Unintentionally, this month I’ve shared mostly Asian or Asian-inspired recipes, today I have one more for you. The main component of this light noodle meal is the sweet potato and buckwheat noodles. They are a new ingredient in my kitchen and though I’ve had mixed experiences with buckwheat, I was very much looking forward to tasting this unique combination. I do enjoy sweet potatoes and I was curious to see how they improved or changed the taste of buckwheat.
I purchased the noodles at my local Bio or organics and health food store. The brand, King Soba, appears to be an international one so you too should be able to purchase them locally or online. The word soba is Japanese for buckwheat noodles. The package comes with 3 bundles of noodles, so it’s perfect for small portions if that’s what’s desired. The noodles are a great quality product and of course, they are organic so that’s also very good. (In case you’re wondering, no I am not being paid to write this. These are my own opinions.) They are made with 95% buckwheat and 5% sweet potato. When I opened the package there wasn’t much of a scent other than a slight hint of buckwheat; the sweet potato seems to have added a bit of color but no scent.
When I was thinking about how to cook them, I knew I didn’t want to eat cold soba or soup — I wanted a noodle dish. I decided to keep it simple and incorporate all Asian flavours and ingredients. As you will see in the ingredients list, I tried sticking to a Japanese inspired recipe with hints of spicy. I’ve used the combination before and it works great both on chicken and noodles. The dish comes together so fast and easy, plus you probably already have everything in your cupboard
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp water
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- ½ tsp ginger powder or 1 tsp fresh and finely diced
- chile flakes to taste
- 1 large chicken breast, thinly sliced
- sweet potato and buckwheat noodles, 250 gms or 3 bundles
- 1.5 tbsp vegetable oil of choice
- 1 cup wilted spinach (I used frozen, defrosted and squeezed out liquid)
- Combine all of the marinade ingredients in a large bowl. Add the chicken slices, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- After the chicken has marinaded for 30 minutes start the noodles. Cook noodles according to package instructions. Mine were cooked in boiling water for 5-6 minutes. Then I drained them and rinsed under cold water. Set aside. Heat the oil, and cook the marinaded chicken -- do not discard the sauce, cook it too. Once the chicken has cooked through, about 8 minutes, add the spinach and cook a furter 3 minutes. Next add the cooked noodles, add a splash of soy sauce and cook until noodles are warm, about 2-3 minutes. Serve with desired side dishes.
As the meal cooked I got very excited because of the wonderful smells that were filling up my kitchen. Even my husband popped in to see what it was that I was cooking. My first bite was of the chicken and it tasted fantastic. Then I went in for a taste of the soba…hmmm. Then another taste with a bit of chicken and spinach, this one was better. I continued to eat the noodles and for the most part was enjoying them. It wasn’t until after about 5 bites that the buckwheat taste become very strong to me. I asked my husband what he thought of the meal and he said it tasted very good to him, so I continued to keep eating my noodles. Sure enough, after several more bites I started to get that same strange tingling I get in my nose and forehead that I have gotten from other 100% buckwheat products.
It can’t be that I’m allergic to buckwheat because I can tolerate it when it’s mixed with wheat flour, but for some reason I get that strange tingling when the buckwheat content is higher. I ended up eating only half of the noodles and all of the chicken and spinach. The rest I discarded and just to be safe I took an allergy pill. Thankfully I had also served our dinner with miso soup and kimchi, which helped fill me up.
Nothing against the noodle brand, I’m just not so sure I’ve gotten over my dislike of buckwheat. It’s really too bad because buckwheat is a good source of plant based protein and is a low glycemic index food — which means that it digest slowly and there are no blood sugar spikes. From now on I will only cook buckwheat noodles for my husband and for me I’ll use either rice or wheat. However, the marinade, chicken and spinach is a combination that I know works great with many other noodles.
I’m curious if any of you also get that tingly thing from eating buckwheat?
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