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Recipe for vegan Napa cabbage soba with spicy peanut sauce

Cabbage and pepper soba

TRUE CONFESSION: Put this spicy peanut sauce on anything -- a piece of shoe leather, marshmallows, or even the cauliflower I dislike so much -- and I will eat it. Put it on something I do like, and I will lick my plate clean. Peanuts and Japanese buckwheat noodles (soba) have a natural affinity, but this dish will be just as good with spaghetti, or whole wheat penne, or just about any type of noodle or pasta. One tip: don't stir-fry the vegetables for more than a minute. You'll like the crunch of barely-cooked Napa cabbage with the chewy soba. The recipe makes far more peanut sauce than you'll need. Store the extra in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, and use it as a dip or a dressing. You can thank me later.

Cabbage and pepper soba

Napa cabbage soba with spicy peanut sauce

From the pantry, you'll need: soba noodles, canola oil, ginger root, garlic, chili paste with garlic, peanut butter, reduced-sodium soy sauce, sugar, black vinegar, sesame oil.

Serves 2-4.


1-inch thick slice fresh ginger, peeled and cut in half
10 large cloves garlic, peeled
2 tsp chili paste with garlic, or more or less to taste
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup reduced-sodium or gluten-free soy sauce
7 Tbsp sugar (or equivalent sugar substitute)
7 Tbsp Chinese black vinegar (or Worcestershire sauce)
6 Tbsp toasted sesame oil (the kind you get in Asian groceries — I use Maruhon brand)
4 oz thin soba noodles
2 tsp canola oil
2 cups thinly shredded Napa cabbage
1 small bell pepper (any color), diced
3-4 large mushrooms (any type), sliced
1 large scallion, thinly sliced


In a food processor with a metal blade (or in a blender), finely chop ginger and garlic. Add next 6 ingredients in the order listed, plus 10 tablespoons of water, and process until smooth. The peanut sauce should be the consistency of heavy cream. If too thick, add more water. Set aside.

Bring 2 quarts of water to boil in a saucepan. Drop the soba into the water, bring the water back to the boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 5 minutes, until the soba is cooked but not mushy. Drain, rinse under cool water, and drain again. Place in a large mixing bowl.

Heat a wok over high heat. Swirl in the oil, and then all at once add the cabbage, bell pepper, mushrooms and scallion. Stir fry for 1-2 minutes at most; the vegetables should be crunchy. Add them to the bowl with the soba.

Stir in enough peanut sauce to bring the vegetables and noodles together. (Extra peanut sauce will keep in the refrigerator for two weeks.) Serve at room temperature.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Cold soba salad with peppers and ponzu dressing
Asparagus, pepper and peanut soba
Grilled tofu with soba noodles
Tofu and green bean stir-fry with spicy peanut sauce
Stir-fried garlic lettuce

Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Cold soba noodles with dipping sauce, from Just Hungry
Almond soba noodles, from 101 Cookbooks
Japanese salmon with soba, from Andrea Meyers
Green tea soba noodles with seared tuna, from My Cooking Hut
Ginger beef soba noodle soup, from Eliza Domestica

Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.


This looks so good! Going to have try it.


I just ate a really big breakfast, but find myself drooling and wanting this dish NOW!

Tim, I hope you do.

Judy, I love noodles for breakfast! When we traveled in Malaysia, I ate mee goreng, a noodle dish, every day for breakfast.

I love the brilliant colors of your various Asian dishes. Not to mention the fact that I'm a noodle addict, too!

Yummmm....spicy peanut sauce! I'll have to try this soon.

Lydia, when I was in Malaysia I had nasi goreng (their version of fried rice everyday for breakfast. And those cute little mini bananas!

Missed this one too, but I have now re-subscribed to the feed!

I made your dish last night. I had to make a few modifications (take out soy, substitute regular spaghetti) and I think it was missing something. It was tasty but didn't quite hit the spot :( I liked the idea of the recipe though! I'll have to try another one of your recipes.

Thank you thank you! This meal was *delicious* !!! My husband has been requesting this peanut sauce with pasta a lot since I first made this, and you're right, the peanut sauce tastes great on anything! :)

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