Thursday, May 19, 2011

Recipe: Soba Noodles with Pickled Salad

Nick is always trying to get me to make Asian food, but by that, he doesn't mean the traditional Chinese vegetable dishes I dreaded growing up; he means taking the Asian flavors and spices that he likes and inventing an Asian-inspired dish that is neither Panda Express nor a plate of steamed choy sum. Here is one of the dishes I'm particularly proud of inventing because not only is it healthy but it is pretty, too. Which makes it taste even better.

| for the pickled salad |
1/4 red onion
10–15 broccoli florettes
1 cucumber
1 carrot
1 jalapeño
1 1/2 cups white vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
| for the soba |
2 bundles of soba
1 mango
1 small handful of cilantro
1/2 teaspoon plum sauce
1/2 teaspoon hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon pickling liquid
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
sesame seeds (optional)

Fill your pickling jar halfway with water and pour the water into a saucepan. Set the jar and the saucepan aside.

Cut your veggies and onion into bite-sized pieces and seed and chop your jalapeño. I very quickly blanched these ingredients by boiling some water, throwing them in for a few seconds, and then rinsing them with cold water. You don't have to do this, but I prefer mine slightly less crunchy than the average pickle. When your veggies are ready for pickling, put them in your pickling jar.

Bring the water in the saucepan, along with the vinegar, sugar, and salt, to a boil. Pour the liquid into the jar and let cool before putting on the lid and putting the jar in the fridge. Let the salad pickle away for at least two hours before serving.

When it is time to prepare the soba, cook the noodles according to the package instructions. Thoroughly wash the noodles in cold water after cooking. (This is an important step for soba preparation that is not always on the package!) Whisk together the liquids/sauces and the white pepper and toss the dressing together with the soba noodles in a large bowl.

Cut the mango into bite-sized pieces and roughly chop the cilantro. Just before serving, scoop out half of the pickled salad with a slotted spoon and add it to the bowl of noodles. Add the mango and the cilantro and give everything a quick toss. Garnish with sesame seeds and serve. Use the remaining half of the pickled veggies for Vietnamese bánh mì or for a fun snack.

Makes 1 large jar of pickled salad and 2 servings of soba.

P.S. My awesome chopsticks, shown above, are from the MOMA but are sadly no longer available.

| Photo Credit: Me. |

1 comment:

Lee Oliveira said...

Lily, you have just set up my menu for tonights dinner. I have been craving asian food for quite some time.


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