Staying true to hon tsai tai’s roots with soba and soy

Alex Lira uses hon tsai tai in a peanut-marinated flank steak.

This recipe is adapted from a recipe created by Wisconsin’s Harmony Valley Farm for its CSA customers. Locally, Alex Lira of The Lot serves hon tsai tai in a spoonable broth.


5 tablespoons peanut oil, divided

41/2 tablespoons mirin, divided

6 tablespoons soy sauce, divided

1 lemon

11/2 pounds flank steak

8 ounces soba noodles

1 cup mushrooms, stemmed and sliced

5 carrots, peeled and sliced lengthwise

1 stalk green garlic

4 small dried chile peppers, finely chopped

1 bunch hon tsai tai

1/4 cup sesame seeds, toasted


Mix 4 tablespoons of peanut oil, 4 tablespoons of mirin, 4 tablespoons of soy sauce and the juice of one lemon in a bowl or plastic bag. Marinate steak in mixture for 1 hour. Heat 1 tablespoon of peanut oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Sear steak on both sides, then reduce heat and cooked to desired degree of doneness. Set aside to rest for 15 minutes. Slice thinly on a bias. Prepare soba noodles according to package directions, drain and set aside.

Saute mushrooms until tender. Add carrots, green garlic and chile peppers. Saute until carrots are tender.

Add 1/2 tablespoon of mirin and 2 tablespoons of soy sauce to vegetables.

Chop hon tsai tai into bite-sized pieces and add to vegetables. Cook until the greens are wilted. Add soba noodles and flank steak to pan. Stir until combined. Top with sesame seeds.