Quelle nouille!!! – Nouilles soba, edamame, courgettes grillées, chou chinois, sauce basilic et citron

Nouille in French means noodle of course, but if you call someone a “nouille“it’s not really a compliment and means you are calling this person an idiot. So today, I do feel like a nouille, because I keep buying soba noodles and never eat them. Actually, I rarely think of preparing or eating soba noodles, probably due to my Italian upbringing…even though my pantry is filled with all kinds of soba.

I see them every day, but no… the idea of eating them, does not even cross my mind. I look at them and think, oh wow! I have so many soba in there. That’s it…the thought stops there. Isn’t that strange? It’s funny how we get stuck into habits. Well, today I decided to make a change, free some space in the cabinets = EAT SOBA. Of course, soba being Japanese, I didn’t want to prepare them the Italian way, and offend them. I tried to be faithful to their essence. For whatever reason, soba reminds me of Geisha, something delicate, and complex at the same time.

Since I have been cooking a lot of vegan meals lately, I can assure you that this dish would please any vegan out there. I combined some Eastern-Western flavors and everything made sense in this dish, from the textures, to the flavors, the colors. Yes, everything. The herbs make it fragrant, taste fresh, the lemon gives it a clean aftertaste, and all combined with the natural nuttiness and sweetness of the buckwheat make it a perfectly balanced and delightful dish. As we say in French “Essayer, c’est l’adopter“, to try it, is to adopt it…so just try it.

Ingredients for 2

  • 220 g buckwheat soba
  • 1 cup edamame, frozen
  • 2 zucchini, sliced
  • 4 Chinese cabbage leaves, thinly chopped
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1.5 cups basil leaves
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper


In a blender mix garlic, basil, salt and pepper. Blend to a fine consistency. Add lemon zest. Set aside.

Grill zucchini on both sides using a grill pan. Cut in 4 pieces. Boil edamame in boiling water for a few minutes or place in microwave to defrost. Saute cabbage in 1 tsp olive oil.

Cook soba for about 5 minutes in a slightly salted boiling water. Rinse in cold water. Combine all ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Add pesto and toss well. Eat cold or at room temperature.