Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Honey, Soy and Mirin Soba Noodles

NOTE: I've had this recipe in my drafts folder for a long time but didn't want to publish it because even though I've made it so many times, I still wasn't happy with any of the photos. I'm always in a hurry when I make these and never have the right lighting, plating, garnishes, etc etc prepared (ugh.. WHATEVER, Winston). I've decided to share them today anyway because my friend Hong Yi recently inspired me when she said that "it is better to have something done, than to have it perfect because you'll never have anything that's perfect". So, hope you enjoy the recipe!


I started work full time for the first time last year, which really changed the way I eat in general. First, I realised how much better I felt (mentally and physically) when I brought my own lunch to work every day as opposed to just buying anything from the shops. I also realised that it doesn't matter whether I'm coming home early or late from work, having a home cooked meal on a weeknight is always, always better than eating out. It gives me joy and comfort each day, even if I have to make it myself. 

I've started cooking at home a heck lot more than when I was in uni, which actually increased my appreciation for the meals that I do have when I eat out on the weekends. Plus, I was saving heaps more money each week too. It really took a while for me to really settle into the routine of working in the day and then coming home to cook at night. It sounds simple and is probably not as much of a difficult transition for most people when they've entered the work force, but it was for me for some reason. Last year, I was always coming home feeling exhausted and brain fried that I could hardly be bothered to do anything.

As a result, I have become almost desperate for recipes that are extra quick, simple, tasty and wholesome. My cooking style has changed a fair bit as well and found that these time restraints sort of forced me to be more creative in my cooking. I've started making these Honey, Soy and Mirin Soba Noodles after my dear friend Sarah sent me a recipe of it. This woman is seriously awesome and one of the best home cooks I know. 

It was exactly what I wanted. No, needed. It takes about 5 minutes (tops) to make these noodles and it was so tasty too. Needless to say these noodles quickly became a staple for my weeknight dinners or leftover lunches at work (as you can tell by how often I make this at home). Lifesaver.

This recipe is perfect for those emergency meals too because they noodles and sauces keep for ages in the pantry so I've always got them handy. Plus, you really can have them with anything you want. 

I always enjoy them with a Crispy Skin Salmon or Trout (using my recipe: here) and some blanched or grilled vegetables on the side. For the blanched veg, you can put them in the same time as the noodles. Otherwise, drizzle a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper on them and just fry them in the same pan as the fish and fry them on both sides until you get the lovely grill marks. Saves time and minimises wash up -- WIN.

Grilled broccoli or asparagus go so well with these noodles

Medium rare flesh...

Sometimes, I make these with Somen noodles as well, which is just as quick and delicious…
And most days I'm so lazy I just chuck some veg to boil with the noodles the same time.

Soba noodles again (a slightly thicker and flatter alternative to Somen)

Trout instead of Salmon...

...With skin just as crispy and delicious...

Egggstra delicious if you have them with soft boiled eggs too!

Honey, Soy and Mirin Soba Noodles Recipe

(adapted from this recipe by Sarah Cooks, serves 2)

200g soba or somen noodles
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp mirin
4 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp chilli oil (optional)
3 tsp toasted sesame seeds
1/2 cup chopped spring onions


1. Bring a pot of water to the boil. Add in the noodles and boil for 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and return back to the pot.

2. Stir in all the remaining ingredients and dish to individual portions. Serve with crispy skin salmon (recipe: here) or blanched/grilled veg.

The perfect lazy weeknight dinner...

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