Monday, April 20, 2009

CSA week 19 - garlic soba noodles with kale and scallops

So I was searching on-line for a New York Times recipe for kale that substituted soba noodles for a traditional Italian buckwheat pasta and discovered a) the non-healthified version of that dish uses cabbage and potatoes (other CSA veges I've still got) and looks really good and b) there are Japanese recipes that legitimately pair soba noodles with kale. I set the Italian recipe aside and went with Japanese tonight.

There doesn't seem to be a particular name for this dish, but a couple pages of Google results roughly agreed on the recipe. Cook the soba noodles and set them aside. Shred the kale, blanch it for a few minutes and then sauté just like the Brazilian recipe I posted about a while back. Maybe this is a recent Sushi Samba sort of thing. Garlic, shiitakes and scallions are standard additions. Scallops my own since I wanted a bit of protein.

I sautéed the kale over very high heat and it took a couple minutes before it started wilting properly. I added the shiitakes early on, the garlic just as the wilting started and the scallops and scallions right before taking it off the heat and mixing with the noodles.

For the sauce I went the lazy route and used the little packets that came with the soba. I saw a recipe that simmered the shiitakes with some kombu instead of soaking and boil that down and mix with a bit of soy instead which sounds interesting.

Deglaze the pan with a little rice wine, mix in that and the sauce, top with a little sesame and/or chili oil and, if you've got it, shredded nori and you're done.

The texture on the kale's pretty good--just a little firm to the bite, but I wish it had retained a little more flavor. The chunky bits stand up to the sauce but the little bits of kale and scallion have trouble. Their not entirely lost, but it would be nice if they stood out a bit more. I think I'd use big chunks of scallion next time, but there's not much to be done about the kale. Maybe some salt in the blanching water to brighten it up.

Also, in retrospect this would be best chilled instead of slightly above room temperature. And that means this would work as a potluck dish and you could trick unsuspecting innocents into eating kale. Interesting.


LaDivaCucina said...

Dude, we have some weird kinda simpatico thang going on: I made Asian scallops with a noodle last night too!

Mine was stir fry scallops with eggplant, green onions, cilantro with a chile jam sauce served over fine long egg noodles. Yumm-ish-ous! I didn't bother to take any photos or measurements though for the blog though!

kat said...

I like this use for kale. I bet this dish would be good with some shredded pork in it too.

billjac said...

Kat, I don't think pork would work well with the traditional soba sauce, but I did a quick search and found that buckwheat noodles with pork is a Korean thing. That makes sense to me--a spicy, vinegary sauce could tie those flavors together.

It's funny how a little research turns up widespread use of ingredients I've always closely associated with one cuisine: first callaloo, then daikon, now buckwheat noodles.

Diva, this isn't the first time we've made similar dishes around the same time, but I think this is the first time it wasn't because we found the same use for a CSA ingredient. Weird indeed.

Jennifer McCharen said...

Hi there!
I found your blog by searching for collard chip recipes. I'm so thrilled to see that you're dealing with the produce from a Florida CSA. I help run a tiny CSA in Jacksonville. I will definitely be passing your blog on to our members. You can see ours over at
Thanks for tinkering!

billjac said...


I'm glad you like the blog enough to spread the word. One of my main goals here is to be useful to other folks dealing with the odd assortment of produce we get in south Florida.