Every now and then I intensely crave Asian inspired food. But the problem with most Asian restaurant foods is they’re filled with MSG, sodium, soy sauce, and many other ingredients I would prefer not to put in my body.
So when I get these cravings and don’t want to harm my body, I opt for my own recipes that uses healthy alternatives. I’ll talk more about this after the recipe.
After experimenting with healthier alternatives to traditional (restaurant) Asian ingredients, I came up with this beauty. An Asian inspired stir fry with soba noodles, yellow peppers, broccoli, and beech mushrooms. No MSG, no soy sauce, no crap.
On a side note, I freakin’ love mushrooms. Mostly because they’re really good at giving dishes a good hit of umami flavor. But I rarely get to cook with them because my girlfriend hates them. Since I was determined to still use my beloved mushrooms, I experimented with several different types until I came across Beech mushrooms. They are really mild in flavor (they just soak up whatever flavors they are cooked in).
Perfect for mushroom haters 🙂
Asian Soba Noodle Stir Fry
A satisfying and nourishing Asian inspired soba noodle stir fry with the flavors of sesame oil, tamari, ginger, and the added brightness of basil.
- ~ .3-.4 lbs. Beech mushrooms, washed and stems shortened
- 8 oz. package 100% buckwheat soba noodles (I get these ones)
- 3 cups spinach, packed into cups (optional ingredient)
- 2 tbsp. fresh cilantro or basil (I prefer basil here but both are good)
- 1 lime
- 1 large head broccoli, broken into large florets
- 1 bunch scallions, cut into rounds, separate green and red parts
- 1 tsp. toasted sesame seeds
- Kimchi (optional), but it takes this meal to a whole new level of healthy
- 1 tbsp. organic coconut oil (I use this brand)
- 1 organic yellow or red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- Red pepper flakes to taste (I used 1 tsp. plus extra as garnish)
- 1 tsp. sesame oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 heaping tbsp. minced ginger
- 1/2 cup organic vegetable stock
- 1.5 tbsp. tamari or soy sauce (you can get organic tamari sauce here)
- 1 tbsp. + 1 tsp. rice vinegar
- 1.5 tsp. sesame oil
- 2 tsp. raw organic honey, warmed (I get my favorite brand here)
- Make the sauce by simply combining all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and stir. Just make sure the honey is warmed otherwise it won’t mix well. If you like bolder flavors, I would highly suggest doubling the sauce recipe.
- Blanch the broccoli: bring a pot of water to boil and add broccoli. Once the water returns to a boil, immediately transfer to a bowl full of ice water using a slotted spoon. Drain, pat dry, and set aside. Once cooled, cut the broccoli into bite-sized florets.
- Bring the same water back to a boil and cook the soba noodles. Cook them slightly less than what the package cooks food because they will cook more in the skillet or wok. I cooked them 1 minute less than what the package called for. Transfer to a colander and rinse with cold water. Toss with 1 tsp. sesame oil.
- Heat a large skillet or wok over high heat with 1 tbsp of coconut oil. Place one small mushroom on the pan. Once it starts sizzling, add the mushrooms and saute for 1 minute while stirring. Add the yellow or red peppers and saute for another 2 minutes. Next, add the light part of the scallions and broccoli. Cook for 1 more minute while stirring. Reduce the heat to medium.
- Make a well (open area with the bottom of the pan exposed) and put a little more coconut oil in the area. Add the ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes to the oil. Once fragrant, stir to incorporate.
- Lastly add the spinach (optional), half of the green scallions, noodles, and sauce (or half of the sauce if you doubled it). Stir to incorporate all the ingredients (it can be a little difficult due to the noodles).
- Remove from heat (if you used spinach wait until it has wilted).
- Add the cilantro or basil, and sesame seeds. Stir to incorporate.
- Top off individual servings with your desired amount of lime juice, green scallions, and red pepper flakes. Drizzle with extra sauce if you doubled the recipe. Serve with a generous mound of delicious kimchi (optional).
How is This Meal Healthy?
At Naturalife, I’m always looking to make my meals as healthy as possible without compromising taste. In order to do that with this recipe, this is what I have done:
Soba noodles instead of lo mein.
Most soba noodles are made out of a grain called buckwheat. In fact, in Japanese, soba literally translates to buckwheat.
Don’t let the “wheat” in buckwheat fool you into thinking it’s wheat. Buckwheat is actually the seed of a flowering fruit that’s related to rhubarb. As a result, it’s completely gluten-free. Just make sure when you buy soba noodles that they are made from 100% buckwheat, because some brands use some wheat as a filler. I tend to avoid wheat because most people eat way too much to it. As a result of overeating, poor food preparation, and farming techniques, many people have become intolerant to it.
Tamari instead of soy sauce.
Tamari sauce typically contains little to no gluten, contains less sodium, and is made from miso (fermented rice or soy). While I still wouldn’t suggest using it all the time, it’s certainly a better option compared to normal soy sauce.
I used kimchi well…because it’s kimchi! And kimchi is fermented.
I’m sure by now you have heard about the profound health benefits of fermented food, right? If not, you really should read up a little (hint, hint, click that link). In a nutshell, kimchi or any fermented foods help heal your gut and give it a nice probiotic boost. And since our gut is the foundation of a healthy body and mind, it’s really important to make sure it’s healthy!
As a general rule of thumb, you should be eating at least 1-2 fermented foods a day to keep your gut healthy and happy.
Raw Organic Honey Instead of Brown Sugar
According to Dr. Mercola, when you eat too much refined sugar such as white or brown sugar it damages your liver, causes you to gain weight, causes metabolic complications, and increases your risk of several diseases. Since there are healthier alternatives (if eaten in moderation) to processed sugar, then there’s no reason why you should be still consuming it.