Soba Noodle Salad Recipe

Soba Noodle Salad Recipe Recipe

If you follow me on FacebookPinterestTwitter or Instagram, you've probably seen how huge the plants in our garden are. Thanks to the recent sunny, warm weather we’ve experienced, they have really taken off.

To celebrate our first crop of Persian cucumbers, I prepared a chilled noodle salad. I used soba noodles, a variety of fresh vegetables, flavorful peanut sauce, fresh mint (again from our prolific garden) and dill. Soba noodles are Japanese-style buckwheat. If you can’t find them, you could use whole wheat angel hair pasta for a similar texture.

I prepared everything in advance in the morning and assembled the salad later at the last minute. That's what I call healthy, fast food!

If you live in the Bay Area, don't forget to pencil in this Saturday (May 25th) for my cooking demo and cookbook signing for Haute Potato at Los Altos Library. Hope to see everyone there.

Ingredients

Yields: 6 servings

1 (8.5-ounce) package buckwheat noodles
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups cauliflower florets
juice of 3 limes
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
¾ cup peanut oil, as needed
2 teaspoons white miso paste
1½ tablespoons honey
¼ cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup broccoli florets, separated
1 Serrano pepper, stemmed and finely chopped
2 tomatoes, finely chopped
2 tablespoons white onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
1½ cups shiitake mushrooms, sliced
½ cup beech mushrooms, separated and halved crosswise
2 Persian cucumbers, stemmed and diced
3 cups lettuce, shredded
1 tablespoon black sesame oil
3 tablespoons sesame honey cashews (optional), coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
3 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, chopped


Directions

Soaking the cauliflower:

Note: Make sure to cut the cauliflowers into florets, remove and discard the green leaves and the stem.

Place the florets in a bowl, cover them with water and add 1 tablespoon lime juice. Stir well. Soak (see tips) for 5 minutes, then drain.

Boiling cauliflower and broccoli:

Fill a pot with cold salted water and bring to a boil. Add the cauliflower, bring back to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for about 5 minutes, add the broccoli and continue cooking for 5 minutes. They should be fork-tender (not mushy). Drain the water. Cover with ice cubes. Allow to cool to room temperature.

For the tomato relish:

In a bowl, combine the tomatoes, green chile and onions. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon lime juice and 1 teaspoon sugar. Toss well. 

Making peanut sauce:

In a blender, combine the peanut butter, ginger, rice vinegar, miso paste, juice of 2 limes and ½ cup canola oil. Blend until well emulsified. thin the sauce with 2-3 tablespoons water. 

Cooking soba noodles:

Fill a large pot with water. Bring to a boil. Place the noodles in the boiling water, return the water to a boil then lower the heat to medium-low. Salt the water half way through the cooking process (it will bring out the natural flavor of the noodles and they will be softer) and keep stirring every now and then so the noodles don't stick to the bottom.  Cook for about 4-5 minutes. When the noodles are cooked (but still al dente), drain and drizzle about 1 tablespoon of peanut oil, then with half the amount of peanut sauce. Separate the noodles, by creating little nests (so it doesn't get too tangled and the noodles aren't stuck to each other). Set aside and let cool to room temperature, then chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Assembly time:

In a small pan, heat the remaining oil. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add shiitake mushrooms, cook until shiny. Add the beech mushrooms and 1 tablespoon dill. Season with salt. 

Place the chilled noodle salad with dill and mint in a large bowl. Pour the remaining peanut sauce over the noodles. Add the pickled broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, cucumbers and tomato relish. Toss well. Drizzle of sesame oil. Add the shredded lettuce at the last minute.

Garnish with sesame honey nuts.

Bon appétit!


Tips

The addition of the sesame oil at the end is the perfect finishing touch to the noodles.

Soak the cauliflower in the "vinegary" liquid to prevent oxidation (turning brown) of the vegetable.

You can find sesame honey cashews at Trader Joe's.

For a non-veg version, you could add boiled, shelled shrimp to the noodle salad.

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on May 20, 2013.


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