This classic Asian style salad is so good, there was a time where I was eating 2-3 times a week. Not only is it tasty as hell, it is also extremely good for you. Soba noodles are made from buckwheat flour, which contains much more and a higher quality protein than all other flours, its rich in all eight important aminos including lysine and has magnesium, manganese, and copper among other benefits.
Though you don’t need to ferment/pickle your vegetables for this salad to be good, it is a simple process and with a little forward thought is very quick. This will give the salad the additional digestive benefits that I go into in more detail on my post specifically about fermenting and pickling. You can use it for a more in-depth guide to the pickling process as well.
Mirin is a Japanese alcohol much like sake, but with much less alcohol content and much sweeter, though it is a popular ingredient and I strongly recommend you go and get yourself some if you don’t already, you can substitute with white wine or rice vinegar and dissolve 50% sugar into it (so 1 tbsp of substitute + 1/2 tablespoon sugar).
When cooking soba noodles they will produce almost a glue-like liquid that will cause them to stick. To prevent this give them plenty of room in the pot by opting for something bigger rather than smaller, use a little oil in the water or even some of the fermentation juice is good and don’t overcook them.
A note on types of soba noodles, they come in many different varieties, blends, and mixes. My personal preference is for 100 pure buckwheat noodles, but they are not as common as blends. You may find all you can get is wheat flour, rice flour and Khorasan (kamut) flour blends and that’s ok, they all taste great.
Quick Vegetable Cutting:
Lastly, the best way to cut the vegetables for pickling is to simply peel the entirety of vegetable long ways and then stack the peels up and cut those lengthways with a knife. I find this better than any shredding tool on the market,
A delicious Asian style salad with a sweet and tangy dressing. Just when you thought a normal salad was healthy, with Fermented vegetables (optional) and a healthy alternative soba noodle, it is a step up again in nutrition.
- 1 packet soba noodles
- 1 carrots grated
- 1 cucumber
- 1 piece daikon radish about the same quantity as the carrot
- 1 cup edamame peas frozen or fresh
- 4 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1/2 bunch cilantro/coriander chopped
- 3 tbsp grapeseed oil
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp mirin or substitute
- 1/2 tsp ginger minced/crushed
- 1/2 tsp garlic clove crushed/minced
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup white vinegar or rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp salt
- 2 tbsp sugar traditionally white, but any will do
The first thing we need to do is get the pickled vegetables into the fridge. So start by mixing the slightly warm water and the remaining pickling juice ingredients together in a bowl and mix until the sugar and salt has dissolved.
Next thinly slice the carrot, cucumber and radish (see above for the best cutting instructions) and place in an airtight container. Pour over the pickling juice, seal and put in the fridge.
We can now start preparing the salad dressing. placing all the items into a blender is a quick way to go about it, but I prefer to mince the ginger and garlic and whisk it all together with a fork. you can do this while the noodles are cooking in the next step.
Next, cook the soba noodles as per their cooking instructions (there are some additional tips in the description at the top if you missed those).
Once the noodles are cooked run them under cold water, add some oil or fermentation juice if necessary to help them come apart.
For the peas, bring a small pot of water to the boil and cook until tender, usually after about 5 minutes, remove the peas and immediately run them under cold water to stop them from cooking any further.
Place the soba noodles in a bowl, mix in the fermented vegetables, edamame and then sprinkle the sesame seeds and the cilantro/coriander on top and you're ready to serve.