Soba noodles with mango and coconut cream

Man, I’m tired. Blogging alongside a full-time job — I did it for years. Blogging with a small baby — yeah, managed that too. But blogging with a small baby after returning to work part-time — not so much. It’s not that I’m creating wonderfully creative things and not writing about them, I just haven’t been making that much of interest at all. Lasagnas. Salads. When I’m even cooking.

It took the return of limes to get me out of my cooking funk. We’d been planning to do our shook shopping yesterday, but to be honest I started to regret leaving the house the minute I stepped out the door. Man, it’s hot and humid. It’s not just me — I heard that last month was the hottest July on record (that actually referred to the U.S., not Israel, but still). But I dragged myself out there anyway, and what would have been a perfectly standard shopping trip got a little more exciting when I noticed that the little green gems were back in season.

Now, we don’t take limes for granted over here. Up until a few years ago, you couldn’t even get them, so they’re still a novelty when they come into season in mid-summer.

To be honest, the shook in mid-summer is a pretty great place if you can get over the heat. The fruit is simply wonderful — tropical delights such as mangoes and litchis, plus refreshing grapes, massive juicy watermelons and a surplus of peaches and nectarines. And bright green beans, all sorts of squashes, fat eggplants, cucumbers and tomatoes — it would all be quite inspiring if it weren’t too hot to cook.

But limes, they really are inspiring. After kiddo fell asleep, I tossed together some of the beautiful produce that followed me home — crunchy refreshing bean sprouts, fat radishes (Israeli radishes are huge), juicy maya mangoes, and, of course limes. I mixed it up with some soba noodles and tofu to add substance. If the entire so-called “Asian” shelf at a western supermarket were to collapse into your bowl, this is what you might get.

And presto — we had a cool summer dinner.

OK, who am I kidding? There was nothing presto about it. We sat down at close to midnight. Least of all because I insisted on photographing the dish even though my camera battery was half dead. And yet. That just made it taste better.

For 2-4 servings (depending how much you eat):

  • 300 grams soba (buckwheat) noodles (1 package)
  • 1 cup tofu, diced
  • 2 big handfuls mung bean sprouts (about 2-3 cups)
  • 1 mango, diced (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 cup grated radish
  • juice of 2 limes (about 1/4 cup, if not a bit more)
  • 1 cup coconut cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Optional toppings: Chopped fresh cilantro and/or chopped peanuts

Prep time: 10 minutes. Cook time: 5 minutes.

Cook the soba according to the package instructions, and rinse to cool. Toss with the rest of the ingredients. If you want to make it look nice, layer the noodles in the bottom of the bowl mixed with the coconut, lime and salt, and then top with the tofu, bean sprouts, radish and mango.

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