When I am craving something light and fortifying, a simple stir-fry is typically the answer. Stir-fry's are the ideal way to use up some of those leftover vegetables in the fridge as well as get a meal on the table in a short amount of time. I like to keep my stir-fry's simple, uncomplicated, and adaptable to what I have on hand. Ginger and garlic always serve as the base and I build each layer with whatever vegetables happen to lurking in my produce drawer. To add flavor, I lean on sesame oil, tamari, and umeboshi vinegar, to create the perfect balance of salty, savory, and acidic.
To add more nutritional millage and mineral density to this stir-fry I added arame, a mild variety of seaweed. It has a delicate taste and texture and is a good place to start if you are introducing sea vegetables into your diet. When purchasing seaweed, make sure to buy wild, organic, and sustainably harvested varieties.
Arame + Ginger Soba Noodle Stir-fry
recipe courtesy of the Natural Gourmet Institute
- 2 ounces buckwheat soba noodles, broken in half
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons ginger, peeled, slivered
- 1 large clove garlic, thinly sliced
- 1⁄2 cup arame, loosely packed, soaked for 10 minutes in water, and drained
- 1⁄2 large red bell pepper, julienned
- 5 Chinese cabbages leaves, thinly sliced
- 1⁄4 cup filtered water
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons low-sodium tamari
- 2 teaspoons umeboshi vinegar *
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- Garnishes: scallions, trimmed, thinly sliced on the diagonal, toasted sesame seeds, microgreens, cilantro, lime wedges.
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook soba until tender, about 8-10 minutes. Drain, rinse in cold water, and set aside.
Coarsely chop arame and set aside.
In a bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup water, tamari, umeboshi vinegar, and maple syrup.
In a wok or dutch oven, warm both sesame oils over medium-heat. Add the ginger and garlic, stir well, and cook until lightly golden.
Stir in the arame, bell peppers, and cabbage and sauté until the cabbage wilts. Toss in the soba noodles. Pour the tamari vinegar sauce over the vegetables and noodles and stir until most of the liquid has evaporated.
- To serve, transfer vegetables and noodles into bowls, add scallions and additional garnishes, if you wish.
*Umeboshi vinegar is a great addition to your pantry. It is the liquid that is produced during the fermentation process of umeboshi plums. Umeboshi vinegar and fermented umeboshi plums are widely used in Japanese and macrobiotic cooking. The vinegar has a salty, slightly sour, and bright taste. Feel free to sub brown rice vinegar if you can't find umeboshi.