When I want a nutritious meal without a lot of fuss, a dish that includes soba noodles is typically my go-to-meal. Soba noodles are available year round, and a meal that includes this hearty yet delicate noodle is favored in Japan primarily during the hot summer months. I too prefer the noodles served cold, but a warm bowl of soba with a tantalizing broth can be satisfying too! Once cooked, soba noodles can be tossed with a light dressing and garnished with an endless variety of meat and vegetable toppings and is a great way to use up leftovers. I enjoy soba as a salad – served on a bed of baby lettuce which is delicate enough that it does not overwhelm the flavor or texture of the noodles. Add sliced vegetables and a light, flavorful dressing and you have a delicious meal ready in just minutes.
Soba is the Japanese name for buckwheat and is known for any thin noodle as opposed to the thicker Udon noodles.
easy soba noodles with sesame dressing
recipe for soba noodle salad and sesame dressing
8 ounces soba noodles
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
2 carrots, grated
3 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
1/2 cup reduced sodium tamari (or soy sauce)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (add more or less to taste)
Cook noodles according to package directions. Test by eating a strand – the noodle should be cooked through, not al dente but firm. I test all my noodles (pasta included) by tossing one strand against the fridge. If it sticks, it’s done. If it falls off – cook a minute or two longer then toss again. If nothing else – it adds a little fun in the kitchen…
Drain the noodles in a colander and place them back in the pot. Add cool tap water to cover the noodles and as the noodles begin to cool, swirl them with your hand to “wash” off the excess starch. Place the noodles back in the colander and continue to “rinse and swirl” under cool tap water until the noodles feel smooth and no longer gummy. Soba is very starchy and if not rinsed thoroughly, the starch if left on the noodles can give off an undesirable “flour” taste.
In a small bowl, whisk together the tamari or soy sauce, sesame oil, canola oil, rice wine vinegar and red pepper flakes. Place a small amount of soba on a salad plate, and sprinkle green onions and grated carrot on top. Pour the dressing over the noodles and garnish with the toasted sesame seeds.