Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Cold Soba Noodles

Soba - そば - Japanese buckwheat noodles

I love cold noodle salads. It doesn't matter what kind of pasta for me. All that matters is that it is flavorful. Japanese cuisine is so amazing in it's complicated simplicity. The Japanese like attention to detail and have a knack for combining just a few flavors with textures so that everything is clean and harmonious. Soba noodles have a subtle earthy buckwheat flavor that you really don't want to completely cover up. So, this noodle salad I made combines a few Asian influences that highlights the buckwheat rather than snuffs it out. It is so easy to prepare and so satisfyingly flavorful.

I boiled the soba just until tender but still slightly al dente. You don't want them soft and soggy. I rinsed them with cold water to chill and let them drain. I mashed up one large clove of garlic finely. I thinly sliced a few green onions. These were mixed with the noodles along with a splash of toasted sesame oil, a splash of soy sauce, a splash of rice vinegar and a few drops of nuoc mam Vietnamese fish sauce. No, I didn't measure anything. I just added what I thought would be enough. You don't want the noodles swimming in dressing. You just want to coat the lightly with these flavorful ingredients. That's it! Plate it up and enjoy. I think the garlic flavors are better if you let the salad chill for a few hours before eating.

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