July 21, 2012

Cold Soba Noodle Salad with Miso Dressing (video)


Satisfying and loaded with sweet earthy flavor, Japanese soba noodles are traditionally made from buckwheat. Buckwheat is not wheat. It is not even a grain. It is a fruit seed. This is great news for those looking for a satisfying noodle that is not only gluten free but good for you as well. Buckwheat has 8 out of 9 of the essential amino acids making it an excellent source of protein. It is high in dietary fiber and is a great source of B vitamins, minerals, and alpha-linolenic acid. It also happens to be very satisfying and tasty. It is not always easy to find 100% buckwheat noodles and if you are not concerned with gluten, I would recommend using a noodle that is about 70/30 buckwheat to whole wheat as they are significantly easier to work with and less delicate than those made with 100% buckwheat. That being said, 100% buckwheat noodles can be found at many grocery and natural food stores or on line and they are delicious.

If you opt to use 100% buckwheat or one that is balanced with whole wheat flour, you must keep in mind that they will be delicate regardless. Under cook the noodles and once they are drained from the cooking liquid, submerge them immediately into a bath of ice water. You not only want to halt further cooking of the noodles, but you want to rinse the residue from them as well. You would need to do this if you were making the noodles for a cold salad or putting them into a soup.

This is a delicious salad made with cold soba noodles and raw vegetables tossed in a sweet miso dressing. Miso is a paste made from fermented soy beans making it an enzyme rich food loaded with beneficial bacteria that is good for your gut. It has all 9 of the essential amino acids making it a complete protein and is high in antioxidants. Purchase only unpasteurized miso in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. If miso has been heated, it loses most of its vital benefits. If using miso paste in a soup, stir it into the hot broth immediately before serving. Never allow it to boil in the broth.

Cold Buckwheat Soba Noodle Salad in a Miso Dressing with Carrots and Snow Peas
Serves 4-6
For all ingredients, please use those that are organic or grown without pesticides.
8 ounces buckwheat soba noodles
  (70/30 Wheat/buckwheat noodles will work best if you are making buckwheat noodles for the first time as 100% buckwheat noodles can disintegrate easily)
1/2 cup carrots, julienned
3 scallions, thinly sliced diagonally on bias
1/2 cup snow peas, strings removed, thinly sliced lengthwise or on bias
1/4 cup red pepper, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon black and/or white sesame seeds, lightly toasted
6 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves
Prepare the miso dressing. See recipe. Set aside.
Prepare the vegetables. They can be prepared hours in advance without a problem. Set Aside.
Bring water to a boil in a medium-large size pot. Add the noodles to the water (salting is not necessary) and cook for 5-6 minutes or about 2 minutes less than the package directions suggest. Do not overcook, under cook them.
Prepare an ice bath in a large mixing bowl. Fill with about 4 cups of ice and cold water.
When the noodles are ready, drain them from the boiling water and put immediately into the ice bath. Use your hands to move them around in the ice bath to be certain to separate, thoroughly rinse, and cool them down. Set aside.
Transfer the noodles to a mixing bowl. Add About 1/2 cup of the miso dressing and toss carefully. If you are concerned about the delicacy of the noodles, use your hands to toss. Add the prepared carrots, peppers, snow peas, and scallions. Gently toss the ingredients together. Add more dressing if desired. Add the fresh cilantro leaves and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve or refrigerate.
The salad will keep for 2-3 days in the refrigerator.
Miso Dressing
Makes a little over 1 cup of dressing
1/4 cup mellow white miso
2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons tamari low sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons mirin cooking wine
1 teaspoon agave nectar or brown rice syrup
2 tablespoons grape seed or canola oil
1/4 cup sweet onion, finely chopped (optional)
  sea salt
  freshly ground black pepper
Combine all of the ingredients except the onion, salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade or a blender. Process the ingredients until smooth. While the machine is running, slowly add the oil and blend well. Season with salt and pepper to taste if necessary.
Stir in the prepared onion.
Use immediately or keep refrigerated for up to a week.







Categories: Dressings & Sauces, Gluten Free, Pasta & Risotto, Salads, Videos

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