Today’s fast day offering is an amalgam of some of my favourite super foods; buckwheat, kale, mushrooms and sesame into a simple but tasty noodle dish. Soba is Japanese for buckwheat, so it should come as no surprise that soba noodles are made with buckwheat flour. Gluten free, fat free, cholesterol free these long thin noodles are high in dietary fibre and loaded with an impressive array of health benefits including the ability to protect against cancer, assist with weight loss and promote a healthy heart.
This recipe combines an ancient super food with the new. For centuries long thin soba noodles have been traditionally eaten in Japan on New Year’s Eve as a symbol of longevity and good health. In recent years, our modern society has heralded kale, a form of wild cabbage that produces stems with large leaves but no compact head, as the newest super food. Rich in minerals, vitamins and anti oxidants, it’s renowned for its cancer busting and cholesterol lowering capabilities, and now hailed as the Queen of Greens.
Whichever way you look at it, this dish is very, very good for you. From my perspective it ticks all the fast day boxes. Low in calories, delicious, full of flavour and looks great on a plate.
Sesame And Shitake Mushroom Soba Noodles With Crispy Kale
Makes 6 generous cups (239 calories per serve)
270g packet soba noodles (960 calories)
1 cup crispy shredded kale, recipe follows (78 calories)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil (120 calories)
250g punnet shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced (85 calories)
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and coarsely grated (8 calories)
3 cm piece of ginger, peeled and coarsely grated (4 calories)
4 long green spring onions, finely sliced on the diagonal (20 calories)
1/4 cup light soy sauce (32 calories)
1 tablespoon mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine) (40 calories)
2 tablespoons unseasoned rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar (32 calories)
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, lightly toasted for garnish (52 calories)
HEAT the remaining tablespoon of oil in a wok over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add ginger and garlic,, sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
ADD the shiitake mushrooms. Stir fry until tender and just starting to brown, about 5 minutes or so. Reduce heat to medium, then add spring onions. Continue to cook until the onions just begin to wilt. Remove the wok from the heat. Set aside.
BRING a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add the soba noodles and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until tender. Drain. Transfer to a large bowl.
MEANWHILE place the soy sauce, mirin, vinegar and sugar in a small jug or bowl. Whisk well to combine. Pour over the noodles.
ADD the shitake mushroom mixture and the crispy kale. Toss well to combine.
SCATTER over the toasted sesame seeds. Serve.
Crispy Shredded Kale
Makes about 2 1/2 cups (78 calories per cup)
4 cups fresh kale, shredded (136 calories)
1/2 tablespoon olive oil (60 calories)
sea salt, for sprinkling
PREHEAT oven to 160 C. Line an oven tray with baking paper.
SHRED the kale by stripping the leaves from their stems. Stack the leaves on top of one another, roll them up and then cut the roll into thin ribbons.
PLACE shredded leaves in an even layer on the lined oven tray. Toss with a little olive oil and sea salt.
BAKE until crisp, about 15 minutes turning the leaves halfway through.
SERVE or store in an airtight container until required.