Monday, August 1, 2011

Soba Noodles with Sesame Seeds

I love eating soba, thin noodles made out of Buckwheat, when dining at Japanese restaurants and frequently order my one of favorite dishes Zaru soba, boiled noodles topped with shredded nori seaweed. Recently I watched a Nigella Lawson episode on her cold Soba Noodles with sesame seeds. It looked like it would be simple to make and delicious! Since it is served cold, it would be perfect for summer picnics or for lazy Sunday quick-fix dinners.
Did you know: Soba means buckwheat in Japanese. The noodles are roughly as thick as spaghetti and prepared in various hot and cold dishes.
Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup sesame seeds
  • salt
  • 8 ounces soba noodles
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar (the sweetened kind is just fine)
  • 5 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons honey (I use buckwheat honey for a little added depth of flavor, but any variety works)
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 5 scallions
Preparation:
1. Toasted the sesame seeds in a dry pan over a high heat until they look golden brown, and tip them into a bowl.

2. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and add some salt. Put in the soba noodles and cook them for about 6 minutes (or according to package instructions) until they are tender but not mushy.
Dump the noodles into a colander and just run cold a water over them for a moment or two.

3. In the bowl you are going to serve them in, mix the vinegar, soy sauce, honey and oil. Then finely slice the scallions and put them into the bowl with the cooled drained noodles and mix together thoroughly before adding the sesame seeds and tossing again.

4. Leave the sesame seed noodles for about half an hour to let the flavors develop, although this is not absolutely necessary or sometimes even possible. Serves 4 as part of a meal; or 2 when eaten, gratifyingly, as they are.
Try this: Add some pan fried salmon, tofu and edamame beans for some extra texture and protein!

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