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… 😉

(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. 😉


ONE YEAR AGO: The Manhattan Project

TWO YEARS AGO: Carrot “Nib” Orzo

THREE YEARS AGOA Sticky Situation



  1. A delicious sounding soba noodle dish with wonderful flavours. I just had somen-tahini noodles with teriyaki salmon yesterday and am having bbq chicken breast with pesto potato gnocchi tomorrow but I will definitely keep this meal in mind for the future. Just have to figure out something to have in place of the sugar snap peas … maybe grilled baby bok choy or broccoli.


  2. Absolutely wonderful dish and totally ‘my’ kind of cooking🙂 ! There must be as many marinades out there as there are us [sorry for the grammar!], buit I have never put hoisin, Worcestershire and balsamic together and now I can’t wait to try it out. I notice you coat the chicken and cook immediately? I have more the habit to marinate at breakfast for lunch or at lunch for dinner? Do you feel this marinade would be too strong for this or even manage to ‘part-cook’ the meat beforehand?


    • I also marinade my chicken longer usually – the recipe called for just that, and I followed the instructions this time. The “marinade” is so heavy and intense in flavors, I don’t think you need to wait, but I also don’t think it would hurt anything if you prepare it a few hours ahead of grilling.


  3. This sounds fantastic, Sally, and my opinion was not at all influenced by the pasta … er … noodles on the plate. You certainl dressed them with a great tasting sauce. Oh, how I miss the old FoodTV. You know, when they actually showed chefs cooking. Now it’s nothing but traveling shows and pseudo reality junk. I’d rather watch reruns of Julia than much of what they are broadcasting — and I do! 🙂


    • Indeed, pseudo-reality junk. I watch very few shows these days, mainly Mexican Made Easy, and some Giada. Phil likes Restaurant Impossible, so we tape that one too.


  4. superb dish and now easy for me to make a beautiful sehri in the holy month of Ramadan and really enjoy my fasting month with these recipes and your blog to learn some recipes,,


    • Joanne, did you see that Cooking Light editors have a cookbook out and it won a James Beard award? It is really good, I have a huge number of recipes already bookmarked to make. And I’m not even done browsing the book! (sigh, sigh, sigh)


  5. As I mentioned on facebook.. I love Soba noodles and have never seen green tea ones.. I’ll have to find them in our natural food shop. I think they far surpass many whole wheat noodles for flavor and texture.. and this recipe is so fresh and summery!! xx


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