Our nanny Tess is Filipino, and in her culture, when it’s your birthday, you’re supposed to eat a long noddle dish. The belief is that the long noodles signal a long life and bring good luck. When I turned 31 last year, she surprised me by making this recipe for my family and I for dinner. It’s since become a regular on our menus. I love it because it’s a one pot meal that gets in your veggies, protein and starch, and it’s great for carnivores and vegetarians because it’s easy to make two batches and top with your favorite protein. Just about anything goes: shrimp, fish, steak, grilled chicken, seitan, tofu and even fried eggs. We’ve mixed shrimp and tofu for a double hit, and the combination works beautifully for a tasty lunch or dinner. I’ve made this with my favorite vegetables, but you can feel free to add whatever suits your palate. It’s also a crowd pleaser so go ahead and entertain with it- making a double batch takes no extra time. ~Shivani
1, 8-ounce package soba noodles
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 container sliced water chestnuts
1 large bunch of bok choy, washed and shredded
1 red or orange pepper, sliced
1 bunch of scallion, thinly sliced
1 large handful of sno-peas, trimmed
8 ounces of large shrimp
1 packet of tofu, cut into small squares
1 teaspoon ginger, minced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
black pepper, to taste
red pepper flakes, to taste (optional)
Cook soba noodles according to package directions.
In a large nonstick pan set to medium, heat oil and saute garlic and ginger for one minute. Add scallions and cook for an additional two minutes.
Add shrimp and cook until done, about 5 minutes. Remove from pan.
Add in soy sauce and vegetables including water chestnuts. Cook for five minutes or until softened.
Add tofu and cook for one minute.
Add in cooked noodles, cooked shrimp, black pepper and red pepper flakes. Toss everything together well and top with sesame oil.
Season with additional salt, if needed.
You’re not going to feel deprived if you don’t eat anything else with this dish, but if you’re extra hungry, serve alongside a salad of shredded napa cabbage, chopped cilantro and sliced red onion in a ginger dressing. Sauteed shitake mushrooms are also a nice addition.