Stir-fried Soba Noodles with Vegetables and Shrimp

Remember how over the last couple month or so how I have been playing along with's Daily Special Posting Contest? Well, I received a very exciting email recently from foodbuzz saying that I would receive a special gift for playing along. I got to choose from a list of prizes offered from Chef's Catalogue. The even more exciting part is not only would I be receiving this prize, but also two lucky readers of this blog! So, the prize I chose (drum roll, please): a 7-inch Wusthof Nakiri knife!

The catch for receiving this prize was that I could have to hold a contest on my blog to select the two readers, so I'm excited to say I will be holding my first contest soon! (more to come in another blog entry about instructions).

In order to get you geared up for the contest, I decided to make a recipe inspired by the knife, which I hope will also inspire you all! My inspiration for this recipe came from the fact that nakiri knives are of Japanese origin, and unlike their santoku relative, nakiri is lighter weight and perfect for cutting vegetables. With the summer produce boom, now is the best time to have this knife! I wanted to test how well this knife held up to a variety of cutting styles, so I decided to do a stir-fry using different cutting techniques: thin slicing, julienning, and mincing. The blade of this knife is so thin that when I was cutting through the vegetables to julienne, it didn't push the vegetables away as far like a thicker knife would. The light weight helped me to slice really fast, too. Another thing that's great about this knife is that the blade is wide, so when pressing down on the garlic clove to remove the skin, I could contact the whole clove so it only took one smash and not a couple. The wide blade also made a great scooping edge for ingredients. I'm sure as I use this knife more I'll find more reasons to love it.

Not only did I love the knife, I really loved this recipe creation. I used all different colored vegetables, so this stir-fry was appealing to look at and texturally interesting. I used soba noodles, which are buckwheat, so they have a great nutty flavor and a little bit of a chewy texture. I did a little globe trotting around Asia for various ingredients, including one of my new favorites, Thai sweet chili's like sweet and sour sauce but way more delicious because it has little bits of chili pepper in it. It's not too hot, either, it just gives a little bite of heat. I went to my freezer (which I view as another pantry) and dug out some shrimp I'd been holding onto for some special purpose. Between the thin cut vegetables, fast cooking pasta and shrimp, this recipe came together so quickly (which was great because I was really hungry after shaking it in zumba class).

Please look for instructions for my contest soon! Also, please check out the side bar because I finally made a facebook fan page of this site. So until my next post I hope you enjoy this fast, healthy recipe.

Stir-fried Soba Noodles with Vegetables and Shrimp
Printable Recipe

4 oz soba noodles
1/2 tbsp canola or vegetable oil
1 cup sliced mushrooms
2 scallions, sliced on the bias
1 small or half a medium red onion, sliced
1 carrot, julienned
1 small red bell pepper, julienned
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/2 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined 
1 tsp sweet chili sauce
1/4 tsp toasted sesame oil
2 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
garnish: sesame seeds

1. Cook the soba in salted boiling water until al dente, according to package directions; drain.
2. Meanwhile, in a wok or large skillet, heat it over high heat. Add the canola or vegetable oil, allow it to heat until it ripples, then add in the mushrooms, scallions, onion, and carrot; saute until they begin to become tender.
3. Add the garlic and ginger and saute about 30 seconds or until fragrant.
4. Add the shrimp and cook until they start to curl and turn opaque, then add the cooked soba noodles and season with the chili sauce, sesame oil, and soy sauce. Stir-fry until the liquid ingredients evaporate and coat the noodles. Garnish with a few sesame seeds and serve immediately.


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