This soba noodles recipe with shrimp and mushrooms is a light and healthy meal that tastes far more complex than it is and is ready in just about 30 minutes.
Like the best Asian recipes, this meal-in-a-bowl turns simple ingredients into a full-bodied flavor explosion. Served hot or cold, this dish sings with sweet-tasting shrimp thanks to a quick brine of salt and sugar, with just the right amount of savory belly-filling soba noodles laced with bright citrus notes. Soba noodles are made of buckwheat, making them gluten-free with a nutty, earthy bite that cooks quickly and easily absorbs flavor—in this case the limey ponzu dressing. While my sesame soba noodles are a favorite side dish around here, it’s these soba noodles with shrimp I find myself making for the main meal time and time again.
What’s In Soba Noodles With Shrimp
- Shrimp — Choose a good quality frozen medium shrimp. I peel the shells but leave the tails on.
- Kosher salt
- Soba noodles — sold in packaged bundles, soba buckwheat noodles are found in the Asian aisle of most grocery stores
- Ponzu sauce — ponzu citrus-flavored with lemon and/or lime and lighter and less salty than soy sauce
- Sesame oil — make sure your sesame oil for the best flavor
- Canola oil or grapeseed oil — These flavorless oils have a higher smoke point for stir-frying
- Fresh ginger
- Mushrooms — I use shiitake mushrooms but brown mushrooms work well too
- Green onion
- Jalapeño — I use red jalapeño for color but green will work
How to Make Soba Noodles With Shrimp
Quick-marinate the shrimp with sugar and salt. Rinse the shelled shrimp in water then place in a bowl and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon sugar and kosher salt. Doing so adds flavor and sweetness and also helps the shrimp brown and caramelize as it quickly cooks.
Prepare the sauce. Ponzu is the less salty cousin to soy sauce and is infused with citrus, usually orange or lemon. Mixed with the ponzu with sugar for sweetness, sesame oil for depth, and lime juice for tang, the sauce’s simplicity gently envelops each toothy noodley strand. Set it aside to dress the noodles as you would a salad in the last step of this dish.
How to Cook the Soba Noodles
Cook the soba noodles for only 4-5 minutes or just until tender. Because these noodles are gluten-free, they will break and fall apart if overcooked. Stir the noodles occasionally so they don’t clump.
Cook the Aromatics
Fry the shallot topping. In hot oil, cook the thin slices of shallot until crispy then set aside to use as a topping.
Cook the shrimp in the same skillet. Overcooked shrimp will be rubbery, where cooking shrimp quickly keeps them sweet and supple. In batches, cook them on one side for 3-4 minutes or until the cooked side becomes golden and the middle opaque, then flip and cook the other side for just one minute more before transferring to a plate. The shrimp will continue to cook as they rest.
Lastly, cook the garlic, ginger, and mushrooms. Stir fry the garlic and ginger until fragrant then add the mushrooms and cook just until softened.
Combine It All Together
Add the noodles to the mushroom mixture, toss with the ponzu sauce, and top with the shrimp. Use chopsticks or tongs to gently fold the ingredients with the sauce so the noodles don’t break apart.
Garnish with crispy shallots, green onion, cilantro, and jalapeño. Adding these elements to the top and then digging in with chopsticks organically combines all of the ingredients together.
More Asian Noodle Recipes to Try
- Ramen Noodles with Marinated Steak and Broccoli
- Soba Noodles With Sriracha Meatballs
- Sesame Soba Noodles
- Peanut Noodles With Chicken
- Broccoli and Shiitake Mushrooms With or Without Soba Noodles
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Soba Noodles with Shrimp and Mushrooms
- 1 pound medium shrimp , peeled and deveined
- 1 ½ teaspoons sugar , divided
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup ponzu sauce
- 1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
- the juice of one lime
- 9 ounces package of soba noodles
- 3 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil , divided
- 1 shallot , thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic , pressed or minced
- 1 tablespoon ginger , minced
- 3 ounces mushrooms , thickly sliced
- ½ jalapeno , thinly sliced
- ¼ cup green onion , chopped for garnish
- ¼ cup cliantro , chopped
- Place the shrimp in a bowl and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon sugar and ½ teaspoon kosher salt then set aside for 10 minutes or so. This helps brown and caramelize the shrimp when cooked.
- In a small bowl, combine the ponzu, sesame oil, the rest of the sugar, and lime mix. Whisk until the sugar dissolves and set aside.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the soba noodles and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the noodles are tender. Drain in a colander and set aside.
- While the water heats, add 1 tablespoon of oil to a non-stick skillet on medium-high heat until the oil slithers about the pan. Add the shallots and cook for 3-4 minutes or until browned and crispy then remove from the oil and set aside. In the same skillet, add another tablespoon of oil over medium-high. Cook the shrimp on one side for 3 minutes or until golden and becoming opaque, then flip the shrimp. Cook on this side for 1 minute then move to a plate where the carry-over heat will finish cooking the tender shrimp. Finish cooking the rest of the shrimp.
- Add the last tablespoon of oil to the skillet then add the garlic and ginger. Cook until fragrant, stirring for 1-2 minutes, then add the mushrooms and cook until tender, for 3-4 minutes. Add the noodles to the mushroom mixture in the skillet. Toss with the reserved ponzu dressing and top with the shrimp. Sprinkle with the crispy shallots, jalapeño, cilantro, and green onion with more lime if you like.
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