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Soba Noodle Salad With Peanut Butter Dressing

  • 1/5
    Soba Noodle Salad With Peanut Butter Dressing
  • 2/5
    Soba noodles. One bundle is about 120 grams and serves approximately two.
  • 3/5
    Cooked, drained and rinsed soba noodles.
  • 4/5
    Peanut butter dressing ingredients.
  • 5/5
    Salad components clockwise from top left: tofu, carrots, cilantro, peanuts, red pepper and cucumbers

Text, photos and food cooked by Michal Martinek

Feb 18, 2016

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Soba Noodle Salad With Peanut Butter Dressing

Frankly, this salad is about the irresistible dressing, which I kind of want to eat on its own. I played with creamy peanut butter, Asian spices, and a bunch of other ingredients, and I kept calibrating until I had a perfectly balanced mixture of salty, sweet and spicy.

It might seem silly to buy Chinese five spice—typically a blend of equal parts ground anise, star anise, cloves, ginger, and cinnamon—if you’re going to use only a quarter of a teaspoon, but it adds a warm, pungent taste to the dressing. (Besides, it’s great in other recipes; I like to add some to the batter when frying chicken or sprinkle it on steamed salmon.)

This recipe is flexible, so feel free to use other salad components: tempeh, shredded nappa cabbage, shiitake mushrooms, and bean sprouts come to mind. 

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  1. Serves 2
  2. 120 grams dried soba noodles (1 bundle noodles)
  3. 1 red pepper, destemmed, seeded, cut into matchsticks
  4. 1 medium Persian cucumber, trimmed, cut into matchsticks
  5. 1 small carrot, trimmed, peeled, cut into matchsticks
  6. 1 cup baked tofu, cut into ½-inch pieces
  7. ¼ cup Italian parsley, leaves only, chopped
  8. 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  9. Handful of peanuts
  10. Peanut Butter Dressing
  11. ¼ cup creamy peanut butter
  12. 3 tablespoons water
  13. 2 garlic cloves, peeled, minced
  14. 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  15. 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  16. 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  17. 1 tablespoon agave syrup
  18. ½ teaspoon salt
  19. ¼ teaspoon dried ginger
  20. ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  21. ¼ teaspoon Chinese five spice

1

Pour 6 cups of water into a medium pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the soba noodles, stir, and lower the heat to medium. Cook until al dente, about 6 minutes. Drain the noodles in a sieve and rinse under cold running water.

2

Divide the noodles, peppers, cucumber, carrot and tofu in half and arrange next to each other in a circle on a serving plate.

3

In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients until creamy. Add an additional tablespoon of water if the dressing is too thick.

4

Sprinkle the salad with the parsley, sesame seeds and peanuts, and drizzle with the dressing to taste.

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