I'm back! I had a wonderful, relaxing week on vacation in beautiful Cuba, but now I'm having a hard time adjusting back to work and reality! I apologize for the lack of posts lately, as well as my delay in checking in with other blogs (I currently have over 800 unread blog posts in my Google Reader to get to!), but I'm hoping this tasty and refreshing sesame soba noodle salad will help make up for it!
This is actually a dish inspired by a meal I ate in a Japanese restaurant on my earlier trip to Singapore. I wasn't exactly sure what I was ordering when I requested the soba noodle salad, but I certainly didn't expect to see lettuce and noodles mixed together! I didn't have high hopes for it when it appeared in front of me, but was pleasantly surprised when I took a few bites. Since the noodles were cold, the whole salad was light and refreshing with an interesting mix of textures that worked well together. But what really made the dish stand out was the delicious sesame dressing that was served with it.
You may remember the picture I posted of the dish back in my recap of what I ate in Singapore, where I promised I would try to replicate it back at home. Well, I stayed true to my word and recreated it the weekend after I got home from that trip!
The salad part was easy - I just used some of my favourite salad ingredients, topped them with a pile of cooked soba noodles and a garnish of sliced nori and sesame seeds. The salad dressing was a little harder as I had to play around with different ingredients quite a bit until I found the perfect balance, but I think I ended up with a pretty amazing dressing!
This salad tasted just as good as the one I remembered eating in Singapore - it was cool, fresh, and full of flavour thanks to the filling sesame peanut dressing. It's great for summer and I will definitely be making this again now that my trip to Cuba has given me a taste of the hot weather I have to look forward to!
Sesame Soba Noodle Salad
Inspired by a dish I ate at Rakuzen in Singapore
For the Dressing:
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1 tablespoon tahini
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon honey
Dash of salt
2 tablespoons water
For the Salad:
4-6 oz soba noodles (depending on desired amount)
Lettuce (desired amount for 2 people)
Sliced cucumber, carrot, mushrooms, and snowpeas (or other desired salad ingredients)
1 sheet of nori, thinly sliced for garnishing
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
Cook soba noodles as per package ingredients. Drain and rinse well with cold water. Let cool.
In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients for the salad dressing. Taste and adjust any amounts to your liking, and add more water to thin it out if necessary.
Divide lettuce and salad ingredients between two bowls/plates. Top with cooked cooled soba noodles. Garnish with nori and sesame seeds and serve with sesame dressing.