I love bowl food, and I’m pretty sure most of you do, too. “Bowl food” always has a mix of delicious veggie-heavy ingredients that all have varying tastes, textures, and flavors – there’s something crunchy, something soft, something sweet, something salty. It also has to have a delicious sauce to pull everything together. They’re fun to eat because you get something a little different in each bite (that is, unless you’re Jack who stirs his whole bowl together, but I digress…). The inconvenient thing about component bowls is that by nature of there being components, they take time to prepare. It takes time to chop and cook raw plant-based ingredients … but you’ll be surprised how quickly and easily these noodle bowls come together!
The 5-ingredient sauce gets simply whisked together. The cabbage gets dressed right in the serving bowls. The mushrooms and snap peas get sautéed one after another, using the same skillet. While you cook the soba noodles, clean up the dishes (there won’t be many), have a glass of wine, then top the bowls with the orange segments, sesame seed, tofu (or a protein of your choice), and the sauce. It’s a perfect weeknight meal that’s packed with flavor and full of fresh vegetables.
This recipe makes two large bowls of food, or 3 medium-sized bowls. If there’s any left over, pack it up for lunch the next day.
Sesame Orange Noodle Bowls
- 2 tablespoons white miso paste
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons tamari
- ½ tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- (plus excess juice from the orange below)
- 1 medium orange
- 2 cups shredded red cabbage
- 3 ounces soba noodles, cooked, drained, & rinsed* (see note)
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- ⅓ cup chopped scallions (about 3)
- 1 cup snap peas, de-stringed and chopped
- 8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
- 7 ounces baked tofu, sliced or cooked protein of choice**
- Sesame seeds
- Handful of fresh herbs, cilantro or mint, optional
- Sea salt
- In a small bowl, whisk together the miso, rice vinegar, tamari, and sesame oil until combined. Slice the segments from the orange, set aside, and squeeze the excess juice from the orange into the sauce.
- Divide the red cabbage among two to three bowls. Drizzle with some of the dressing and toss gently to coat. Place the cooked soba beside the cabbage in the bowls.
- In a skillet, heat a drizzle of olive oil and add the scallions and snap peas and cook, tossing until lightly blistered but still vibrant green, for about 2 minutes. Remove and add to the bowls.
- Add more olive oil to the pan and add the mushrooms and a pinch of salt and cook until the mushrooms are tender, about 8 minutes. Divide the mushrooms among the bowls and top with the orange segments, tofu, sesame seeds, and herbs if using. Drizzle with a little of the remaining dressing and serve the rest on the side. (Note: the dressing is slightly on the salty side so a little bit goes a long way – add it to taste and save any extra for salads/bowls later in the week).
**To save a step in this recipe, I buy pre-baked tofu (I like the Wildwood brand). Alternatively, you can bake your own tofu. Start with extra-firm tofu, patted dry and cut into cubes. Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss the tofu with the tamari and spread evenly onto the baking sheet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges.