We had this for lunch a few days ago. Japanese soba noodles with stir-fried boneless chicken breast meat, broccoli, and cauliflower. Soba noodles are made from buckwheat flour (soba-ko) but the variety I used is made from a mixture of buckwheat flour and mountain potato flour. At least, that was what the package said. The noodle ingredients were the only English characters in the packaging; the rest were in Japanese characters.
Anyway, when I bought the dried soba noodles a few weeks ago, I didn’t know much about soba. I found the color attractive and I’m always adventurous with new things so I decided to buy a small pack. Soba noodles are cooked in boiling water and cooking only takes about three minutes. They don’t have this tendency to get soggy, like Chinese egg noodles, even when they have been stirred into the sauce.
Cook the soba noodles in boiling water for about three minutes. Drain well and set aside. Debone the chicken breast and cut the meat into bite-size pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Heat the cooking oil in a wok or wide shallow pan. When smoking, add the chicken pieces and stir fry over high heat until lightly browned along the edges. Add the ginger, garlic, and chopped onion and cook, stirring for about 30 seconds. Add the broccoli and cauliflower florets and cook for about 2-3 minutes, stirring often. Add the mushrooms and stir.
Pour in half of the broth. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Stir together the oyster sauce, starch, about a teaspoonful of sugar, and a few drops of sesame seed oil into the remaining broth. Pour into the wok or pan and cook, stirring, until the sauce thickens and clears. Turn off the heat. With a slotted spoon, scoop out the chicken and vegetables and transfer to a large bowl. Add the cooked soba noodles to the sauce. Stir to coat the noodles. Transfer the noodles to a serving platter and top with the chicken and vegetables.