Miso Eggplant and Buckwheat Noodles (Soba)

Back in my childhood buckwheat was omnipresent: buckwheat with milk and honey for breakfast (kasha), buckwheat sautéed with meat, buckwheat with mushrooms and sour cream. Later on I found out that there is also a buckwheat diet helping with weight loss and providing detoxifying effects. I used it a while ago, but have in mind it’s a mono-diet. Buckwheat is gluten-free and is very popular in Eastern Europe as well as Asia. It plays a significant role in Japanese and Korean cuisines.

To my surprise it was hard to find buckwheat in the U.S. grocery stores when I moved to New York. Some time ago healthy eating advocates started talking more about buckwheat’s health benefits and it is nowadays an easy find in many health food stores and even in neighborhood supermarkets. Close relatives of buckwheat are quinoa and amaranth.

Fun fact: buckwheat has nothing to do with wheat (as its name may suggest), therefore it is gluten-free. It is also rich in minerals like manganese and copper, contains fiber and relatively good amount of protein if compared to other grains. Among the health benefits of buckwheat are: improved blood sugar control, better heart health and better metabolism.

3 health benefits of buckwheat:

  • gluten free
  • rich in protein
  • good for heart health

Buckwheat is a pseudo cereal, meaning it is cooked as most cereals but doesn’t grow on grass.



Another name for buckwheat – soba is a traditional Japanese dish, buckwheat noodles that are usually served cold with a variety of dipping sauces or broths. I think it is wildly underrated in the U.S. People mostly think of ramen noodles  as a Japanese specialty, but hey try soba. Not only it is a healthier version but it tastes great too.

Buckwheat Soba Noodles

Buckwheat Noodles

Soba noodles are best enjoyed cold and right away, it is not recommended to refrigerate and reheat them. Follow cooking instructions on the label precisely, avoid overcooking and rinse the noodles well with cold after cooking.

Below you will find one of my favorite vegetarian recipes – miso eggplant with soba noodles and green beans. Perfect for a meatless dinner or lunch. Savory rich and creamy miso sauce is a compliment to eggplant and a kid’s favorite. Feel free to adjust maple syrup in this recipe to achieve the desired level of sweetness. This miso marinade is also perfect for fish: salmon or black cod.

Soba Noodles with Miso-Glazed Eggplant
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Soba Noodles with Miso-Glazed Eggplant
Prep Time:
20 minutes
Cook Time:
30 minutes
Total Time:
1 hour

Soba Noodles

Yield: 4
Category: main course, appetizer, side dish
Cuisine: Japanese, Asian
  • 1 large eggplant
  • 8 oz. green beans
  • 3 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 8 oz. soba noodles
  • 3 Tbsp. white miso paste
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 2 tsp. fresh grated ginger
  • 6 oz. fresh baby spinach
  • 2 Tbsp. green onions
  • 1 Tbsp. sesame seeds
  1. Slice eggplant in 1 in. thick pieces, sprinkle with salt, arrange between paper towels and leave for 15 min to remove the excess water and bitterness.
  2. Meanwhile trim green beans and cut in 1 in. pieces and mix with 2 tsp sesame oil. Using griddle pan or wok sauté green beans on medium for 10 min. Remove from heat and set aside. Alternatively you can use microwaveable green beans and cut the cooking time. Toss them with sesame oil after cooked. The green beans should be crunchy and bright green. Be careful not to overcook.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  4. In a large bowl mix together: white miso paste, maple syrup, red wine vinegar, soy sauce, grated garlic and ginger, 3 Tbsp. sesame oil and 2 Tbsp. water. The texture should be creamy and smooth, You can use a blender or food processor to reach the right texture.
  5. Brush eggplants with 1/2 of miso sauce on both sides, add them to the baking sheets and roast for 20 minutes, turning once midway cooking.
  6. Cook soba noddles as label directs. Rinse well with cold water and drain.
  7. Remove eggplants from the oven, the should be charred and soft inside. Let them stand 5-10 minutes and cut into 1 in. bite size cubes.
  8. Toss soba noodles, green beans and eggplants with miso in bowl.
  9. Serving suggestion. Place fresh spinach leaves or any other leafy greens on plate, put noodles with eggplants and sauce on top. Sprinkle with chives and sesame seeds. Add extra sauce if the noodles seem dry.
  10. Enjoy!
Nutrition label for Soba Noodles with Miso-Glazed Eggplant
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