Saturday, April 05, 2008

Soba Noodle Salad

Whenever I'm looking to make a light dinner, I think of soba noodles. They are lighter then their Italian cousin (the hearty pasta) and quicker to prepare. Simmering in boiling water for 3-4 minutes is all they need. This salad is great chilled, so it's a good dish to make ahead of time or to enjoy what's left for lunch the next day.

Soba Noodle Salad with Mushrooms
adapted from Celia Brooks Brown's World Vegetarian Classics

7 oz soba noodles
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 cups mushrooms, chopped (any kind, I used button)
medium firm tofu
2 tablespoon sunflower or grape seed oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 fresh red chili, seeded and diced
4 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 cup green beans, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces

Bring a medium pot of water to boil. Add the noodles, return to boil and simmer for 3-4 minutes, or until tender. Drain and run cold water over them until cool. Drain, pour into a bowl and drizzle with the sesame oil and soy sauce. Set aside.

Cut the tofu into one inch cubes. Gently toss with sesame oil, salt and pepper and bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Stir the tofu, flipping over and bake for another 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat a frying pan over a high heat, add oil. Once hot, add mushrooms and stir-fry until tender and golden. Add salt, garlic and red chili and stir fry for 30 seconds longer.

Place the sesame seeds in a dry frying pan and toast over a medium heat until toasted and fragrant. Cook the green beans in a pot of boiling water or steam until just tender and bright green, 2 minutes.

When all the ingredients are ready, mix together sprinkling the sesame seeds on top. Add additional sesame oil and soy to taste.

Using soba noodles are very versatile, you could use asparagus, spinach, cucumber, scallions. Just try looking in your fridge for what you have on hand. For other ideas, check out 101 Cookbooks recipe for lazy day peanut noodle salad or check my recipe for soba, avocado and cashew salad or quick noodle salad with tofu and vegetables.

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