Soba noodles are a very popular lunch food in Japan. They are usually served chilled with a dipping sauce (Zaru Soba) or hot with a dashi broth. As we mentioned in our recent Zaru Soba post, it is gaining popularity outside of Japan because of its high nutritious value. However, it is very rare to see soba served Japanese style with a dipping sauce or in a broth in the U.S. unless you are at a Japanese restaurant. Soba is most likely prepared as noodle salad here!
The first time I ever tried a soba noodle salad was from a deli counter at a gourmet super market in San Francisco. I was a bit skeptical at first, to be honest. How good could it be…?! American-style Asian noodle salad mixed with a bunch of raw vegetables. After tasting a few bites, I was surprised! Although it needed a bit more soy sauce and a lot less sesame oil, it wasn’t bad at all.
I love the combination of crunchy vegetables and soft noodles. Sesame oil (not too much, please!) and sesame seeds are the key flavor of this dish. Try cutting the vegetables as thinly as the noodles. I like adding edamame in mine, but you can throw some cooked chicken or shrimp too if you like. Need a kick? Sprinkle in some red pepper flakes, or add some wasabi, or freshly grated ginger. Now you have a perfectly healthy, delicious meal!
- 9 oz. (250g) dried Soba noodles
- 1 medium carrot
- 1 stalk celery
- 1 red bell pepper
- 3 scallions (thinly sliced)
- 1/2 cup frozen shelled edamame
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar (60ml)
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp canola oil (or vegetable oil)
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1-2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
- Boil plenty of water and cook soba noodles according to the package. Drain and immediately cool under running water. Drain well.
- Cut carrot, celery, and red bell pepper 3 inch long and cut lengthwise into thin sticks. Boil frozen shelled edamame until soft and cool under running water.
- In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients of dressing well. Toss the vegetables, sesame seeds, and noodles with the dressing.