Seeing as I’ve got less than ninety days to rock a wedding dress, I’m really making an effort to make healthier eating choices and up my exercise. Luckily, I’m a veggie lover, so eating vegetables isn’t a problem, however I’ve been on a mission to get creative and find ways to pack more vegetables into dishes that I already love to eat.
Growing up mom always made sesame noodles – they're delicious, a crowd pleaser and pair well with all sorts of proteins – chicken, steak, pork, etc. – they remain a staple in my house today. It took a little convincing for my fiancé to indulge in the sesame noodles when he found out that my version had peanut butter in them, but he’s been converted and is now a sesame noodle lover. I love that sesame noodles can be enjoyed warm, room temperature, or cold (for a more refreshing version).
When The Chopping Block started our virtual classes and events during quarantine, we had a soba noodle salad on our virtual private event menu that was a big hit! I probably sampled it 12 times (I mean, I had to make sure it was up to par, right?!). While I love all sorts of Asian noodles from chow fun, to lo mein, to pad thai, to pad see ew, to ramen, to udon, I realized soba noodles were new to me.
Soba noodles are thin Japanese noodles made from buckwheat. They typically are lower in calories and higher in protein and fiber than white pasta. I decided I could use the soba noodles to make my own version of sesame noodles, and added in a ton of fresh vegetables to bulk up the dish. I’ll be enjoying this dish all summer long, and I think you will too (you might even convince your kids to eat more vegetables!). If you’re looking to practice your knife skills, this salad is great for that as well. The best part is you’ll have a meal (or side) on the table quickly.
Sesame Soba Noodle Salad
Scroll down for a printable version of this recipe
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 5 min
For the salad:
6oz soba noodles
1/2 red pepper, thinly sliced
1 carrot, shaved
1/2 seedless cucumber, julienned
1 head broccoli, cut into florets
4 scallions, slice on the bias
2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped peanuts (optional)
For the dressing:
3 Tablespoons sesame oil
2 Tablespoon garlic grapeseed oil
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 Tablespoon fish sauce
1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon ginger, grated
2 teaspoons sambal (more or less to taste!)
2 Tablespoons peanut butter (optional, if you prefer a more creamy dressing)
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium high heat.
2. While the water is coming to a boil, prepare the vegetables.
3. Thinly slice the red pepper. Set aside.
4. Peel the carrot and continue using the peeler to shave the carrot into ribbons. Set aside.
5. Cut the “cheeks” off the cucumber, discard the seed pod (even seedless cucumbers have seeds). Julienne the cucumber. Set aside.
6. Cut the broccoli into florets. Set aside.
7. Slice 4 scallions, green part only, on the bias. Set aside.
8. Once the water boils, add soba noodles to the water. Cook for 2 minutes.
9. Add broccoli to the pot with the soba noodles. Cook for an additional 3 minutes.
10. Drain and shock in ice water to stop the cooking.
11. Separate out the broccoli and set with the other vegetables.
12. For the dressing, add all ingredients to the bowl and whisk. Taste to adjust seasoning/spice level.
13. Add the vegetables (except the scallions) to the bowl. Toss in dressing.
14. Add noodles to the vegetables and dressing, and toss to coat evenly.
15. Serve in bowls with scallions, fresh cilantro and chopped peanuts if you like!
If this soba noodle salad has you ready to experiment with Asian flavors, check out some of our upcoming classes:
- Virtual Trip to Vietnam Friday, June 4 at 6pm CST
- Virtual Sunday Dinner on the Grill: Miso Glazed Salmon, Sunday June 6 at 4pm CST
- Double Date Hands On Tiki Time Saturday, July 3 6:30pm at Lincoln Square
- Hands On Sushi Workshop Friday, July 9 6:30pm at Lincoln Square
Or maybe you, too, want to increase the number of vegetables in your diet! Check out these classes:
- Virtual Building Blocks: Vegetable and Rice Cookery Saturday, June 5 10am CST
- Farmer’s Market Cooking Demo Thursday, July 22 6:30pm at Lincoln Square
Or maybe you’ve realized that your knife skills could use some sharpening (see what I did there!). If so, check out:
- Virtual Knife Skills: Wednesday, June 16 6pm CST or Sunday, July 25 3pm CST
- Knife Skills: Saturday, July 17 11am at Lincoln Square
Whatever you’re looking to learn, we’ve got you covered. Whether we see you in-person, or virtually, we can’t wait to cook with you soon!
Asian noodles are this week's challenge in our private Facebook group. Join, make this soba noodle salad and complete the challenge!