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 sliced or chopped whole almonds
- 8 ounces soba noodles
- 8 to 10 ounces slender fresh green beans, tips trimmed
(or use organic frozen whole baby green beans if fresh are unavailable)
- 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce, to taste
- 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons agave nectar
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar or white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon 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.