So there’s salads, and then there’s salad dressings, and then there’s this exact salad with this exact salad dressing.
Cold soba noodles got together with crunchy vegetables and baked tofu, and dressed themselves in tricked up peanut butter.
This is what goes in:
But if you’re like “Hold the tofu!”, you can use other things:
- steamed tempeh
- shredded nappa cabbage
- sautéed shiitake mushrooms
- bean sprouts
- udon noodles
The noodles are a total breeze to deal with.
Cooked in about 5–6 minutes. Then drain, rinse and add to the bowl.
Frankly though, this salad is about the irresistible dressing, which I kind of want to eat on its own.
And I do. Hey, sticky index finger!
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.
Bottom line: Go drop the $ 5.85 for the Chinese five spice, no excuses!
And if you want more salad recipes, take a look at these:
How do you feel about peanut butter in general? Love it or hate it?
Tell me in the comments.Print
- For the salad:
- 120 grams dried soba noodles (1 bundle noodles)
- 1 red pepper, destemmed, seeded, cut into matchsticks
- 1 medium Persian cucumber, trimmed, cut into matchsticks
- 1 small carrot, trimmed, peeled, cut into matchsticks
- 1 cup baked tofu, cut into ½-inch pieces
- ¼ cup Italian parsley, leaves only, chopped
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- Handful of peanuts
- For the Peanut Butter Dressing:
- ¼ cup creamy peanut butter
- 3 tablespoons water
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled, minced
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce (tamari or nama shoyu)
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil (regular or toasted)
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
- ¼ teaspoon dried ginger
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon Chinese five spice
- 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.
- Divide the noodles, peppers, cucumber, carrot and tofu in half and arrange next to each other in a circle on a serving plate.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients until creamy. Add an additional tablespoon of water if the dressing is too thick. Add salt to taste.
- Sprinkle the salad with the parsley, sesame seeds and peanuts, and drizzle with the dressing to taste.
- The dressing will last for up to 7 days in the fridge.
- You can boil the noodles ahead and store them in the fridge. They will get sticky, so place them in a bowl with cold water, stir around with your fingers to separate them, and drain.
- The recipe doubles easily.