Cold soba salad is loaded with veggies and a special asian dressing!
Are you a pantry hoarder? I think I may be. I’m not a hoarder in any other sense but this one. Normally, I think that if something hasn’t been used recently, you won’t miss it if it gets tossed out. Not so with my pantry.
I was recently rooting around in the depths, looking for inspiration when I came up with a package of udon noodles. I think I bought them in an asian market back in March. And they’ve sat in my pantry, patiently waiting ever since.
I do that. I go to specialty markets, or fine food stores and pick up fun, interesting or luxe ingredients, bring them home, put them away — and FORGET ABOUT THEM! Six months later, I’ll hunt for a jar of canned beans and come across that decadent fig-balsamic or whole grain specialty French mustard and start feeling guilty for having bought them and not used them yet. This is usually the point where I am pushed to action. Like now with the udon noodles.
To be honest, I’ve never used udon noodles at home. I had in mind a cool salad with lots of crisp veggies and some type of asian-inspired dressing. It’s 90° outside as I write this, so you can understand my need for something chilled, right?
This was such an easy dish to make, I’m honestly kicking myself for waiting this long to do it. I can think of so many other combinations that I’m just itching to try. Adding crab or shrimp. Maybe a peanut dressing. Some red or green cabbage — or both. Broccoli – yes. Cucumber – you bet. Kale – why not?
The best part for my small household was that leftovers were as good, if not better the next day for lunch. Easy-peasy!
soba noodle salad
for asian vinaigrette
- 1/2 teaspoon lime zest freshly grated
- 5 tablespoons fresh lime juice from 2-3 limes
- 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce
- 2 teaspoons asian sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon sriracha pepper sauce
- 6 ounces soba noodles
- 1 carrot peeled and sliced into long, thin noodles*
- 1 cucumber peeled and sliced into long, thin noodles*
- 1/2 cup julienned radishes
- 1/2 red bell pepper seeded, very thinly sliced
- 3/4 cup snap peas thinly sliced on a bias**
- 2 scallions white and pale green parts, thinly sliced on a bias**
- 1/4 cup mint leaves chopped
- 1/2 cup cilantro chopped
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
In a small bowl combine lime zest, lime juice, brown sugar, fish sauce, sesame oil, ginger, soy sauce, sriracha. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add noodles and boil 4 minutes -- or according to package instructions. Rinse with cold water. Drain. Rinse again with cold water and drain. Set aside.
Heat a small dry skillet over medium heat. Add sesame seeds and cook stirring constantly, until they begin to get toasty and brown. Remove from heat to cool.
In a large bowl combine carrots, cucumber, radishes, bell pepper, snap peas and scallions. Add vinaigrette and mix to combine. Add noodles, mint and cilantro. Toss to combine. Finish with a sprinkle of sesame seeds
Recipe Notes* there are several methods to make vegetable "noodles". If you have a spiralizer -- use it. A mandoline works well as well as a peeler with thin vertical blades built into the head. You can also use a very sharp knife, but it will be a more tedious process. In that case, just slice the vegetables as thin as possible crosswise.
**to slice on a bias, simply rotate your knife to a 45 degree angle and cut vegetables in thin strips.