Sunday, November 05, 2006

Soba Noodles and Sesame Seed Oil

I have a habit of picking up things in the grocery store just because they sound interesting. Yesterday while picking up ingredients for our bruscetta, I toured around the store and a few new things ended up in my cart. I came home with celery root, coconut milk, sesame seed oil, and soba noodles, not having any idea as to what I was going to do with them. Today I've been dreaming up ways to use them and I came up with something I feel is quite tasty.
Now, I was a little wary of the sesame seed oil. I was certain I had seen a few recipes calling for it, but I thought I'd never had it before. So, just before adding it to the pot I put a little on one finger and gave it a try. Instant recognition...this is what our takeout from the local chinese place tastes like. I told Joseph that I was going to "aromacize" our noodles. He liked that word and asked me if I read it somewhere and I had to tell him that I just invented that word. But, that's exactly the right term for adds more of an aroma to the whole dish than a seasoning. Well, our aromacized meal turned out very yummy and I'm sure it will be visiting again quite soon.

Chicken and Vegetable Soba Noodles

4 boneless-skinless chicken thighs cut into thin strips
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup sesame seeds (I used black)
8 ounces dried soba noodles
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon white sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1 large handful of fresh peapods

1/2 red pepper julienned
2 large carrots, julienned

4 large button mushrooms sliced

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Pour the sesame seeds onto a baking sheet. Toast the seeds in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook them for 4 to 5 minutes, or until they are just tender. Drain them, rinse them well with cold water, and drain them again.
4. In a small bowl, mix together the balsamic vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, and sesame oil.

5. In a large pan (this would be a great place for a wok) quickly brown chicken in vegetable oil. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add all vegetables and stir-fry 1-2 minutes more.
6. Mix in sauce, add the noodles, and the toasted sesame seeds. Remove from heat. Serve

We liked this warm, but it would probably be good eaten at room temperature.

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