Thursday, 26 March 2009

Soba Noodles with King Prawns, Pepper & Broccoli

I try and use soba noodles wherever possible in my far-east Asian dishes. Soba noodles, often also called buckwheat noodles, are a flavourful alternative to ordinary rice or egg noodles. There is some debate about whether soba/buckwheat is a grain or actually a plant.

Whether a grain or a plant, all I know is that this brownish noodle is rather tasty and it comes armed with plenty of nutritional goodness for your health. Those who consider it a grain say it is a grain without gluten which makes it excellent for those unable to tolerate gluten in their diet. Generally, it is a good source of complex carbohydrate, protein and fibre and has B vitamins and Omega 3 fatty acids. It’s rather versatile and can be used in stir-fries, salads and soups.

I created this extremely yummy stir-fry a few days ago as a special treat for myself after an especially hard-working morning. You can use any combinations vegetables with either prawns or fish. Or you can make a vegetarian version using firm cubed tofu and your choice of vegetables. I’ve used a combination of luscious king prawns, broccoli and red-peppers.

You’ll need:

190g cooked prawns [for the veggie option use tofu which has been browned in a little oil first]

Red pepper – half a large one or one small one, sliced in fine strips

Broccoli – a small bowlful cut into small florets

Sesame oil – 3-4 tbsp

Sesame seeds – 2-3 tsp

Soy sauce – to taste

Garlic – 3 cloves chopped fine

Ginger – 1 cm piece chopped fine

Spring onions – 2 stalks, chopped

Chilli sauce or dry red chilli flakes – according to taste [I used some Chinese chilli sauce which includes some shrimp paste in it]

Soba/buckwheat noodles – 80-85 g

Prepare the soba noodles first according to packet instructions. Keep it a little al dente and rinse with cold water to stop it cooking further and going soggy. Set aside.

On medium-high heat, heat the sesame oil in a pan and add the spring onions. Stir and cook until softened.

Add the chopped ginger and garlic, stir and cook about 30 seconds or so and then quickly add in the pepper and broccoli. Stir and cook 1-2 minutes until just softened.

Add the soy sauce and then the prawns. Keep stirring and cooking until prawns start turning pink.Add in the sesame seeds and stir.

Now add in the prepared noodles. Mix well, cook another minute or so. Sprinkle some sesame seeds and tuck in.

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