February 26, 2013

Brown Bag Lunch: Soba Noodle Salad

Soba Noodles with 
Shrimp, Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Kale Chips & Onions

Remember the braised kabocha squash? The next day we threw together this soba noodle salad with shrimp which we cooked in the leftover kabocha braising liquids. This was a perfect reinvention of leftovers to bring to lunch the next day. A peanut sauce would work really well here in lieu of the braising liquids. Whole wheat spaghetti would also work in lieu of soba noodles, but I really like the nutty flavor & lighter texture of these Japanese buckwheat noodles.

1/2 large sweet potato (or leftover kabocha), diced
1/2 red onion, sliced
1 bunch kale, deveined & cut into bite-size ribbons
1.5 tbsp olive oil, divided
4 dashes of worchestire sauce
salt & pepper, to taste
1 bundle soba noodles (usually about 1/3 package)
2 thick pats of butter
~1.5 dozen fresh or frozen shrimp
1/2-3/4 cup braising liquids, or peanut sauce
cilantro & scallions, chopped (optional)
yield: 3 servings

1. preheat oven to 350F

2. line baking sheet with sweet potatoes & onions. sprinkle with olive oil, worchestire sauce and salt & pepper to taste. in a separate baking sheet, line with kale & sprinkle with olive oil and salt & pepper to taste. both should cook for about 20 minutes, although the kale make cook more quickly, depending on the size of the sweet potatoes. you will need to turn both about 1/2 way through to make sure everything cooks on both sides evenly.

3. bring large salted pot of water to boil. add soba noodles to a rigorous boil for 1-2 minutes, or until noodles soften. (warning: soba noodles cook much more quickly than regular pasta noodles.)

4. pour cooked noodles through a colander, and immediately run cold water over them to stop them from cooking. toss with sweet potatoes and kale.

5. melt butter in a non-stick or all-clad pan over low-medium heat & add shrimp. 

6. if using frozen, you can expect these to let out some liquid, which you will want to drain off. add the braising liquid from the kabocha (or peanut sauce, if using) & cook until shrimp turn pink. 

7. once shrimp have finished cooking, toss together with the soba noodles & vegetables. garnish with chopped cilantro & scallions.

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