Soba salad + keeping yourself within budget.

Spicy shimeji and enoki mushroom soba noodle saladOkay, I remember complaining last week that it didn’t feel like spring, but now I think it totally does! The sun peeks out a bit every here and there and oh, RAIN. Yes, I’m talking about a Vancouver spring. Seems like it’s been such a drab week – grey skies and rainfall. But honestly speaking, we have been getting some great sunny days randomly — not complaining one bit. Atleast the temperatures have been increasing and we’re (almost) consistently in double digit weather, hurrah!

To celebrate spring, I’ve made a light spicy shimeji and enoki mushroom soba noodle salad

Is it just me or has T&T been KILLING it in terms of cheap groceries lately? I swear to god…I’m in heaven. If there’s one thing I love more than food, it’s INEXPENSIVE food. And yes, groceries most certainly count. I always get a thrill of finding a good deal. And no, not in the weird coupon-hoarding way.

My mom and I hung out this past weekend since she has just gotten back from her trip to Turkey and since she has moved to Maple Ridge, she had to make a mandatory pit stop to T&T. Luckily for me, I hadn’t grocery shopped yet and access to a vehicle while grocery shopping? SCORE. Totally stocking up. So we had arrived at T&T and kids, the best thing about any grocery store is the reduced item bin. Seriously. You shouldn’t be embarassed EVER to shop from there. A good deal is a good deal. For instance, I picked up a package of soba noodles for $1.99 (usually they’re $5 to $6 each), a huge 2 or 3lb bag of white button mushrooms ($1.50), 2 packages each of enoki and white shimeji mushrooms ($1.50 together), a bag of assorted peppers and taro root ($1.50)… Yeah. Pretty amazing stuff. Honestly, this is how I shop every week. It’s a good way to cut down on your weekly grocery budget. For myself, I usually get my inspiration from whatever’s on sale. Best section ever of any grocery market. You’re welcome.

Anyways, I was looking to make something quick and easy and refreshing and ended up with this salad. You can have this warm or chilled — it doesn’t matter. It tastes great either way and makes for a light and delicious dinner. If you want to up the protein, feel free to add some shrimp or even a fried egg on top. My guess would that it would be pretty darn tasty.

If you are making this for lunch, I would recommend to keep the sauce and the noodles separate. I’ve had so many instances where the noodles fell soggy from soaking up all the soaky and turned out really gummy which was disgusting. These noodles are a different brand from the ones I usally used (President’s Choice) and so far, they are awesome! I used the Shiragiku brand this time around and will be sticking to it. Also, feel free to double up on the sauce — I usually make mine as I go so this may not be accurate.
Spicy shimeji and enoki mushroom soba noodle salad Spicy shimeji and enoki mushroom soba noodle salad Spicy shimeji and enoki mushroom soba noodle salad Spicy shimeji and enoki mushroom soba noodle salad Spicy shimeji and enoki mushroom soba noodle salad Spicy shimeji and enoki mushroom soba noodle saladSpicy shimeji and enoki mushroom soba noodle salad

What you’ll need:

– 1 bundles of buckwheat soba noodles
– 1 tbsp avocado oil
– 6 cloves garlic, minced
– 2 (100g) pkgs enoki mushroom, stems removed and dirt removed
– 2 (150g) pkgs white shimeji mushrooms, stems removed
– 4 stalks of green onion, sliced diagonally
– Handful of cilantro, roughly chopped

– 2 tbsp soy sauce
– 1 tbsp rice vinegar
– 1 tbsp gochujang

What you’ll need to do:
1. Cook your soba noodles until al dente according to packaged direction in a pot of boiling water. Drain, rinse, and set aside until it’s completely dry.
2. In the meantime, sautee your garlic and mushrooms over medium-high heat in the avocado (heat oil first til hot and then add the garlic and mushrooms).
3. Toss your noodles, garlic, and mushrooms together. Add the green onion and cilantro and mix until well-combined.
4. Portion into bowls and spoon the sauce on top. Makes 4 servings.

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