Perfect green beans seem to be available only for a month or two in the summer. This dish is a nice way to highlight them during that brief window. However, I’m so fond of them, that I use frozen green beans so I can make this easy soba noodle dish regularly. I highly recommend using organic, whole, baby green beans.
- 1/2 cup whole almonds, sliced or chopped
- 8 oz soba noodles
- 8–10 oz slender fresh green beans, tips trimmed (or use organic, frozen, whole, baby green beans if fresh are unavailable)
- 2 tbsp hoisin sauce, to taste
- 1 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tbsp agave nectar
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar or white wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp dark sesame oil
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- freshly ground pepper or dried hot red pepper flakes, to taste
- Toast the almonds on a dry skillet until golden, stirring frequently. Remove to a plate until needed.
- Bring water to a boil in a small soup pot. Add the noodles; cook for two minutes, then add the green beans. Simmer steadily until the noodles are al dente and the are green beans tender-crisp, about 3 to 5 minutes longer, then drain.
- Meanwhile, combine the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, agave nectar, vinegar, and oil in a small bowl and stir together.
- Combine the noodles, green beans, and sauce in a serving container. Add the scallions and toss together. Let stand for a couple of minutes, covered, so that the noodles can absorb some of the sauce.
- Uncover and season with pepper or red pepper flakes. Toss again and taste. See if you’d like any more of the sauce components for a bolder flavor. Serve warm or at room temperature.