When I was making a lifestyle change 3 years back, I decided to forgo white rice and research on better carbs instead. When I started making salads, I used to have them without carbs but I soon got very unsatisfied. I'd feel hungry very quickly because obviously just eating veg is NOT enough and NOT healthy. Carbs are not evil, you just need to eat the right carbs.
Upon further reading, I found out about the Glycemic Index (GI) and how foods with different GI can affect our blood sugar levels. In simple terms, we should consume more food that have a lower GI. Consuming too much food that have a high GI will results in higher blood sugar levels, which will lead to an increased risk for diabetes and weight gain.
Good news for you: Soba has a low GI of 22! Yippee! Of course, that does not mean you should eat 500g of soba every day haha portion size is important too! I used to eat white rice for dinner every night. Like a huge bowl of it. Best with gravy or curry right? FML. Fyi, white rice has a GI of over 60! Please choose brown rice instead. Or master my soba salad recipe and lead a good life. You're welcome.
Of course I'm not proclaiming to be the healthiest person on earth, come on man I still love my zichar fried rice but I can't be having that every day. Plus I can't cook a legit Chinese meal for nuts so salads are perfect for me. Most of the ingredients are raw and minimal cooking is required ;)
How did I manage to write so much rubbish, I don't know. But hope you found the info useful. Here's the recipe (finally) & sorry to keep you waiting.
Soba (buckwheat noodles)
Roasted sesame seeds
Apple cider vinegar
I did not provide measurements because I've made this so many times and sometimes my helper Lina prepares my salad for me. I don't know the exact weight but a rough gauge would be, when you spread out the ingredients, the surface area should be about the size of an iPhone 6. Don't ask me why it's appropriate to use an iPhone as a measuring tool. I'll roughly describe the portion size in the 'Method' part below!
I use chicken thigh because breast meat is really not my thang. Feel free to use breast if you prefer. For chicken thigh, there's more fat so try to remove as much as you can when you clean or cut the meat. I usually pre-marinate my chicken in advance & keep them in small plastic bags in the freezer. That way, you can just defrost the bag in a bowl of water when you want to prepare your salad. Since it's a small portion, the whole thing will only need about 30 minutes to thaw. I marinate the chicken with a bit of soy sauce and sesame oil so there is no need for more oil when you stir fry them :)
1. Add about 1/4 of a bundle of soba noodles into a pot of boiling water. To save gas (and the earth), use a small pot and break your soba bundle in half :) The soba will take about 4-6 minutes to cook, depending on how hard or soft you like them.
2. Pour the soba noodles in a large strainer (the net thing) & save the hot water in a bowl. Soak the edamame in the water. They do not need to be boiled; you just need to soak them in hot water for 3-4 minutes depending on how hard or soft you like them as well. When the pods turns brownish, they are too cooked!
3. On a clean cutting board, cut pea sprouts and red cabbage into small strips measuring about the width of your iPhone (LOL) so that they are not too difficult to put into your mouth. Eat like a lady yes. Place raw veggies into your salad bowl. By the time you are done, strain the edamame and let them cool for a bit.
4. Cut one medium red onion into thin strips as well. If you know me well enough, you would know that #OnionIsBae so yes, I use one whole onion. Place raw onions into salad bowl, followed by the cooled soba.
Did you know, pea sprouts are really rich in Vitamin C? Eating red cabbage and onion can reduce the risks of getting cancer too! SO EAT YOUR VEGGIES.
5. The edamame should be cool enough to handle by now, so remove the beans from their pods and pop them into the salad bowl as well.
6. Chop one section of spring onion into small pieces. Into the salad bowl they go.
7. Once you're done with the raw stuff, you may use the board to cut the tau kwa into small cubes. I use half a tau kwa each time. Set aside in a small dish with raw chicken meat. You are going to stir fry them.
8. In the same pot you used to boil the soba, add the chicken and tau kwa and stir fry them over medium heat. When the chicken is fully cooked, remove from heat and empty everything into your salad bowl.
9. Sprinkle a good amount of roasted sesame seeds over your salad.
10. Add lemon juice, apple cider vinegar & honey to taste. I think I use less than a teaspoon each. If you find it troublesome to use lemon juice, you can either use the juice of 1 lime or don't add juice at all. I usually juice about 2 lemons at once and store the juice in a small bottle.
11. Pretend it's Chinese New Year and toss the shit out of your salad as if it were Yusheng.
12. Enjoy your hard work cos you just made yourself a friggin good and healthy salad!
Remember to take a million photos cos if it's not on social media, it didn't happen right? ;) Tag me on Instagram or Dayre if you try this recipe, I would love to see your version! :)
Just wanted to include this photo too cos I love how Lina cooked the chicken and tau kwa till they were a bit charred. Bagus la.
Oh btw, if serving/portion size sounds like rocket science to you, invest in a simple electronic kitchen scale and weigh out your shit. So you know how much to add into your meals and how much calories you are consuming. It's a little troublesome at first, but trust me after a few weeks you will know your food and you won't need to weigh your ingredients anymore! The electronic scale.. I don't know, maybe you can use it to weigh your hamster or something :)