Yay autumn! Even though I love the summer, autumn definitely comes in a close second. After the heat of the summer, I really look forward to this time of year. With the weather starting to cool, I naturally want more warmth. And I know that we are transitioning into vata season simply by what my body is craving. All I have to do is pay attention and listen.
With vata season upon us, it’s important to start decreasing cold and raw foods and incorporating more warm and cooked foods. Remember, vata is dry and cold, and the best way to combat these qualities is by incorporating food with the opposite qualities into the diet.
These garlic soba noodles are a perfect seasonal transition food. The garlic provides a nice warmth, while not too intense. Soba noodles still have a slightly cooling property and are not too extreme for this time of year when the temperature can fluctuate.
- ½ cup mirin or rice vinegar
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons minced garlic (or more if you love garlic like me!)
- 1 teaspoon chili paste (like sambal olek or a simple paste made of garlic and chili)
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon palm sugar (or brown sugar if you can’t find palm sugar)
- Honey to taste
- Soba noodles (5 ounces)
- 3 green onions chopped
- Sesame seeds for garnish
Cook the soba noodles according to the instructions on the packet. Drain the noodles and quickly rinse with cold water which helps to stop their cooking process.
In a sauce pan, add the mirin, soy sauce, garlic, chili paste, sesame oil, and palm sugar. Mix well to make sure the palm sugar is incorporated and melts evenly. Taste the mixture and adjust the ingredients to your liking. With Asian food, some like it more sesame-y, some like it spicier, and some like it saltier. Listen to what your taste buds are telling you. Let the liquid come to a slow boil. This ensures that the garlic is really being infused into the sauce.
Once the palm sugar has melted, remove from the heat and let the sauce cool down. At this point I like to add in a squeeze of honey. This helps cut the sour/salty qualities of the mirin and soy sauce. But again, listen to what your taste buds are telling you!
Pour the sauce over the cooked and cooled soba noodles and gently toss. Top with the sesame seeds and green onions.
Enjoy this incredibly simple, yet super tasty dish as the main entrée, or as a side to any stir fry!