Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Soba Noodle Vegetable Salad

I'm typically a red wine vinegar and olive oil girl... but I'm telling you these Asain inspired dishes are speaking to my soul lately.

Plus the herb medley in this salad is so complimentary. It's like watching the perfect double play, each player executing their role flawlessly. The diving fielder with the quick flip to the second baseman; the split second throw to first and the painful splits to catch the ball moments before the runner touches the bag. It's a beautiful thing... basil, mint and cilantro: well done.

I found this recipe in the same book I found the inspiration for the zucchini bites from Ellie Krieger. I took the liberty in adding more carrot, using grape seed oil instead of canola and using equal parts of the three herbs. Minor changes, but feel free to play as you wish.

Soba noodles are essentially noodles made from buckwheat. Whatever you have is fine. The dressing is so delicious on any noodle. I used whole wheat instead of buckwheat noodles.

Soba Noodle Vegetable Salad


1/2 box of pasta noodles, whole wheat

1 lrg shallot

3 carrots, shredded

1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips

1/3 cup chopped fresh basil

1/3 cup chopped fresh mint

1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro


1/4 cup rice vinegar

1 tsp sugar

1 tbls grape seed oil

1/2 tsp sesame oil

1 large clove garlic, minced

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

1/2 tsp finely grated lime zest

1 tsp fresh lime juice

1/2 tsp Asian fish sauce

Salt to taste

Forgot to picture the shallot. The only guy that doesn't know what family he's really in... onion? garlic? Confused little guy.

I would say my skin color is "shallot peel," wouldn't you? This would make a nice nail polish color...

The recipe is three parts.

Part 1- slice and chop your veg. The shallot should be a small dice. The carrot is grated. The bell pepper thinly julienned (no bigger than your finger and as thin as you can get them).

Also chop up your herbs. I hold mine in a bouque and then brush the leaves off with a sharp knife. You'll get some stems, but most leaves.

Mint: sweet and powerful.

Basil: bold and anise.

Cilantro: fresh and grassy.

Even if you don't particularly like one of these herbs, this might be a fun way to give it another try because the combination brings out the best in all of them.

Part 2- the dressing... combine all dressing ingredient into a bowl and whisk. Sesame oil is quite powerful, so a little bit rounds together with the other oil. I wouldn't use olive oil here. Use a more neurtal oil such as grape seed, canola or walnut.

Part 3- cook the noodles according to the packages labeling. Remember to salt your water before adding noodles.

When the noodles are done, strain and dress with the sauce. As the noodles are hot, they will drink up the flavors and the oils will keep them from sticking to one another. I usually wouldn't recommend adding oil to noodles when making Italian, because the oil creates a barrier to the sauce getting on the noodles, but HERE WE WANT THE BARRIER because it IS the sauce.

When the noodles have cooled a bit, add the veggies and the herbs.

Salt and pepper to taste, if needed.

Fun. Healthy. Colorful. Knock-out flavors.

Top with some shrimp or shredded chicken if you like. Ellie suggested butter lettuce cups. Salads like this are so versitle! Now, the real question is chop sticks or fork?


  1. This Looks SOOOoo amazingly yummy! I will have to try this someday soon :)

  2. Hey Noelle...My mom has cut wheat from her diet so thought I'd try this with brown rice think that would be good?

    1. Hi Wendy, Absolutely! Especially because you cook the noodles according to their normal intructions and then dress them after. Let me know how it turns out. I'm always interested in how people substitute ingredients! Happy cooking and thanks for the comment.