“I’ve always had this intense soba craving,” says recipe developer Andy Paraghani. Soba is truly that noodle—quick-cooking, good at any temperature, and thanks to its use of buckwheat, nuts for flavor, distinct in texture, and naturally gluten-free. Whether serving it hot with dashi or cold and fried, Baraghani prefers soba shortening in terms of accompaniments. In a cookbook for the first time The cook you want – Coming this week – Soba features a nut butter sauce topped with soy sauce, black vinegar, lemon juice, sesame oil, and ginger. Cucumbers (or “whatever crunchy veggies you want,” says Paragani) and “tons of herbs” make for an obvious finishing touch to Andy Baragni.
When Bragani was honing his skills as a recipe developer in Bon appetiteHis dishes were distinguished for their exquisite flavour, sense of purity, and California’s reliance on fresh produce, which often included herbal baths. In his new book, “The vegetable and salad chapters are the two biggest,” says Paraghani. “It was no surprise to myself and anyone who knows me or knows my cooking.” Although he’s still changing as a chef, he adds, “I have a strong sense of the flavors I love and what they gravitate towards.” Cold soba, for example, highlights its tendency to layer acid, using more than one type to add flavor nuances.
if The cook you want It traces the major stages of Paragani’s life so far – his upbringing as an Iranian-American first generation in California, his days working at restaurants like Chez Panisse, and his time at Bon appetite, and his final decision to go out on his own—then cold soba is a dish for a more specific moment: the hottest day of the year. “One thing I can eat at least once a week is cold soba,” he says. And with this cold soba recipe in your back pocket, you’ll be great as an option when those sticky nights roll by.
Cold soba with peanuts and lemon crunchy vegetables recipe
1⁄3 cup peanut butter, cashew butter, or tahini
3 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of black vinegar or unseasoned rice vinegar
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, or as needed
2 teaspoons peeled ginger, finely grated
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
14 oz dried soba noodles
Thinly sliced green onions, for serving
Sliced option for serving
Coriander sprigs, as many stalks as possible, to serve
Hot pepper slices, for serving
Roasted peanuts, cashews, and/or sesame seeds, to serve
Step 1: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. While waiting, in a medium bowl, combine peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar, lemon peel, lemon juice, ginger, sugar, sesame oil, and salt to taste and whisk until smooth sauce forms.
Step 2: When the water boils, drop the pasta into the saucepan, stir, and cook until slightly softened, about 5 minutes (check package instructions just to be sure). Drain and rinse with cold water to prevent them from cooking. drain again. Divide the noodles among four bowls and spoon the sauce over them. Sprinkle each serving with scallions, cucumber, cilantro, chile, mashed nuts and serve.
Reprinted with permission from The cook you want By Andy Baraghani, Copyright © 2022. Published by Lorena Jones Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House.
Photography Copyright: Graydon Herriott © 2022.