Hello, I’m back. This past week I traded blogging efficiency for journalism efficiency. At this point in time, the two cannot be done in tandem, apparently, which is certainly something I am going to have to work on.
That being said, this salad was made a millennium ago. But it was so good that the need to blog about it transcends the boundaries of space and time laid out by The Internet.
One of the problems with blogging after the fact is that it is challenging to remember all the funny little narratives that accompany a meal. Like how I tried to make my brother pretend he was bowling with the purple cabbage (because really, doesn’t it look like those kid-friendly bowling balls you used to use at grade two birthday parties?) and then predict my fortune using the same cabbage as a crystal ball. Anyways, moral of the story here is that it is always best to simultaneously blog and cook. That way nothing goes forgotten.
I was nervous about this salad. Wendy, our fantastic web editor at CBC, is a fellow food-lover, and we usually extensively discuss my meals both before and after making them. Wendy had me on high-alert with this salad, flagging soba noodles as something of which she isn’t particularly fond. I cautiously proceeded.
One of the many things I enjoy about trying new foods is that I get to discover fun facts about them (someone needs to create a food trivia game, stat). All I knew about soba noodles prior to this meal was that they were the skinny opposite of those thick, tube-like, wheat-based udon noodles that I used to eat in really bad, 2 a.m. first-year-residence stir-frys. I promptly learned that soba noodles are made of buckwheat (soba is, in fact, the Japanese word for buckwheat) which is, WAIT FOR IT, in the same food family as…rhubarb. Neat, huh? Needless to say, Wendy and I spent 15 minutes before story meeting one morning Google imaging flowery fields of buckwheat.
When the opportunity presents, I really love sharing food, and this salad was the ideal dish to package up in Tupperware and transport throughout the downtown core. Wendy got some (good news: she changed her mind about soba noodles!), my friend Liz (of former outdoor picnic fame) had some delivered to her office, and my friend/owner of Café petit gâteau, Yoshi, also got some. Yoshi gave me a fresh herb and gruyere scone in exchange, which was one of the best things that happened to my day.
Anyways, in the end this salad had so many good things in it. I think it could be classified as a “kitchen sink” / “crisper clearer” dish, because of the oodles of leftover items it used. My health levels are reaching new peaks just thinking about it.
PS: frozen edamame beans = popcorn.
Recipe: Cold Asian soba noodle salad
From For the Love of Food
- 1/2 pound soba noodles
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tsp hot chili sauce
- 1 tbsp soya sauce
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp minced ginger
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 cucumber, shredded
- 1 cup spinach, chopped
- 1 cup purple cabbage, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, shredded
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 1 cup cooked edamame beans
- 1/4 cup peanuts
- 1 mango, pitted and sliced
- Sesame seeds
In a medium pot, fill with water and bring to a boil. Add noodles and cook about 3-4 minutes, until they are fully cooked but not mushy. Once cooked, cool noodles down quickly by running under cold water while draining.
Mix sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, hot chili sauce, soy sauce, and salt.
Add olive oil to a small pan over low heat. Sauce garlic and ginger for about 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add garlic and ginger to oil mixture and toss with noodles. Mix in cilantro, cucumber, spinach, cabbage, carrot, and green onions.
Top with edamame, peanuts, mango slices, and sesame seeds. Refrigerate until serving.
Makes just enough to share (4 servings).