Somen Noodles Recipe Linked to Longevity

WWhat do you think of when you imagine a nutrient-rich meal that could add years to your life? A big creamy salad? A Mediterranean-inspired fish dish? Hummus stew? All great options sure, but a meal that supports longevity can also come in the form of a big bowl of pasta, an absolute comfort food.

It’s something, longevity expert Dan Buettner, who discovered the Five Blue Zones (the places where people regularly live over 100 in good health), saw them for himself in Okinawa, Japan. In this specific blue zone, chubby noodles are especially popular. “Fumees are thin, white wheat noodles that people eat with dipping sauce in other parts of Japan. In Okinawa, it’s common to stir them or add them to soups,” Buettner says. Here in the United States, you can find noodles in most grocery stores as well as in Asian specialty markets.

In his new book, Blue Zones ChallengeBuettner shares a pasta recipe that only takes a few minutes and five ingredients to prepare. Although you don’t need much to prepare this dish, every ingredient listed is associated with longevity. The lead, according to Buettner? tofu; “Okoinwans eat eight times more tofu than Americans. Coincidence? I doubt it,” he says. to his point, according to a study published in Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Regular consumption of soy (including tofu) is associated with a lower risk of death from certain types of cancer as well as cardiovascular disease. This is especially important given that cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in the United States

“The beauty of tofu is that not only does it provide complete protein, but more importantly, it can absorb almost any flavor,” Buettner says. While many people in Okinawa have mastered the art of cooking tofu, Bitner says that many people in the United States don’t know how to properly cook or season tofu. “Perhaps the simple secret to longevity is learning how to properly make tofu in order to bring out its most delicious flavor,” Buettner says. You can start with this three-minute Okinawa Noodles recipe.

Tofu is sautéed in sesame oil for three to four minutes per side. This allows the tofu to absorb the rich, umami, earthy, and nutty flavor of the sesame oil. Then cook the beef noodles for two to three minutes. These two essential ingredients are combined with chopped chives (which makes the iron in tofu better absorbed into the body) with a little soy sauce.

This recipe is proof that cooking with longevity in mind doesn’t have to be complicated, time consuming or expensive. It can also be delicious and comforting. Get the full recipe below, excerpted from Buettner’s book.

Three-Minute Okinawa Noodles Recipe

Makes 4 servings

1 pound fat noodles
2 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
8 oz. Firm tofu, drained and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup chopped chives (or green onions)
Soy sauce to taste

1. Cook the noodles according to package instructions, for two to three minutes.

2. Drain the noodles and mix them with 1 tablespoon of sesame oil so they don’t stick together.

3. In a large skillet, heat remaining tablespoon of sesame oil over medium heat, add tofu and cook until browned, three to four minutes per side.

4. Add the chives and fat noodles to the pan and mix well.

5. Season to taste with a pinch or two of soy sauce.

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