Green Noodles and Cabbage

Soba noodles are named for the main ingredient they’re made from, buckwheat.  They have a nuttier flavor and are more toothsome than wheat noodles.  In the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, I was inspired to make something green and cheerful.  I chose to substitute the normal greyish-brown soba noodles for a pale green variety that incorporate  green tea powder into the dough.  While the noodles don’t taste strongly of green tea , the color is fun.

Cha Noodles

The key flavors of this dish are pickled chilies and ground black pepper.  Pickled chilies are a pantry staple.  They add, not only, a delightful spiciness but also a vinegary acidic kick.  This dish really sings of black pepper, so it’s important to use lots of it.

Chili Jar

‘Washing” the noodles is an important step to get the texture of the sobas right.  The noodles themselves cook in 3-5 minutes; keep your eye on them because you don’t want them to get too soggy.  Once they’re soft and pliable, drain and rinse them immediately under cold water.  Rub the noodles together like you were scrubbing some laundry.  It’s amazing to see how in seconds the soft mass of noodles transforms in your hands  into chewy springy strings.

Green Noodles and Cabbage
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • 1 head of green cabbage weighing about 2 lbs/1 kilo, cored and chopped into bite-sized pieces.
  • 1 cup/200g of soba noodles
  • 2 tbsp pickled chilies
  • 2 tbsp/30 mL Shaoxing rice wine
  • 2 tbsp/30 mL Soy sauce
  • sesame oil
  • green onions
  1. Fill a saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Cook soba noodles 3-5 minutes, until soft. Drain and rinse immediately under cold water. Put aside and leave to drain off any excess moisture.
  2. In a wok or heavy-bottomed pan, heat a neutral oil over medium-high heat.
  3. Add cabbage in batches and cook until it begins to wilt. Allow some of the edges of the cabbage to brown and crisp up.
  4. Add chilies and season with a lot of black pepper.
  5. Add rice wine and let alcohol cook off for 2-3 minutes. Add soy sauce and stir well to incorporate all ingredients.
  6. Dress soba noodles with sesame oil and green onions.
  7. Serve a handful of noodles with a generous helping of cabbage. Garnish cabbage with green onions.


Cha Noodles and Cabbage (1)

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