I think Mark Bittman has been stalking my Flickr account

September 25, 2009 at 1:51 pm Leave a comment

One of Mark Bittman’s latest recipes on his blog, BITTEN, looks strikingly similar to something I’ve been making for a while :

Mark is right.  Soba is a fabulous ingredient, and more people should use it.

This is a salad of room temperature soba (in this case, it’s green tea soba!).  You only have to throw it in boiling water for about 4 minutes and then drain it really well.  Soba holds on to a lot more starch and creates a foam in the pan while it cooks.  You must thoroughly rinse those suckers so they don’t retain a slimy outer layer.  But once you do? Oh, they are heaven.

I always mix up a spicy soy sauce dressing for this dish.  I improvise, but it consists of something close to this:

about 1/4 cup soy sauce
2. T lime juice (or rice vinegar, or lemon — something light and acidic)
2 T. sesame oil
1 T. chili sauce of your choice (I like one with garlic in it, it really pumps up the flavors without a lot of extra effort).
a pinch of sugar

That’s it.  Just wisk to combine and you’re all set.

For this particular version it topped it with:

1 shredded carrot
2-3 scallions, whites thinly sliced, tops coarsely chopped
3-4 small radishes, thinly sliced and steamed for 3-4 minutes
7-8 green beans, cut into small pieces and steamed for 3-4 minutes
7-8 wax beans, cut into small pieces and steamed for 3-4 minutes
(I steam all of these together)
toasted sesame seeds (you can get them pre-toasted, or toast them in a pan over low heat stirring or tossing for a couple of minutes until they become fragrant).

After draining the noodles well, mix in the dressing.

Top with vegetables and sprinkle on a bit of the sesame seeds.

Why did I use these ingredients to top the salad?  That’s what looked nice at the farmer’s market that week.  But you can totally strip this recipe down to bare bones.

Another day, I did it this way:

All I had on hand were a couple of small carrots, and some frozen edamame.  And you know what?  Still just as satisfying.  Not quite as colorful or fancy, but also quicker and easier.  How quick? Other than getting the water to a boil? Like about 7 minutes.  Total.

Just dump your edamame into the boiling water before the soba (since the frozen beans will take the water from boiling for a minute or so, you don’t want to have the soba sitting in the water trying to come back up to a boil.  It messes with the cooking time).  Cook for about 5 minutes and drain them together.

Mix in dressing (see above).

Shred some carrots, put them on the plate and top with dressed noodles and edamame.

Now, won’t you try a soba salad sometime? Please?

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Entry filed under: Asian, Noodles, Under, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian.

Fried rice, with a healthier twist. Traveling close to home

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