I adore soba noodles. Whenever I serve them, the meal feels special to me. For this dinner, I used green tea soba noodles, immediately kicking things up a notch (remember Emeril from the old days of FoodTV?). Green tea soba has a nice color that fades just a little during cooking. Of course, you can use any type of noodles, including whole-wheat, if soba is not available where you live. The whole menu came from the latest Cooking Light issue, which is full of great recipes, by the way. The hardest part of the preparation was cutting the sugar snap peas, but other than that, very fast from beginning to end, making it ideal to celebrate that evening still a bit far from the joys of the weekend…
HOISIN-GRILLED CHICKEN WITH SOBA NOODLES
(adapted from Cooking Light June 2013)
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 + 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
3 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
green tea soba noodles (or regular soba)
1 + 1/2 cups sugar snap peas, trimmed and halved diagonally
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce
toasted sesame seeds to taste
sliced green onions, to taste
Combine hoisin, balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and five-spice powder in a large bowl. Add chicken; toss to coat. Grill for 10 minutes or until done, flipping the pieces half-way through cooking time. Remove from the grill, let it stand for 5 minutes tented with aluminum foil. Thinly slice across the grain.
Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Prepare the dressing for the noodles by mixing rice vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, and Sriracha in a small bowl. Reserve.
Add noodles to the boiling water; cook for about 4 minutes. Add peas; cook 1 minute or until noodles are tender. Drain. Add reserved dressing to the noodles & peas mixture. Toss to coat. Arrange noodles on a serving plate, top with chicken slices. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onions right before serving.
to print the recipe, click here
Comments: The recipe calls for cooking the sugar snap peas in the same pot with the noodles. It is a nice thought to simplify things and avoid having two pots of water boiling, but next time I will cook them separately. It will be easier to assemble the dish, tossing noodles with dressing, then adding the snap peas and mixing them gently. I like sugar snap peas barely cooked, almost blanched, to retain their bright color and bite. Leftovers next day were still very tasty, but just a minute in the microwave turned the peas into a sad dark green, dangerously pointing towards the gray. Delicate creatures they are!
I served cucumber salad as a side dish, as suggested in Cooking Light. The recipe is on the link I provided. You may notice I omitted the peanuts. Cucumbers have been a constant side dish these days. They are simply perfect for this weather.
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