I love noodles! Hot, cold, with soup, fried, with a sauce, it doesn’t matter, noodles are just so wonderful and versatile! Noodles are an Asian staple, but if you go to any Asian grocery shop there is such a variety that it can be extremely confusing. Since the weather is getting warmer….well actually since I live in Seattle, that really isn’t an honest statement. It’s still very cool and wet and it’s already mid-July! When is it going to get hot??? For someone who loves the heat, this cool summer is rather depressing.
But onto a happier topic: Noodles. With hopes that the warm weather is soon to come, here is a dish that can be refreshing on a hot summer day. Cold Soba noodles. Soba noodles are made from buckwheat flour. Grey brown in color, compared to a white noodle, they have a distinctive taste and are quite firm in texture. As we all are becoming more health conscious, soba is a good alternative for those wishing to include more wholesome grains in their diet.
Soba is a Japanese staple. So much so that there are noodle shops that special in just soba. These are called “sobaya“. These specialty shops are usually run by owner chefs who hand roll their noodles, so they are not only very fresh but flavorful. Their menus consist of just bowls of noodles that are either served hot or cold with a topping or side dish. And just like spaghetti, they cook it al dente as over-cooking soba will make them mushy. Since we don’t have the luxury of finding fresh soba noodles very often, most of us can easily find the dried version in most Asian groceries. So here is a healthy cold soba dish that will make a nice lunch.
Cold Soba Noodle Salad
Soba noodle – boil according to package instructions.
Topping: anything will do and it’s a good way to use up your veges in the refrigerator! Here are some suggestions – thinly sliced cucumbers, luncheon meat, eggs, cherry tomatoes, celery, fish cake
- 1/4 cup canola oil,
- 1/4 cup soy sauce,
- 1/2 cup sushi vinegar,
- juice of one lime,
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon chili oil
Boil the noodles according to the package instructions. Then, this is the key point: Drain and wash noodles under cold water. Run the water generously and wash the noodles with both hands vigorously for about 2 minutes. Place washed noodles on a plate and add your favorite toppings and enjoy the noodles with a generous amount of dressing. When the weather is hot, and you don’t have much of an appetite this goes down very easily. Hope you give it a try this summer!