Soba Noodle Salad with Peanut Sauce

Soba noodles are easy to find, including a gluten-free version, and they taste terrific. Traditionally they are made from buckwheat and wheat flour, but you can find them made from 100% buckwheat, which is gluten-free despite its name. Buckwheat isn’t a grain at all but a seed.

Anyway, I happened to have a package of soba noodles lying around and it was lunch time and I was hungry, so I made this. It’s one of those meals that makes me feel great! It’s high in plant protein, vitamins and minerals, vegan and gluten-free. You can of course amp it up with more protein and turn it into a bigger meal by adding crispy tofu, salmon, chicken or a hunk of grilled meat. Up to you. 

Bonus, if you make the version presented here, almost no real cooking is required and it’s a fast meal. While the noodles cook you can assemble the peanut sauce and wash your lettuce and herbs,

Most of the items in this dish are staples in my pantry, fridge and freezer. Before you begin gather together whatever you have on hand and make your own version. The only non-negotiable items are the peanut sauce and the noodles.

Peanut Sauce

Makes one cup.

  • 2 red Thai chiles or jalapeño, stemmed, seeded and minced.
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced.
  • grated fresh ginger root, about a tablespoon worth, or one small knob.
  • ½ teaspoon (or to your taste preference) each of ground cumin, turmeric, ground coriander.
  • ⅓ cup creamy peanut butter.
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar.
  • 1 tablespoons soy sauce.
  • 1 tablespoon sugar.
  • ½ cup water.
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil.

Heat oil in a small saucepan until hot. Add chiles, garlic, ginger, and spices and sizzle for about 30 seconds. Add water, peanut butter, vinegar, soy sauce, and sugar. Simmer for about 2 minutes until slightly thickened. Stir to prevent burning. If too thick, add a bit of water. Too thin, add more peanut butter. Taste and adjust seasonings. Transfer to a bowl.

Noodles

Boil a kettle of water. Place soba noodles in a large bowl. Pour over hot water and cover with a plate. The noodles will soften in10 minutes or a bit less. Check after about 7 minutes to see if they are soft, but not falling apart. Drain in a colander.

Salad

  • Shredded cabbage.
  • Shredded carrots.
  • Edamame (cooked, defrosted, and shelled)
  • mixed lettuce.
  • fresh herbs — coriander (also known as cilantro) and mint.
  • cucumber, sliced.
  • roasted peanuts.
  • lime wedges.

Distribute all of the salad ingredients in wide bowls or a plate. Squeeze over lime juice. Layer on noodles. Top with peanut sauce and crushed roasted peanuts.

This will serve 1-4 people.

Leftover noodles can be stored in the fridge and used the following day in a whole new salad. The peanut sauce keeps in the fridge for several days and is great for dipping dumplings, summer rolls, and spring rolls.

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