Spicy Soba Noodles with Garlicky Greens

February 22, 2019

I love the idea of a healthy soba noodle recipe; one pan, a ton of veggies, a flavorful sauce, sitting on the couch and eating out of a bowl.

In reality, stir fry is a lot more work than people are willing to admit.

Say a recipe calls for a red pepper, a head of broccoli, maybe some carrots and an onion. That’s three separate vegetables that need to be washed, dried, and chopped.

When it comes to cooking, those are probably my least favorite verbs.

At this point, I’m already grumpy and we haven’t even gotten to the ingredients snuck into the stir fry sauce.

Ingredients that I can only find expired in the back of cabinets, hidden in the fluorescent isles of a grocery store, or, for god’s sake, only on Amazon.

So I’ve developed mixed feelings toward stir fry.

Up close side view of a white bowl with sautéed swiss chard and soba noodles.

But this healthy soba noodle recipe made me fall back in love with the weeknight dinner staple.

It starts with soba instead of rice, because I am fully Team Noodle when it comes to carbs. The thin buckwheat noodles have a hearty, nutty flavor and twirl around your fork into a perfect, cylindrical bite.

Buckwheat is also gluten free, if that’s your jam. Just be aware that many varieties contain wheat flour, so always read the ingredients label before buying.

Up close shot of soba noodles on a fork.

Swiss chard is the only almighty vegetable in this recipe and you can (should) employ another member of your household to wash and chop it for you. Try this with kale, spinach, or a combination of greens. Add broccoli!

Unless you add beef, chicken, or fish, this soba noodle recipe can be a vegetarian or vegan weeknight dinner dream.

The sauce uses just three ingredients, which you probably have because it’s 2019 and sriracha is just as common as Tabasco.

Overhead shot of a white bowl of soba noodles with sautéed swiss chard.

Soy sauce, sriracha, and rice vinegar make a salty, spicy sauce with just enough acidity to make your mouth water.

The swiss chard gets sautéed in toasty sesame oil with lots of garlic until the leaves are tender and bright green. Take a moment here, take a bite, and marvel at how a vegetable can taste this good.

Close up shot of a fried egg next to stir-fried soba noodles on a white plate.

Finish cooking the soba in the sauce, then toss the swiss chard back in and you’ve got a complete vegetarian or vegan meal. Top it with a fried egg, some crispy baked tofu, shredded rotisserie chicken or quickly sautéed shrimp.

Slide the noodles into a hand-held bowl, slip into some comfy pants (and maybe some fuzzy socks), sink into the couch, and enjoy.

Spicy Soba Noodles with Garlicky Greens

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (8 votes, average: 4.75 out of 5)
Serves: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 30 minutes

A fast, healthy, vegetarian and vegan-friendly weeknight dinner.


  • 8.8 ounce package dried soba noodles or 1/2 box (8 ounces) of spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sesame oil, divided
  • 8 medium garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 small bunch swiss chard, kale, or other hearty greens, stemmed and cut into bite-sized pieces*
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or lime juice
  • 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced, white and light green parts separated from dark green parts
  • Toasted sesame seeds, for serving



Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Open the soba package and remove ties from the individual bundles, if applicable. Cook the soba 3 minutes less than package directions* (soba overcooks very easily, so it’s best to be on the extra al dente side- there should still be a little crunch to the soba when you take it off the heat). Reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking water, drain well, rinse under cold water so that they don’t stick together, and return to the pot. Toss with 1 tsp sesame oil.


While the soba cooks, heat the remaining sesame oil over medium-low heat in a 10 or 12 inch skillet. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in the greens, season with salt and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes more. Transfer the greens to a plate or bowl.


In a glass measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, sriracha, soba cooking water, vinegar, and white and light green parts of the chopped scallions. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking. Add to the now-empty skillet and bring to a simmer.


Add the soba to the skillet with the sauce and cook 2-3 minutes, tossing frequently, until tender but not mushy. Transfer the soba to serving bowls and top with a pile of garlicky greens, dark green parts of the chopped scallion, and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.


  • 336 Calories


*If you like a little extra crunch, you can keep the swiss chard stems, chop them into small pieces, and sauté them with the leaves. Swiss chard stems are not nearly as tough as kale stems and much more delicious. *I have found brands of soba that only cook for 3 minutes according to package directions. I cook this kind for just 1 minute. Most other brands of soba cook in about 6 minutes, so you can start checking after 3 minutes. I would recommend an Alsatian white, such as a dry Riesling or dry Pinot Gris, that can reflect the tangy, umami sauce and compliment the subtle spice.

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    February 26, 2019 at 2:34 pm

    Spicy, but no too spicy! LOVE this!!

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