Source:, August 2016


4 ounces soba (Japanese-style noodles)
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons white miso
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
¾ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
3 serrano or jalapeño chiles, 2 halved and seeds removed, 1 thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, peeled
2 scallions, white and pale-green parts only, chopped
2 cups chopped basil leaves, plus torn leaves for serving
2 cups chopped cilantro
2 cups trimmed watercress or arugula
Toasted sesame seeds (for serving)


Cook noodles in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, about 5 minutes. Drain, reserving ¼ cup soba cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, whisk miso, lime juice, and oil in a large bowl. Chop halved chiles, garlic, and a pinch of salt together on a cutting board, then use the side of chef’s knife to mash into a paste. Transfer to bowl with miso mixture and mix well. Add scallions, chopped basil, and cilantro and toss to combine; season pesto with salt.

Add soba, watercress, and sliced chile to pesto and toss, adding reserved soba cooking liquid by the teaspoonfuls as needed, until nicely coated.

Serve noodles topped with torn basil and sesame seeds.