Someone gave us a packet of green tea soba noodles with a gift basket a while back. They’ve been sitting in the pantry waiting for the right hot summery day to make them into this favourite salad of mine. Our summer has not been much of a summer until recently, so there they’ve sat for some time. I’m glad I finally got around to making this and I wonder what took me so long.
Soba noodles are made from buckwheat and have a lovely bite to them that fits well with a cold salad dish. Their texture holds up well with no hint of stickiness and they have a delicate taste which compliments the dressing chock full of asian flavours. You can have this salad on the table within the time it takes to cook the noodles. Roughly six minutes.
This recipe is not strictly traditional for the Japanese, it’s more of a modern fusion dish. They do eat cold soba salad in Japan, but with some small differences.
The dressing ingredients are tossed with the salad, but they can be just as easily combined and set on the side in a small dish to dip the noodles into, this would be a more traditional way to serve this.
The red pepper is not traditional but is a bright and crisp addition. It can be topped with toasted nori as well which has been omitted today in favour of black sesame seeds.
There is also a side dressing of wasabi peas - these add a wonderful crunch and heat to a simple and stylish dish for interest, and because I like wasabi peas. There is sometimes the addition of wasabi to the dressing, but I’ve paid tribute to it with the peas rather than including it. If you’ve never tried these before give them a go, they are very addictive and make a great snack just on their own.
Cha Soba Salad
- Package of Cha Soba/Green Tea buckwheat noodles 200 grams/7oz
- one large spring onion finely chopped on the diagonal
- half a red pepper finely sliced
- 2 tspns of black sesame seeds - optional
- Wasabi peas - optional
- 2 Tblspns of fresh ginger grated finely
- 2 Tblspns soy sauce
- 2 Tblspns rice vinegar
- 1/2 tspn of caster/superfine sugar
- 2 tspns sesame oil
Boil a saucepan with salted water and drop your noodles in for the
recommended cooking time. This is normally around 5-6 minutes for soba noodles. Do not overcook them, you want them to be still slightly firm to the bite.
While the noodles are cooking whisk your dressing ingredients together adding the sesame oil last.
Drain your noodles when they are cooked and cool them quickly under cold water. You want to stop the cooking process as quickly as possible.
Drain any remaining water.
Toss your noodles, green onions,red peppers and dressing ingredients together , sprinkle with black sesame seeds and wasabi peas.
Or serve in a more traditional manner with the dressing on the side as described above.
The green tea soba and the dressing are perfectly matched, it’s really surprisingly refreshing to slurp up noodles and eat spicy little vivid green wasabi peas.
If you’ve never eaten a cold noodle salad like this before and you are feeling a little wary, think pasta salad with a Japanese style dressing - just lovely.