I know Jayne Ann Krentz's stories can be a bit formulaic. They're almost always set in either Washington or Oregon. There's usually a plucky and earnest heroine. And a slightly quirky, intelligent, and controlled hero. Controlled in the sense that they sometimes do martial arts, or aren't very emotional, or are tech nerds. Not that there's anything wrong with that because I've read and enjoyed almost all of her books. Even when she writes as Amanda Quick. Well, except I just can't get into her recent books because they seem to have lost some of the romance and focused more on the paranormal mystery. I'm getting tired of the paranormal trend in romance, quite frankly.
I can't recall which book of hers featured a vegetarian martial arts tech nerd in the Pacific Northwest. Ha! Try all of them. :P But I did remember he cooked up a mean green tea soba noodle dish with peanut butter and scallions. Well, that's what I remember anyway. Since I couldn't remember which book it was in, I couldn't double-check for sure. Nonetheless, the idea of the dish stayed with me.
So when JS and TS of Eating Club Vancouver, hosts of the orange round-up, announced the ALMOND as this month's secret ingredient challenge for Weekend Wokking, I obviously knew which dish I wanted to do.
This dish came together fairly quickly. I diluted the almond butter with some white wine, soy sauce, and sugar. Heated it on the stove top to form a smooth sauce instead of a thick paste. Tossed with green tea soba noodles. Topped with slivers of Asian pear and chives. Served with seared salmon and tuna in a white wine miso soy sauce glaze. A quick and healthy meal.
Green Tea Soba (Japanese Buckwheat Noodles) with Almond Butter
For 2 to 4 servings, you'll need:
1 7-oz package of soba (Japanese buckwheat noodles), any flavor you wish
1/4 cup white wine (I used moscato.)
2 tblsp almond butter
2 tblsp soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
Asian pear, julienned
Chives, finely chopped
Optional: Top with julienned carrots, nori seaweed, or scallions.
Set a pot of water to boil the soba noodles. For a chewier noodle, Dennis of A Radiused Corner suggested soaking the soba first and then boiling, a trick he learned from Japanese television. I tried that and found that the soba was clumpier than boiling without soaking. Could just be me. So you can experiment as well. Anyway, so when the water boils, add the noodles. They should cook fairly quickly, in about 5 minutes or so. Drain and rinse thoroughly to remove excess starch. Set aside.
In a small sauce pan on medium-low heat, melt 2 tblsp almond butter, 1/4 cup white wine, 2 tblsp soy sauce, and 1 tsp sugar. If the mixture seems too thick, dilute with a bit of water. You want a thick sauce, but not too thick like a paste and not runny. When the sauce is to your liking, toss with the soba noodles.
Top with julienned Asian pear and chopped chives. Serve with Seared Salmon with White Wine, Miso, and Soy Sauce Glaze or Seared Tuna with Hoisin Soy Sauce Glaze if you wish.
I'm submitting this recipe to Weekend Wokking, a world-wide food blogging event created by Wandering Chopsticks to celebrate the multiple ways we can cook one ingredient. This month's secret ingredient is the ALMOND. The host for March is Darlene of Blazing Hot Wok. Check out the almond round-up for eight recipes featuring this nut.
If you'd like to participate or to see the secret ingredient, check who's hosting next month. If you've participated in the past and would like to host, please email me.
I really don't cook with it very often, but since we are celebrating the almond this month, my other almond recipes:
Chicken Enchilada with Nutella Mole Poblano
Clafoutis Aux Cerises (French Cherry Clafouti)
Tropical Fruit Cocktail Delight
1 year ago today, Yang Chow-style Fried Rice.
2 years ago today, I welcomed the Year of the Pig with a Feta and Cheddar Cheese Fondue dinner.