vegan keep your friends cookbook

It’s been a long day and the couch is calling your name. You know you need nourishment before that Netflix binge, but the last thing you want is to do is cook — or waste more money feeding your Postmates addiction. How big is your takeout bill this year? What’s a hungry girl to do? Hit up your pantry for a few basic ingredients and whip up these asparagus soba noodles in five minutes flat.

The simple, savory recipe below comes from the easy-to-love cookbook, How to Be Vegan and Keep Your Friends (check out another crowd-pleasing recipe we’re loving from its pages here). Enjoy the gluten-free goodness as-is or doctor it up with additional nutrition; simply toss in a few pieces of tofu or an extra handful of greens.

soba noodles recipe

Cleaner, cheaper and healthier than takeout, this ultra-quick weeknight meal is the hero you didn’t know you needed but will be so happy to have found…

Asparagus Soba Noodles + Sesame Dressing

Serves 4 (as a starter or side dish)


For the noodles:
9 oz soba (buckwheat) noodles
1 Tbsp sesame oil
17 ½ oz asparagus spears, trimmed
6 spring onions (scallions), finely sliced

For the dressing:
5 Tbsp mirin
5 Tbsp light soy sauce
1 in. piece fresh root ginger (finely grated wasabi paste), to taste
2 Tbsp black sesame seeds


To cook the noodles, bring a large pan of lightly salted water to the boil and add the noodles, stirring to prevent them from sticking. Bring back to the boil, cooking the noodles for about 4 to 5 minutes or until just tender. Drain and refresh immediately in plenty of cold water. Drain well once more.

Place the drained noodles in a large bowl, add the sesame oil, toss well to combine and set aside.

Bring a pan of lightly salted water to the boil. Blanch the asparagus spears by dropping them into the boiling water for  2 to 4 minutes. Drain, and refresh the asparagus in a bowl of cold water, drain again and add to the bowl of noodles along with the sliced spring onions (scallions).

In a small bowl, mix together the mirin, soy sauce and ginger. Whisk in a little wasabi to taste then stir in the sesame seeds. Add enough of the dressing to the noodles to coat well and toss together.

Recipes excerpted with permission from How to Be Vegan and Keep Your Friends by Annie Nichols, published by Quadrille September 2019.

Looking for more healthy plant-based recipes?
Check out a few of our favorites here.

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  1. Why don’t you add the asparagus to the cooking soba noodles at the end? Saves water, time and energy.

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