In this recipe, soba noodles are served in a savory homemade mushroom broth that's infused with a roasted red bell pepper sauce and then topped with an assortment of vegetables and fresh herbs. This noodle dish is big on flavor— it's a little spicy, a little savory, with a bit of umami. Serve this soup hot on a cold winter's day to help fight the cold.
Roasted Red Bell Pepper Sesame Soba [Vegan]
For the Red Bell Pepper Sesame Sauce:
- 4 red bell peppers, roasted and puréed
- 1/2 white onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 4 cups filtered water
- 1/2 cup, plus 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 1/4 cup brown rice vinegar
- 1/3 cup tamari sauce
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger, peeled and grated
- 1-2 serrano chilis, optional
For the Shiitake Mushroom Broth:
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 cups shiitake, thinly sliced
For the Rest:
- 1 cup basil, whole or roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, whole or roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh green onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup fresh red cabbage, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
- Scallion micro sprouts, or your choice of sprouts
- Black sesame seeds, for topping
- Lime wedges, for garnish
- 1 8-ounce package of soba noodles
To Make the Roasted Bell Pepper Sesame Sauce:
- Roast peppers on the stovetop at medium-high heat. A gas stove is best, but it will also work on electric.
- Char peppers on all sides turning with tongs. When the peppers are charred, steam for 10 minutes in a covered dish or a paper bag rolled shut so the steam won’t escape.
- Take a paper towel and rub off the char. It’s ok to leave a little of the char.
- Slice in half and remove the seeds and stems. Cut the peppers into smaller pieces and mix with toasted sesame oil, brown rice vinegar, tamari sauce, sea salt, Serrano chilis, and ginger and purée with an immersion blender or a food processor. Set aside.
- Add the onions to a large pot or Dutch oven with the olive oil, and sauté on medium-low heat for 5 minutes, add the garlic and continue cooking for 5–7 more minutes, until the garlic starts to brown.
- Add the white wine and cook until wine is reduced and syrupy. Add the sauce to the onions and blend with an immersion blender or dump everything in batches into a food processor and purée together. Set aside.
To Make the Mushroom Broth:
- Wash and cut the stems off the mushrooms and set aside in a bowl.
- Put the 4 cups of water and mushroom stems in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.
- While stem broth is cooking, thinly slice mushroom tops and set aside in a bowl.
- When stem broth is done, remove from heat and strain into red pepper sauce. Discard the stems. Set aside until you start the noodles.
- Next mince shallots, add to a sauté pan on medium heat, sauté with 2 tablespoons of sesame oil until soft and golden, about 6-8 minutes. Make sure to stir frequently.
- Add mushrooms and sprinkle lightly with salt and stir constantly until the moisture is gone, about 15-20 minutes.
- Add the minced garlic to the mushrooms in about 10 minutes after mushrooms are halfway cooked.
To Make the Vegetables:
- While mushrooms are cooking prep the green onions, cabbage, bell pepper, basil, and cilantro.
To Make Noodles and To Serve:
- Heat up the red pepper broth on medium heat and cook the soba noodle according to package instructions.
- Divide the noodles into 4 bowls, top with vegetables, and the red pepper broth.
- Serve with cilantro, basil, sesame seeds, and a lime wedge.