New Year's Eve Noodles
New Year's Eve Noodles
In many cultures the world over, with the start of the new year comes a chance for a fresh, clean slate and new beginnings. In Japan, that is the essence of Toshikoshi Soba, a soba noodle dish traditionally served on New Year’s Eve. In its simplest form the dish is buckwheat noodles served in a hot dashi broth with finely chopped scallions.
This recipe was developed by Katherine Deumling, the amazing cook responsible for the recipe database Cook With What You Have, our absolute favorite place to find dependable recipes with seasonal vegetables at their center. We have two variations below: Katherine's original with cabbage and a very easy spring version that replaces the cabbage with fresh arugula and cuts the cooking time in half. If you are vegetarian, simply omit the bacon and add an extra splash of soy sauce.
- 10.5 ounces Soba Noodles or 1 pound Yakisoba Noodles with Miso-Sesame Sauce
- 7 to 8 cups (1 small or 1/2 large) red or green cabbage, thinly sliced OR 2 bunches fresh arugula, washed, stems chopped, leaves torn
- 3 slices bacon, diced (optional)
- 3 tablespoons oil, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons grated ginger
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper flakes (to taste)
- 1 to 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup cilantro, stems minced and leaves chopped
- Optional: Wedges of lime
- In a large skillet over high heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add half the cabbage and half the salt and cook stirring frequently for about 5 minutes, until just tender. Remove from the pan and repeat with another tablespoon of oil and the remainder of the cabbage and salt.
- When the second batch of cabbage is tender move it to one side of the pan, add the bacon, and cook for a minute or two, then add the ginger, hot pepper flakes, half the scallions and the cilantro stems. Sauté for a minute and then add the reserved cabbage back to the pan and mix well. Cook over high heat for a minute to marry flavors and heat everything well.
- If making the alternative version, in a large skillet over high heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add the bacon, and cook for a minute or two, then add the ginger, hot pepper flakes, the arugula stems, half the scallions, and the cilantro stems. Cook over high heat for a minute to marry flavors and heat everything well.
- Scoot the cabbage mixture to the side of the pan again and add the yakisoba noodles or add the arugula and noodles in at the same time. Stir and fry, slowly mixing in the cabbage, and cook until the noodles are hot and crispy in spots. Add the soy sauce, remaining scallions and cilantro. Stir well and serve with wedges of lime for people to add as they like.