Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Soba Noodle Salad

Summer weather has been slowly settling in-- I've started wearing sunglasses everyday and no longer have to put on a jacket when going out at night. Some days, cooking hot food in a stuffy kitchen is the last thing I feel like doing... plopping on the couch in t-shirt and shorts with a pint of ice cream (Haagen-Dazs dulce de leche please) seems ever so tempting. But, according to the wise words of my mother when I was five, ice cream is not a proper meal. So instead, I've been making a cool bowl of soba noodle salad as a simple, tasty summer meal. Salty with a citrus tang, a touch of sweetness, fragrant sesame oil, crisp fresh vegetables, and juicy shrimp makes for a refreshing reprieve from the summer heat (and I do believe my mother would approve).

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes


  • 6-8 ounces soba noodles 
  • 2 teaspoon dashi
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoon rice vinegar 
  • 3 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup ponzu soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 3 green onions
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 pound uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined 

1. Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan and stir in the dashi. Add the soba noodles and cook for about 6 minutes stirring occasionally. Drain the noodles, rinse under cold water, and set aside.
2. Bring water to a boil in a separate pot and salt generously. Add shrimp to the boiling water, remove from heat and stir. Leave the pot covered until all the shrimp have change color and are just cooked through. Drain, remove cooked shrimp and set aside to cool.
3. Wash the bell pepper, cucumber, and green onion. Peel the cucumber and slice thinly into 2 inch long strips. Remove the core and seeds from the bell pepper and slice thinly into 2 inch long strips. Finely chop the green onion and set aside.
4. For the dressing, whisk together the ponzu soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, lemon juice, and honey. Stir in the chicken stock and taste to check for seasoning. Add vinegar for more tang, ponzu if you like it saltier, or honey it you like it sweeter.
5. In a large bowl, toss together the bell pepper, cucumber, half of the green onion, shrimp, and soba noodles. Pour the dressing on top and toss several times to evenly coat. Garnish with a sprinkling of remaining green onions on top.
6. Serve at room temperature or after chilling in the fridge.

Of course, following up this summery dish with plopping on the couch with a pint of ice cream is not such a bad idea either... Enjoy!

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