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When I visited Japan for the first time, I fell in love with soba noodles.
These are made with a combination of wheat and buckwheat flour (or sometimes buckwheat on its own, to make them a gluten-free option), and they are light brown in color.
Often eaten as “cha soba,” a special preparation made with fresh green tea leaves, they are served alongside light soy sauce as an appetizer or sometimes even as the main meal.
I thought this was delicious, and when I got home, I wanted to make something similar – but a little more interesting.
I decided to add a splash of color and a little more dimension in terms of flavor. To create a more summery dish, I threw in brightly colored vegetables, and added a bit of ginger to the vinaigrette for a more complex taste.
What I ended up with was a refreshingly bright and light dish that is just what we need during the hotter summer months. The bonus? You can make it in just 30 minutes!
Ready to make it now? I’ll show you how to cook it at home today!
Cooking by the Numbers…
Step 1 – Prepare the Ingredients
Measure out the amount of noodles, soy sauce, vinegar, and oil needed.
Set out the red bell pepper, red cabbage, cucumber, carrot, spring onions, parsley, and sesame seeds.
Slice the red bell pepper, red cabbage, and spring onions very finely. Next, julienne the cucumber and carrot as thinly as you can – a sharp chef’s knife works well for this but don’t be afraid to break out the mandoline for doubling or tripling of the recipe. Peel the ginger with a vegetable peeler and grate the ginger with a box grater or coarse microplane.
Step 2 – Cook the Soba
Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Cook the soba noodles according to the package instructions, until they are al dente.
After they are cooked, rinse them with cold tap water to stop them from cooking further.
Drain through a colander, and then drizzle with a bit of oil and toss, to prevent them from sticking together. Set them aside.
Be careful not to overcook them or they will become mushy.
Step 3 – Make the Vinaigrette
While the noodles are cooking, you can prepare the vinaigrette.
Step 4 – Combine and Garnish
Place the noodles and cut vegetables in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle the ginger soy vinaigrette over the top, and toss well.
Sprinkle with sesame seeds and then garnish with the sliced spring onions and fresh parsley leaves.
A Colorful and Refreshing Dish
During the hotter months, we tend to crave light and refreshing meals instead of heavy ones. This dish is the answer.
Have you cooked with soba noodles before? Apart from using them in a salad, how do you like eat them?
Share your cooking ideas in the comments below! We’d love to hear from you.
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Photos by Felicia Lim, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details.
*Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Felicia Lim
Felicia Lim is a Singaporean who moved to Argentina for love. Based in Buenos Aires, also known as “the Paris of South America,” she fills her days with freelance writing, recipe development, and food photography – three passions that give her endless joy. When she isn’t typing away at her computer, cooking in the kitchen, or shooting in her balcony-studio, you can probably find her curled up on the couch, lost in the pages of a good book.