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Japanese Street Noodles Vegan Bowl

Soba noodles. In the realm of the “whole grain” pasta family, I think soba are my favourite. They are a Japanese buckwheat noodle that is easily found in any Chinatown or Chinese market near you for the exorbitant cost of $1 for 6 bundles. I haven’t seen them carried in the grocery store, but I also haven’t looked for them in the regular grocery store. The reason for this is that I love the trip to the P.A.T in Koreatown here in Toronto. I arrive at the store with grocery list in one hand and car seat with baby in the other. As I enter the store I am greeted by the female employees who want to see the baby and make noises, faces, and routine squealing sounds. I love it. One of them takes the carrier from me and basically walks me around the store as I shop showing the baby to every employee in each aisle. At first I was uncomfortable by the whole thing, but now I’m kind of in love with it – it’s gotten to the place where they know who we are and are just so excited when we arrive. So, I haven’t looked for Soba in my regular NoFrills. Just can’t do it.

soba noodles

The recipe that I’m sharing today comes from a dining experience that I had many years ago at a friend’s house. Bachelor, 20-something, university student invites my then boyfriend and I over for supper. I think we expected pizza and beer. Instead we learned what it means to eat vegan – and we loved it. This particular recipe is served in a Vegan restaurant called Fresh, here in Toronto. Over the years we’ve been eating it, we have shifted it from a predominantly spicy into a more sweet and salty meal.

The most labour intensive portion of this meal is the sauce. It is a make-ahead-then-go-ahead-and-freeze-that-liquor-of-the-gods kind of topping. To make it worth your while I give you the sauce recipe with a serving size of 12. For a small family of three this makes 4 more meals with peanut sauce possible. Plus, it tastes better the next day, and the next day, and the next day, and then freezes perfectly.

Street Noodle Sauce

1. Heat oil in a pot. Add onion, ginger, garlic. Cook five minutes until the onion is translucent.

3 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, diced

6 tbsp ginger, minced

6 cloves garlic

2. Add curry power. Cook for 2 more minutes then remove from heat. Let cool then pop in the blender

2 tbsp curry powder (we use Madagascar)

3. All remaining are added to the blender:

1 1/3 cups carrot juice

3/4 cup rice vinegar

1 cup water

2 cups peanut butter (smooth)

1/4 fresh squeezed lemon juice

2/3 cup tamari (or soy) sauce

2 tbsp roasted sesame oil

1/4 sunflower oil

Set aside and create the tofu marinade and let it sit for at least 20 minutes.

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

3/4 cup tamari (or soy) sauce

1/4 water

1 block of firm tofu cut into cubes

broken up chiles to desired taste

The rest of this recipe comes together in layers of noodle, sauce, tofu, fresh vegetables. First your noodles:

Yam style Japanese Soba noodles

Yam style Japanese Soba noodles

Add a tablespoon or two of peanut sauce directly to the noodles, then layer on your tofu, cucumber and tomato.

Layer of Tofu and Vegetables

Top with Korean bean sprouts and a generous shake of sumac.

Sattva Veg Bowl

Then allow your body (and taste buds) to thank you repeatedly for feeding it something so delicious and nutritious.