Recipe: Vegan, Tonic Herb Infused Soba Noodles That Pack a Spiritual Punch


soba-noodles-recipe-vegan-2photo: greg arnold

World class vegan/vegetarian chef Greg Arnold spices up a traditional Japanese soba noodles recipe with the healing tonic mushrooms Reishi and Cordyceps.  Reishi is a powerful ‘Shen tonic,’ which translates loosely to an herb that ‘nourishes the spirit’.  With a wide array of health benefits ranging from improved immune function and

stress reduction to anti-aging and anti-cancer abilities, Reishi is a staple in the kitchen of anyone interested in living a long, healthy life.

Cordyceps is equally powerful in it’s own way, widely used as an endurance and hormone balancing tonic, although it also has equally potent effects on the immune and nervous systems.

But beyond their medicinal benefit, these healing mushrooms add a delightfully unusual and pleasant flavor profile to the dish as well as a noticeable pick me up that is alarmingly absent from most meals.  Instead of feeling tired after eating these delicious vegan soba noodles, expect to feel a nourishing lift in your energy and spirits.

Vegan, Tonic Herb Infused Soba Noodles

Two 3-by-6 inch pieces kombu kelp
4 cups water
1 large carrot
1 leek
2 cloves garlic, whole and in the skin
4 radish
2 tsp cordyceps (via Sun Potion)
2 tsp reishi (via Sun Potion)

1/2 cup dried dulse leaves
1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp dried wakame
1 green scallion
2 tbsp tamari
1 tbsp mirin
2 tbsp red miso
1 package organic soba noodles

Step 1
Put the water and kombu in a small pot. Bring the water to a simmer over high heat and turn off the heat and let it steep for 10 minutes.

Step 2
Remove the kombu. Slice the leek and carrot into 3 inch pieces, cut the radishes in half and add to the water with the garlic. Turn the heat back up to high and bring water to a boil, then turn heat down to a low simmer and steep for 20 minutes. Remove everything except the carrot and add the cordyceps, reishi and dulse. Turn off heat and steep for 10 minutes.

Step 3
Remove carrot and strain liquid through a strainer lined with cheesecloth. Return the hot liquid to the pot. Add tamari, mirin, sesame oil and dissolve the miso into the dashi stock. Season with salt and black pepper depending on how salty you like it.

Step 4
Cook soba noodles following directions on the package. I like to use Hakubaku brand organic soba noodles. While the soba noodles are cooking rehydrate the wakame in a small bowl of room temperature water and slice the scallions in 1/8 inch pieces. When noodles are done, strain and rinse lightly under running water.

Step 5
Put the soba noodles in bowls and ladle the soup over the top. I have topped mine with the wakame and some pickled onions and snapdragons. To quick pickle the onions just salt them and cover them with a 50/50 mixture of warm rice vinegar and water. Other toppings that I really like are sprouts, cucumber, sesame seeds, tofu, bamboo shoots, etc. Whatever you like, experiment! When it is warm outside this dish is also delicious served cold; just chill the soup and plunge the soba noodles in ice water after cooking.

About The Author

Greg Arnold is a chef from Los Angeles who focuses primarily on vegan, plant-based cuisine. Recently he opened the vegetarian restaurant MESAVERDE, in Santa Barbara, and is now about to endeavor on a new venture—vegan restaurant Plant Food and Wine, opening in Venice Beach, CA in the coming months. Arnold enjoys simplistic dishes that offer quality and wholeness to a modernistic way of living. He derives inspiration from Phil Jackson, Greg Popovich, and Cy Twombly.