In Season: Asparagus with Buckwheat Noodles

Houston has spring like weather since third week of February. That means the beginning of planting season. I had been in the garden, cleaning the garden beds, starting seedlings and planting vegetable plants. Kind of lost in spring sunshine, and who can resist the spring charm?

Spring means asparagus is in season. I bought a bunch of tender asparagus last weekend and prepared a Thai inspired Buddha’s bowl for today’s meal. A complete vegetarian one-pot meal with asparagus and buckwheat (soba) noodles in homemade sweet and sour peanut sauce. You can of course, buy ready-made sauce but the sauce is easy to prepare at home using the ingredients that are already in pantry and that’s what I did. Buckwheat noodles which are prepared from buckwheat flour have a unique texture and flavor that I enjoy. With fresh asparagus and in flavorful sauce, it was a nutritious, filling Buddha’s bowl. Imagine PF Chang’s restaurant but without all the hoopla and waiting to get a table.

Asparagus with Buckwheat Noodles
(serves 4)

    12 ounces of buckwheat (soba) noodles
    1 tablespoon sesame oil
    1 cup, shallots or red onion, cut into matchstick length thin strips
    2 cups, fresh asparagus, cut into matchstick length pieces
    2 cups carrot, cut into thin matchsticks
    2 cups unripe, green papaya, cut into thin matchsticks
    1 cup, fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
    1/2 cup, roasted pistachios or peanuts
    2 tablespoons lemon juice
    For the sweet-sour peanut sauce:
    1/4 cup, roasted, unsalted peanuts
    2 teaspoons, chilli flakes
    1 tablespoon tamarind pulp
    1 tablespoon, palm or cane jaggery pieces
    1/4 teaspoon, sea salt
    Add the above in a mixer and blend to creamy, smooth sauce.

1. Cook the buckwheat noodles according to the instructions on the package, then drain in a colander and rinse under cold running water. Set aside.

2. Heat sesame oil in a wok or wide pan until hot. Add onions, asparagus, carrot and green papaya. Saute for 10 minutes, turning frequently, until the vegetables are tender and browned.

3. Add the sweet and sour peanut sauce to roasted vegetables. Sprinkle salt and quarter cup of water. Simmer on low heat for five minutes.

4. Toss in the buckwheat noodles and stir coat them in the sauce. Heat through for two minutes and then spoon into individual serving bowls. Sprinkle cilantro, pistachio and little bit lemon juice on top and serve immediately.

Asparagus with Soba Noodles
Asparagus with Buckwheat Noodles ~ Under Spring Sunshine

Variation: Use whole-wheat or rice noodles instead of buckwheat noodles, if you wish.

20 Comments

  • By jyothy, March 9, 2011 @ 3:31 pm

    Spring special!

  • By sreelu, March 9, 2011 @ 3:37 pm

    hmm love your sweet and sour sauce, now if only I could get sugar cane here, I would be in heaven :)

  • By Nishi, March 9, 2011 @ 3:51 pm

    Loved the recipe Indira. How I wish buckwheat or buckwheat noodles was available at my place :)

  • By Mona, March 9, 2011 @ 4:08 pm

    It is snowing here today in Toronto. For spring to arrive, it might take an another month or so. I am eagerly waiting for spring and the planting season.
    Have you ever tried growing tamarind plant in your backyard? Curious to know.
    Never tried buckwheat noodles. They look delicious.

  • By harini-jaya, March 9, 2011 @ 9:45 pm

    This sauce is a nice variation to the typical walnut sauce I prepare! looks very appealing and tempting!

  • By notyet100, March 10, 2011 @ 2:25 am

    ummmm so yummy

  • By Hari Chandana, March 10, 2011 @ 5:31 am

    Looks Delicious !!

  • By Aarthi, March 10, 2011 @ 8:42 am

    Indira,
    This is looks so good!

  • By kalva, March 10, 2011 @ 1:15 pm

    wow looks yummo!!!

  • By luciano, March 10, 2011 @ 5:56 pm

    Indira, I must say, this is probably the best pasta i´ve ever tried. I made a little different, using spring onion instead of cilantro, and also put a little garlic and ginger along with the onions. Great recipe, thank very much! You’ve got fans here in Brazil!

  • By bhavani, March 10, 2011 @ 6:27 pm

    hi india
    i am from houston too. i look for garden updates in you blog all the time.I just finished removing weeds in my veg patch.Do u know where u can get drumstick seeds or plant?just curious i have been asking my frinds and nobody has them

  • By Miri, March 11, 2011 @ 1:22 am

    Thats a hearty bowl of soba noodles – definitely better than any restaurant.

  • By Narayan, March 12, 2011 @ 12:32 am

    So yummy….

  • By Narayan, March 12, 2011 @ 12:34 am

    I love the way you mix and match veggies and cereals to create delectable dishes. And your artistic pictures are the proverbial cherry on the cake!

  • By Kay, March 12, 2011 @ 6:52 am

    Wow!! Pista, asparagus and buckwheat noodles in tangy sauce!! Sounds amazing, Indira. I’m inspired to give it a try.

  • By Richa, March 16, 2011 @ 11:18 am

    Pl collect your award from my blog!

  • By Hippu, March 17, 2011 @ 7:48 am

    I have been following your blog for long but I don’t remember if I have ever commented before.

    Well, I just want to say that your blog has been a life saver for me, Finnish woman, who is married to a guy from AP. Especially now when we are staying in India, your blog has helped me tremendously. Going to shop is not such a nightmare as it could be, and I am not at all intimidated by all the kaayas and kuuras I see there…:-)

    So I just want to thank you with all my heart for making me a better cook… and wife too. ;-) God bless you! :-)

  • By Mahes, March 18, 2011 @ 10:54 am

    Looks delicious!

  • By Indira, March 20, 2011 @ 7:05 am

    Thanks all for your comments.

    Mona: Yes, I have. Tamarind grows very well here in Houston during hot summer months.

    Aarthi: thanks. Your short story is a good read.

    Luciano: Happy to read that you tried and liked the recipe. Obrigada.

    Bhavani: I sometimes see drumstick plant for sale at Meenakshi temple, Pearland. Also try Malayali grocery shops. They also keep seedlings for sale during spring/summer months.

    You will like. Try it, dear Kay.

    Hippu: Glad to be of help. Thank you for the appreciative words.

  • By nithya at hungrydesi., April 30, 2011 @ 8:24 pm

    Soba noodles are one of my favorite foods. I love your sauce…sounds really great and so much better than store bought.

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