I think this could be it. I think it’s here to stay. (Fingers crossed.)
I’m talking about summer.
Each day has been warmer than the day before, and nearly a whole week has gone by without the need for jackets and socks. We even had our first power outage today, the energy company’s first signal that summer is upon us.
I know it may seem silly to want to catapult into summer when spring just arrived for most of the country, but the taste of 88 degrees and summer dresses has me in a summer state of mind. This week, I’ve been eating like it’s June, opting for cool and refreshing lunches, preferably with lots of crunchy fresh vegetables. I made a big batch of Soba Noodles & Chicken with Spicy Peanut Sauce, and I just loved diving into it for a few days straight, twirling the noodles coated in the spiced up sauce, spearing icy cool cucumbers and peppery radishes for the perfect bite.
This is a flexible dish that can be eaten either warm or cold – and clearly, I prefer it cold. Japanese buckwheat soba noodles have a lovely bite, and in many ways, I consider this more salad than noodle dish since I like to put lots of vegetables in the dish. But it’s up to you. Eat it plain, or add some tofu. Have some leftover roast chicken? Shred it and toss it in. It all works. And it comes together faster than you can say Soba Noodles and Chicken with Spicy Peanut Sauce.
P.S. Before you go, don’t forget! There’s just one day left before the Beso Giveaway ends. Be sure to enter!
Soba Noodles & Chicken with Spicy Peanut Sauce
The best part of this recipe is that the ingredients for the spicy peanut sauce are items you most likely already have stocked in your pantry. It's great for those days when you know you need to go food shopping and haven't had the time...or when you need to clean out the vegetable bin. Shredded carrots, zucchini, or anything with crunch would work well.
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup hot or boiling water, plus an additional tablespoon or two, if necessary
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes or sriracha, to taste
1 teaspoon sugar, to taste
8 oz soba noodles
1 roasted or poached chicken breast, shredded
4 scallions, trimmed and chopped
1/2 English cucumber, quartered and chopped
4 radishes, thinly sliced
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
Combine the peanut butter, sesame oil, soy sauce, lemon juice, hot water, garlic, red pepper/sriracha, and sugar in a small bowl and whisk well to combine. This can also be prepared in a blender or a food processor. If you need to adjust the consistency of the sauce so that it is thinner, add more hot water, 1 tablespoon at a time.
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and salt it. Cook the soba noodles, according to package instructions. When the noodles are cooked, drain the noodles. Toss the noodles in the peanut sauce, along with the vegetables and chicken (if using). Serve warm or cool. If preparing as a cold salad, refrigerate and serve cold.
Spicy Peanut Sauce recipe from my dear friend Olivia.