Crisp little Japanese turnips are a spring treat. You can also eat the greens, so no waste here. Combine them with radishes, which you’ll find in the market at the same time, in this brothy noodle stir-dry. Use this recipe (a variation of a recipe in my book Simple Green Suppers) as a template and sub other spring vegetables in, too. 

Susie Middleton

Serves 2

  • 2 ounces soba (buckwheat) noodles
  • Kosher salt
  • 10 to 12 fresh Japanese turnips (aka Hakurei or Tokyo turnips) with greens, rinsed
  • 8 to 10 small radishes (with greens), rinsed
  • Grapeseed or vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced scallions, plus a few for garnish
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh garlic
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (or ½ small Serrano pepper, sliced)
  • 1 tablespoon (or a bit more if you like) light (Shiro) miso
  • ¼ cup loosely packed tender cilantro sprigs, plus a few whole sprigs for garnish
  • Tamari

 

1. Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil and cook the soba noodles for about 3 minutes, or until tender. Rinse the noodles briefly with cold water and drain them well in a colander. 

2. Separate the greens from both the turnips and the radishes, and quarter the turnips and radishes or cut them into ½-inch wedges. Roughly chop a combination of turnip greens (lower stems removed) and radish greens to make 2 (loosely packed) cups.

3. In a small saucepan, heat 1 cup water to a very gentle simmer.

4. In a large nonstick stir-fry pan or other large skilet, heat 2 teaspoons oil over medium heat. Add the turnips, radishes, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring, until all the veggies have some browning, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add the scallions, ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Stir, cooking until fragrant and softened, about 1 minute. Add the chopped greens and cook, stirring, until wilted, about 30 seconds. Remove the pan from the heat.

5. Whisk the miso into the hot water and add the mixture to the stir-fry pan, along with the soba noodles, the ¼ cup cilantro, and a splash of Tamari. (If necessary, return the pan to low heat for a minute or two to heat everything through.)

6. Serve in bowls, garnished with the remaining scallions and the cilantro sprigs.