Pork, Shiitake and Egg Buckwheat Soba Noodle Soup

Apparently I have a bit of a culinary cultural problem going on when I make my rounds to buy fresh vegetables in my local market. Specifically the offensive vegetables in question are the scallion and spring onion type. I buy these with Asian cooking in mind.

The same thing always happens. The person at the market has the scallions or spring onions in one hand, and a huge knife in the other hand. I’d be happily checking out some other fruits and vegetables when they casually say: I’ll throw away the green parts for you.

I turn around and yell: No!

They look bewildered. Why on earth not?

The “green parts” are not used in Spanish cooking so I guess they can’t imagine why anybody would want the green parts.

It’s to cook Asian food.

With that announcement, they frown. Suddenly they look at me with distrust.As if, why would anybody want to cook Asian food? As if I would eat their dog (something some Spanish people like to think). The hand with the big knife goes back high in the air. Sorry, I say. I really want the green parts, ok?



Pork, Shiitake and Egg Buckwheat Soba Noodle Soup Recipe

Lately I’ve been obsessed with a number of culinary things:

1) Bowl food. Individually served in big bowls. One bowl serving is enough per person per meal.

2) Noodle soups. With buckwheat soba noodles just to be more precise

3) Sriracha sauce. Not pictured in this post. But pictured here. And you can bet I added Sriracha sauce to these noodles straight after this express photoshoot.

This soup is representative of more or less what 50% of my meals have looked like during the past few weeks. The thing is to make broth in a big pot with any meat, or even no meat and vegetables. Nearly any vegetable goes though my big tip is to make sure it gets plenty of crushed garlic, scallions and ginger to ensure an Asian taste. Keep the green bits to throw on top for decoration. Of course. The amount of broth I make is usually enough for 2 or 3 days servings. Just serve with some noodles or boil rice in it to make a congee style soup. Maybe throw in an egg or boiled egg, and you’re done. So easy.

Also, I’m a fragile little thing in winter and I’ve had trouble shaking off a flu recently. These soups have saved me. They instantly make me feel better for the rest of the day.


750gr pork ribs, 5 dried shiitake mushrooms*, 4 cloves garlic, 2cm piece ginger, 3 scallions, 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil, buckwheat soba noodles, eggs, salt, white pepper, water

*Fresh shiitake mushrooms may be used instead

Heat the sesame oil in a big pot. Add the pork ribs, cut into thick chunks. I admit my butcher does the cutting for me. Cook on medium heat to seal in some of the flavour.

Meanwhile peel and chop the garlic, ginger and scallions. Save the green parts of the scallion, cutting them into small green bits, for decoration later on. Add them into the pot along with plenty of water (about 3/4 of the pot). Add salt and white pepper. Bring to boil. Then let it simmer, for about forever. The longer the better. In other words, if you can let it simmer for 2-4 hours, great. If not, just boil on medium – high heat for about 3o minutes.

Soak the shiitake mushrooms in warm water for at least half an hour. The remove from the water, dry them with a paper towel, cut them into slices and add them to the soup.

When you’re ready to eat it, boil some water in a smaller pot. Add the noodles. Cook for a few minutes. Drain the noodles.

Add some eggs to the broth.

Arrange the noodles in a bowl. Add the soup on top. Add the green bits on top.

Serve with some soya sauce and Sriracha sauce.

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  1. Dorcas 2016-03-11 at 02:04

    That is so interesting about the tossing away/keeping the green parts of the onion! Is it hard to find Asian ingredients there? Bowl foods are awesome! And traditionally very Asian of course. Speaking of bowls though, you might like Sprouted Kitchen’s book Bowl and Spoon. It’s all bowl recipes plus she has a homemade sriracha sauce recipe in there if you’re so inclined. But first things first! Take care! Keep eating your soups and broths and feel better soon! Cheers!

    1. Sofia 2016-03-16 at 22:46

      Yes, for most Asian ingredients I need to go to special Asian stores, but there aren’t any in my neighbourhood so I don’t cross the city just to get a bunch of scallions or spring onions, which even those are hard to find around in my neighbourhood! I’m going to hunt down that recipe and her book, thanks for telling me! Thanks for your words, I hope you’re well! x

  2. Darya 2016-03-11 at 07:46

    Wonderful recipe, Sofia, the many flavors and poached egg on top… perfect comfort soup. You made me laugh with your onion greens… my butcher once asked what I was going to make with the beef he was selling me, when I answered marinate and stir fry I could tell he almost wanted his meat back… I wasn’t worthy of it. My vegetable seller always cuts off the leek greens for me… it drives me crazy! But he is getting used to my requests not to… and doesn’t ask questions!

    1. Sofia 2016-03-16 at 22:48

      Haha I can imagine because thats the same with my butchers face when I say I’m going to make a curry or stir fry with oyster sauce (that flips him!) or soya sauce. Once I asked him to mince the chicken because I was going to mix it with tofu and make burgers… oh his flabbergasted face 😀 I bet your butcher pull off the same looks.

  3. Lily @ChloeAsh 2016-03-11 at 11:06

    LOL at Chinese and dog meat. We read about it as well, and it’s literally jaw dropping what Chinese eat (and I’m Chinese by heritage!). I’m hoping it’s just the select few, because China is a big place after all. It’s vomit inducing reading about them eating monkey brains as well. I’m glad it’s illegal here!

    1. Sofia 2016-03-16 at 22:49

      Yeah somehow I cannot imagine you eating anything like that, lol! Oh yeah the monkey brain this is terrible…

  4. Mabel Kwong 2016-03-11 at 14:42

    I’ve never had soba noodles with hot soup. Always had them cold, and your recipe has made me want to give them another chance 😀 Hope most of the flu has been gone by now. It sounds nasty. Poor you.

    These days I am also a big fan of bowl food. My dinners usually consist of boiling veggies and putting them in a post with some of boiled water, and then boiled, drained noodles in another bowl 😀

    And yes, I like to get those green stems when buying spring onions. They are excellent for garnishing!

  5. elizabeth 2016-03-11 at 15:00

    That is fascinating about the tossing away the green parts–does the cashier do that by rule? I couldn’t imagine someone doing that here in the US, but at Eataly they do have a “vegetable butcher” who will prep your vegetables for you. Most of the time, though, the prepped stuff comes in plastic clamshell containers.

    Everything is better with an egg on it, and this is making me want to try soba noodles! I bet these would be divine with pickled shiitakes too.

  6. Mitzie Mee 2016-03-11 at 17:33

    Could we please have Asian food without the frowns? I’ve never experienced anyone in Denmark offering me to cut away the green parts of the scallions, but that’s probably because people in Denmark usually buy scallions to cook Asian food (with leek, it’s a different case). Regarding the dog thing, it’s sad how some people are so prejudiced. Your soup looks delicious, and they don’t know what they’re missing:)

  7. Patty Nguyen 2016-03-15 at 00:55

    Yes, save all the green bits!! Yum! Your soup looks delicious and I’m glad youre finally feeling better!

  8. Guillermina Bósquez Stover 2016-03-16 at 19:26

    First, I must say that I hope you are doing lots better, health-wise. And THANK YOU THANK YOU for this recipe. I LOVE Chinese noodles/rice bowls…!

    And second, I understand about butchers and their consternation with us “OTHER” type of people. The type of people that eat other types of food they’re ignorant of. Sigh…

    But it’s up to US OTHER type of people to educate everyone else…

    1. Sofia 2016-03-16 at 22:43

      As always happens in these dates I’ve traded flu with hay fever! However it’s been raining all day, which has washed the pollen from the air and so I’m feeling great!
      US OTHER type, yep, that’s us! 🙂

  9. Guillermina Bósquez Stover 2016-03-16 at 19:55

    In your recipe, you don’t talk about the shiitake mushrooms nor when to add to the pot…

    I know, I know, you got excited and hungry & forgot!!! LOL!

    1. Sofia 2016-03-16 at 21:40

      Hahaha ok thanks for pointing it out, I wrote it while dozing off to sleep at night but I’ll edit it later!

  10. Guillermina Bósquez Stover 2016-03-18 at 16:11

    You are such a doll, Sofia! Thanks for updating the recipe…I’ll try it next week or so.

    Today we are eating lunch at a favorite restaurant in Ciudad Acuña, across the border—a Lenten lunch, yes! It’s so much easier for me, because my 2 guys aren’t as ENTHUSIASTIC about Lenten food as I am.

    It’s comfort food for me. My mother would prepare it for us every Lenten season. And she was only with ME for 18 years, so I CHERISH those memories…

    1. Sofia 2016-03-18 at 16:15

      Really, you’ll try this? Instead of pork you can do it with chicken or beef. Actually its fantastic with beef!
      You’re going across the border to Mexico? I’m going to look up this Lenten lunch. I’m sure I’d enjoy it with you 🙂

  11. Lan | MoreStomach 2016-03-24 at 14:40

    i just IM’d my dear friend Nuria and demanded: do spanish people really not eat the green parts of scallions? what up with that dude?

    all that aside, i will say that in reading your archives that i love that there’s an emerging asian presence in Barcelona. when i visited spain with her some years ago we did try the lone thai restaurant there and it was… different.

    funny story: when nuria first moved to the States and we first met i mentioned to her that i really liked duck and she, in her inexperience with the english language, misunderstood me and thought i said DOG. she was so offended and may have cried. i had to make duck sounds to get her to understand what i was saying.

    1. Sofia 2016-03-24 at 23:29

      Did she say she eats the green parts? 🙂 Do you remember which was the lone Thai restaurant? I find most Asian restaurants here still too “Spanishy” and “shiny”so I prefer to cook it myself (sounds very up with myself, I know). Haha that’s funny confusing duck with dog. Have a great weekend Lan!


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