* Asian Pesto Soba

Posted on October 5th, 2008 by Linda. Filed under Basil, Cilantro, Cuisine, Entree, Green onions, Japanese, Rau Ram, Vegetarian.


A tasty pesto with sharp herbal tones to match the robust, nutty taste of buckwheat noodles.

Chef’s tip: When making a pesto, don’t add the Parmesan till after you remove it from the food processor.  that way, the cheese won’t melt with the heat of the motor.  Also, always reserve some pasta water to add back to the pasta to create smooth, silky noodles.  Lastly long pepper is a fragrant, fruity peppercorn with a hint of sweetness and it’s the spice du jour.  Seek it out!

Asian Pesto:
2 cups Thai basil, stems removed
1/2 cup Rau Ram – Vietnamese coriander leaves
3 sprigs green onions, green parts only
1/2 bunch cilantro leaves
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 Tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
1/2 teaspoon long pepper, freshly ground

1/4 cup Parmesan, grated

3 bunches dried soba, 1 inch diameter bunch

Preparing the Pesto:
1. Place all the herbs into the bowl of a food processor.  Process to chop up the leaves.  With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream.  Process till a smooth paste forms.
2.  Add in pine nuts, salt and pepper, pulse to chop and adjust seasoning if needed.
3. Transfer pesto to a bowl and mix in parmesan.  Drizzle on some olive oil to keep pesto green.
Preparing the soba:
4. Bring a pot of salted water to boil.  Add the soba and cook at a rolling boil until el dente, about 3 minutes, or according to package instructions.  Drain, but save some of the pasta water.  Transfer to a heated large bowl.
5. Toss the pasta with the pesto, adding in some of the pasta water (about 1/4 cup).
6. Serve with grated Parmesan.

Serves: 4

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4 Responses to “Asian Pesto Soba”

  1. Andrea Says:

    Wow, this looks so very good. Just found your blog and I’m really enjoying it! Learning about a new cuisine with which I have very little experience! Keep up the great work!

  2. G-lato Says:

    I love buckwheat soba and the asian twist of pesto is super creative! Never really occured to me to go that direction! Thanks for the awesome pics and the recipe…looks like I might be trying this out soon!

  3. Beth Says:

    What is a long pepper? Got everything else at our local Asian market and plan on making it tonight. Thanks.

  4. Linda Says:

    Hi Beth: Long pepper is closely related to the black pepper family. It’s about an inch long and about 1/3 inch in diameter, with rough textures. The pepper is slighty more pungent and hotter than regular black pepper, but has a complex woody, floral and fruity fragrant to it. It is more aromatic because one pepper spike has many of the pepper fruits attached to it, so it has a high ratio of fruit peel to core…if that makes sense! You should be able to find it in the spice aisle otherwise, substitute with equal amounts of black pepper.

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