of cilantro leaves
Cook the soba noodles according to package directions. If there’s salt in ingredient list for the noodles, don’t add it to the water. The noodle and the sauce will be salty enough! In your serving bowl, whisk together all the ingredients except for the scallions and the cilantro. When the sauce is well combined, stir in the scallions and the cilantro. When the soba are cooked, rinse thoroughly under cold water. Make sure the soba are fully rinsed and cooled. Toss the soba with the sauce and serve, garnished with lime slice and cilantro leaves. Drizzle more sriracha sauce over the noodles if you want a spicier dish.
Serves 1, but with enough sauce to cover 2 servings if desired.