Continuing my efforts to eat healthier for my big day, I followed another recipe from Food and Wine’s 30 day healthy eating menus. Today I picked a soba noodle dish served with grilled shrimp and cilantro. This dish packed in little bits of fried garlic and shallots for punches of flavor, and crushed peanuts for texture, it’s almost unbelievable how simple it is to make, and how delicious and healthy it is.
Soba is the Japanese word for buckwheat, also synonymous with the thin noodles made out of buckwheat flour. Buckwheat is naturally gluten free,
and is considered to be a good substitute for wheat for diabetics and people with gluten allergies. Buckwheat is also heavily used in Japanese, Korean, and other Asian cuisines.
Compare to 100 grams of white bleached flour, which has approximately 370 calories, 100 grams of buckwheat contains 340 calories ( unbleached wheat flour has about 400 calories per 100 grams).
This recipe uses 12oz of uncooked soba noodles for 6 servings, which translates to about 2oz of noodles per person. Each servings of noodles plus the shrimp and garnishes totals approximately 240 calories, so even if you eat two servings, that’s still a below 500 calorie meal.
Okay enough with the calculations…. The dish is a cinch to make, especially if you have a gas grill. If you don’t feel like setting up a charcoal grill, you can easily sauté the shrimp on high heat with some oil in a pan to save time.
To make the sauce for the noodles, I combined light soy sauce, tamari dark soy sauce, sesame oil, and agave nectar in a bowl, set it aside.
Next I cleaned and deveined the shrimp, tossed them in some sesame oil and lime zest. Don’t add the lime juice until right before you are ready to cook the shrimp, as the acid from the lime juice will start cooking the shrimp, like in a ceviche.
I put the shrimp in the fridge while I prepared the grill and started to boil the water for the Soba. To make the condiments for the dish, I fried up some thinly sliced rings of shallots and garlic in batches with a few tablespoon of oil over moderate heat.
You don’t want to burn the shallots and garlic, but you want them to be crispy. Once the grill is ready, I strung the shrimps on metal skewers, and seasoned them with salt and white pepper.
I grilled the shrimp for about 3 minutes total over hot coals, so that they are just cooked through, and set them aside in a plate to keep warm.
Instead of cooking my soba for 4 minutes like it was recommended in the recipe, I followed the packaged instructions, which was 6-8 minutes.
Drain the noodles and toss with the noodle sauce prepared in the first step. I did not use all of it, so I would recommend adding in small portions to taste, you can always add more but it’s harder to take it out if you add too much at once.
Toss in sliced scallions, cilantro leaves, crushed red pepper, and crushed peanuts.
Top off the noodles with the grilled shrimp and a couple slices of limes and its done!