Soba Noodle Bowls with Spinach and Poached Eggs

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Photography Credit: Sally Vargas

Is it spring yet?!

Where I live in the Northeast, the sun says it’s spring but the temperature outside says it’s anything but. We could still have a major snowstorm as late as April!

This noodle bowl is perfect for this in-between time. Poached eggs add a satisfying richness to the meal. They are also symbol of renewal, and right about now, I’m ready for one.

In case you haven’t discovered it yet, eggs can be poached in advance, drained, and then reheated just before serving. You can even do this up to five days in advance; just store the poached eggs, covered with water, in an sealed container in the fridge.

To warm, just gently drop the eggs back into a pot of hot water for a few seconds.

Making the eggs ahead takes away some of the stress of trying to make everything come together all at once. It also makes this noodle bowl even easier to make on a busy weeknight.

Additionally, try adding some white vinegar to the water when poaching your eggs. This doesn’t affect the flavor of the eggs, but the vinegar helps the proteins in the egg whites to set, giving you a firmer poached egg without as many of those wispy white bits.

Read More! Easy Poached Eggs

Sesame Soba Noodle BowlsEarthy and nutty soba noodles are a staple of Japanese cuisine. They are made from buckwheat flour and can be found in most national supermarkets, as well as Asian markets.

If you have a choice in your selection of soba noodles, I recommend the darkest you can find. They have a I love the deep flavor that I love.

A touch of sesame — from both sesame seeds and some toasted toasted sesame oil — continue the earthy theme. So pull up a chair, slurp a comforting bowl of noodles, and repeat after me: spring is coming!

Soba Noodle Bowls with Spinach and Poached Eggs Recipe

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  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil (plus more for garnish)
  • Salt, to taste
  • 4 large eggs
  • 8 ounces soba (buckwheat) noodles
  • 2 cups (3 ounces) packed fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 6 scallions, thinly sliced (for garnish)
  • 4 teaspoons sesame seeds (for garnish)

Method

1 Heat the poaching water: Fill a wide a wide saucepan with 2 inches of generously salted water and bring to a boil. Add the vinegar, and adjust the heat to a gentle simmer.

2 Heat and season the stock.  Meanwhile, in a large saucepan over medium heat, bring the stock to a boil. Add the ginger, garlic, sesame oil and salt to taste. Adjust the heat to a gentle simmer, cover, and let it cook while you poach the eggs. This gives the flavors time to mingle.

3 Poach the eggs. Line a tray or plate with a paper towel. Adjust the heat under the poaching water so that it's at a very gentle simmer.

Crack 1 egg into a small bowl or measuring cup. Hold the rim of the bowl or cup as close to the surface of the water as possible, and gently tip the egg into the water. Rapidly repeat with the remaining eggs.

Set a timer for 2 minutes to time the poaching. Stir the pot gently by dragging a wooden spoon around the edge of the pot, stirring the water just enough to cause the eggs to release from the bottom of the pot. You should see them bob a little in the water.

After 2 minutes, lift 1 egg from the water with a slotted spoon and test for doneness by pressing on the egg. The white should feel firm and the yolk should still be soft. Return to the water if necessary to complete the cooking.

With a slotted spoon, transfer the eggs to the paper towel lined plate. Place a lid on the pot to keep the water warm. (At this point, the eggs can be refrigerated, submerged in a container of water, for up to 5 days.)

Read More! Easy Poached Eggs

Sesame Soba Noodle Bowls

4 Cook the soba noodles and spinach. Bring the seasoned stock back to a boil and add the noodles.  Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the noodles are tender (or according to package directions.)

Stir in the spinach. Stir gently until the spinach has wilted, about 30 seconds.

5 Assemble the bowls: Divide the noodles, broth, and spinach between 4 bowls.

4 Reheat the eggs, if necessary: If the eggs no longer feel warm to the touch, use a slotted spoon to gently drop them into the warm egg poaching water and leave for a few seconds to warm them. Remove with a slotted spoon. (If the eggs have been refrigerated, heat a pan of water to steaming before warming the eggs.)

5 Garnish the bowls: Top each bowl of noodles with a poached egg. Garnish with chopped scallions and sesame seeds, and drizzle with a little sesame oil.

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Sally Vargas

Sally Pasley Vargas is a freelance writer and the author of two cookbooks (Food for Friends and The Tao of Cooking, Ten Speed Press). She currently writes the column The Confident Cook for The Boston Globe along with seasonal recipes for the Wednesday Food Section.

More from Sally

Sesame Soba Noodle Bowls

7 Comments

  1. Venetta

    I made this quickly for dinner last night, but instead of poaching, I gently fried the eggs over easy. What a comforting meal! I’ll follow these instructions for poaching this weekend!

  2. Katya

    Ah, noodle fan here and I can’t wait to try this! There’s something about a bowl of hot noodles that’s homey and comforting.

  3. Sue Cheyne

    I eagerly await your new recipes every week but just have one request being European that the cup sizes also come with equivalent measure in G given that even our UK and US cup sizes don’t match – otherwise love your sites, hugely inspirational

  4. Alida @My Little Italian Kitchen

    I am trying to have different types of grains so I buy soba noodles too. I feel so hungry looking at this dish! I love the bright colour of the egg yolk.. so mouthwatering!

  5. Malika A. Black

    Hi Sally,
    I love your recipes. This one makes me want to start buying Soba Noodles! Never had them before. They must be healthier.
    I like the added poached eggs, it makes the meal even more satisfying.
    Thank you!

  6. Sandy S

    Sally, I’ve been meaning to tell you how many of your recipe I enjoy. This recipe is another wonderful one! Had no idea I was so hungry for Soba Noodle Bowls with Spinach and Poached Eggs until I saw it and read the recipe. Oh my, I cannot wait until I get my hands on some soba noodles. Thanks for all of the details on poaching the eggs. I love knowing that I can keep them refrigerated for up to 5 days. Here in the PAC NW I am having to sit on my hands rather than play in the garden, waiting for things to warm up. But this recipe will make it easier! Thank You and Think Spring!

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