Soba Soba Shrimpies
Betsy and I love a good pasta dish and our weekly meal plan usually involves at least one straight-up pasta dish. Usually it’s something simple like a quick spaghetti with a side salad.
Lately though, I’ve been turning to soba instead of traditional pastas to fill this meal. It’s a nice change from spaghetti and is also excellent warm, at room temperature, or even cold. Leftovers can be eaten straight out of the container.
The other thing I like about the thin buckwheat noodles is how versatile they are. You can pair them with a ton of different flavor combos. This Shrimp Soba happens to be one that I focused on last week that I thought worked really well. The shrimp have a simple, but flavorful, marinade and the whole bowl can be on the table in under thirty minutes.
That’s always a win in my book!
1) Peel shrimp, but leave tails on. Use a paring knife to slice up the back of each shrimp and rinse under cold water to remove the vein if there is one.
2) In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, fish sauce, rice wine vinegar, garlic, and ginger. Toss prepped shrimp into the marinade and let sit for 5-10 minutes.
3) To cook shrimp, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add a small drizzle of canola oil and add the shrimp. Cook shrimp for 2-3 minutes per side until they are just cooked through. If you overcook them, they will get rubbery.
4) Cook soba according to package. When done, drain and toss with sesame oil to keep the noodles separate.
5) Divide soba between four bowls. Top with shrimp and veggie toppings. Garnish with cilantro and chopped scallions. Serve with extra soy sauce and/or sriracha!
The salad is also great cold if you have leftovers!
You can, of course, buy shrimp that have been pre-cleaned at most stores these days, but I still like to get mine with the shell on and clean them myself. I find that they are fresher this way, but if you are really crunched for time, the pre-cleaned ones make this meal almost instant.
Cleaning the shrimp is the hardest step of this Shrimp Soba recipe.
I clean shrimp with a paring knife. First, I’ll break off the top part of the shell and peel them, leaving just the tails. Then I slice down the back of each shrimp and run it under some cold water to clean out the vein in each shrimp.
You will get surprisingly fast at this if you do it a few times. These days I can clean a pound of shrimp in around five minutes.
Once your shrimp are cleaned, toss them together with some soy sauce, fish sauce, rice wine vinegar, garlic and ginger. If anything, go heavy on the ginger. I said an inch in the recipe, but you can use a huge chunk of it, peel it, and dice it up.
Making the Bowls
To cook the shrimpies, add a drizzle of neutral oil to a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and cook them for about 2-3 minutes per side. They should get a bit browned around the edges and just be cooked through. If you overcook shrimp, they will get rubbery so test one out if you need to and pull them when they are just done.
Most soba cooks really fast, but check the packaging to make sure. When the soba is done boiling, just drain it and immediately toss it with sesame oil to keep the noodles separated.
You have some options on the temperature for the soba. You can serve it warm and just split it between bowls as soon as it’s cooked, or run it under cold water, chill it, and serve the noodle dish that way. Either way is delicious.
Crunchy veggies always help a dish like this Shrimp Soba.
I went with some shredded carrots, sliced red pepper, chopped scallion and cilantro. You can leave the scallion and red pepper pretty chunky.
Then just divide the soba between a few bowls and top with the shrimp, veggies, herbs, and a drizzle of sriracha. You can serve it with extra soy or fish sauce also.
This Shrimp Soba is the kind of dinner that I think is missing in a lot of American homes. It looks fancy but is actually simple to pull together and has wonderful, fresh and healthy flavors.
The next time you have a pasta urge, try this out instead of your standard Italian. I think it’ll win a spot in your meal rotation!