I'm not usually a noodle- or pasta-girl, but every once and a while my stomach, too, calls out for a comforting, filling, and slurp-tastic bowl of carb goodness. This recipe was born of that thought we've all had while eating out, and, in my case, after I'd had a soba dish at an Asian-fusion place I like near my office that I don't usually order: this is really good, and I bet I could make it at home just as good, or even better. With these two things in mind, it seemed fated for me to figure out a way to recreate that meal chez moi. I was further inspired because I've been making myself a huge cup of matcha tea--the super-healthy green drink that's better than coffee and found in the hands of everyone from Gwyneth Paltrow to the Kardashians health drink--every morning for the last few months, so I had the "real thing" (not pre-packaged green tea noodles). Challenge accepted and, I think, accomplished, with flying (verdant) colors. If you haven't joined team matcha yet, there are plenty of reasons to do so: matcha is a highly concentrated powdered form of green tea, which basically means you drink the entire tea leaf rather than infusing it in water (like in a tea bag, or with loose leaf tea), and therefore get the benefits of 10 (!) cups of regular green tea. So not only are you reducing waste by choosing this bright, health-exuding drink, you're getting a heck of a lot of vitamins and nutrients--like vitamin C, selenium, chromium, zinc and magnesium--boosting your immune system and metabolism, detoxing, and getting 20 times more antioxidants than superfruits like blueberries and pomegranates. As if that weren't enough, matcha usually comes in adorable little tins, and you can buy fun accessories--like a wooden whisk and matcha bowl--to prepare your drink. Whatever form you enjoy matcha--solid or liquid--you simply can't go wrong.
Healthy Sides: Vegan Matcha Soba Noodles
Recipe Type: Hearty Entrees
YIELDS 3-4 servings
- 3 oz. buckwheat soba noodles
- 1 teaspoon pure matcha tea powder
- 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1/4 cup cashews, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon, to taste cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari (optional)
1. Combine dry noodles and about 3-4 inches of water in a medium saucepan. Cook until noodles are soft but not mushy, about 5-6 minutes. Turn off the heat, drain the noodles, and rinse with cool water. 2. While the noodles drain, add matcha powder to the pot and whisk until smooth (you don't want any clumps). Turn the heat to the lowest setting, and add about 1/4 cup of water, 1 tbsp. at time, whisking until the matcha begins to froth around the edges. Add coconut oil; stir to combine, or until oil is fully melted. 3. Return noodles to pot with the tea mixture and stir well to coat. There will be extra liquid in the pot, so leave the heat on low until all the water is absorbed. 4. Divide noodles into bowls and top with chopped nuts and a very light sprinkle of cayenne pepper. Serve with soy sauce or tamari on the side for dipping. 5. Store remainders in a sealed container up to 3 days, with a thin layer of water to prevent clumping. Enjoy!
Also by Jen: Vegan Blueberry Citrus Quinoa Pilaf
Related: Vegan Vanilla Coconut Matcha Latte
Vegan Sweet and Savory Broccoli Rabe
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Photos: Jennifer Kurdyla