Last week I wrote about experimenting with aged black garlic for the first time after my friend Veronica gave me a few cloves to experiment with at home. I tried it in eggs, kung pao chicken, and just eating it straight. And today, black garlic soba noodles.
To recap, aged black garlic is a Korean ingredient that has gotten popular in recent years. Whole garlic cloves are fermented in machines to develop the black color and an earthy, tangy, and slightly sweet flavor. You can just eat the chewy cloves whole or chop them up and cook with them.
I tweaked my usual method of preparing soba noodles every so slightly. I sautéed the garlic with kale and shiitake mushrooms (it's mellow woodsiness goes really well with the garlic's flavor.) Then I whisked together some soy sauce, sesame oil, rice wine, Chinese black vinegar, and chili sauce to coat the noodles and vegetables. A very easy, satisfying lunch!
And if you have a bunch of black garlic on hand and need ideas (available on Amazon) here is my previous post on using it in stir-fries, which also includes other black garlic recipes from other food blogger friends.
Black Garlic Soba Noodles
- 12 dried shiitake mushrooms
- 1/2 pound kale
- 4 cloves black garlic
- 12 ounces soba noodles
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon chili sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon Chinese black vinegar
- 1 teaspoon whit sesame seeds
- Soak the shiitake mushrooms in warm water for 15 to 20 minutes, until softened. Drain the shiitakes and squeeze out the excess water. Discard the stems and thinly slice the mushroom caps.
- Separate the kale leaves from the stems. Chop the kale leaves. Save the stems for vegetable stock or discard. Minced the black garlic.
- Prepare the sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, rice wine, sesame oil, chili sauce, sugar, and black vinegar.
- Bring a medium pot of water to boil. (You can also do steps 2 and 3 simultaneously.) Add the soba noodles and cook until al dente, according to package instructions. Drain under cool water, then toss with 1/2 of the sauce in a large bowl.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the vegetable oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add the black garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, until aromatic. Add the shiitake mushrooms and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the kale and cook for another 3 minutes, until wilted. Drizzle the remaining 1/2 of the sauce and stir to mix evenly. Remove from the heat and mix the vegetables with soba noodles. Transfer to a plate, sprinkle sesame seeds on top if using, and serve.