Saturday, March 6, 2010

garlic broccoli soba

Last week, I was invited to a recipe exchange. You've probably seen something like this before - the email asks that you send a recipe to the person listed below, then forward the message to 20 of your friends, swapping your name for the sender's, and the sender's name for the person's name who you sent the recipe to and probably don't know.

The idea is that you should get a boatload of recipes from the friends of those friends you forward the email to. But whether that happens is dependent upon whether the friends you forward the email to actually forward it on, and ultimately, whether the friends of friends decide to respond. Yes, it sounds confusing, but you can see how it could work.

The last time I responded to one of these, I think I only received one recipe in return. Lack of follow through of friends, or of friends of friends? Who knows. I was expecting something similar this time, so was surprised to find that I've been receiving recipes from strangers all week long. Those I've received range from ice cream to chicken poblano, and lots of things in between, including one for "spicy broccoli soba saute".

This one caught my eye because 1) I have two weeks' worth of broccoli from the CSA delivery on hand (I've been a serious vegetable slacker this past week) and 2) it made me think "yum" while I was reading it (generally a good sign).

I played with the amounts of the various ingredients, made lots of substitutions (some highlights: swapped agave for sugar and arrowroot powder for cornstarch, decided some freshly squeezed orange juice would contribute good things to the flavor, kicked up the garlic, and substituted vegetable stock for sake), but kept with the spirit of the dish. Kathryn and Jennifer, if you're reading, thanks for following through and for the inspiring recipe!

Garlic Broccoli Soba
Serves 2

3 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tsp. agave
1 tsp. rice vinegar
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
1 tsp. arrowroot powder
6 oz. soba noodles
1 tsp. vegetable oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
3 c. broccoli, cut into bit-sized florets
1/4 c. vegetable stock
1 carrot, peeled and grated

Whisk together soy sauce, orange juice, agave, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and arrowroot powder in a small bowl. Set aside.

Heat a large pot of boiling water. Cook soba noodles according to directions.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a wok over medium heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes; cook until golden, about 1 minute. Add broccoli and water. Cover and cook until broccoli is bright green, 3-4 minutes.

Stir in carrots and sauce, mixing well to distribute. Cook for a minute or two, until sauce thickens. Reduce heat to low.

Add cooked soba noodles to wok. Mix well to coat noodles with sauce and distribute the veggies.

We enjoyed our soba noodles with leftover fish. Had it not been for that, I would have added some tofu for protein. Mushrooms would also be a great addition to this dish.

One year ago: lemon pepper fennel

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