Heat wave? Time to make soba noodle salad

July 16, 2008

We are well into the dog days of summer here and this dish is the perfect solution for a quick, easy, light and cool dinner.  I love making cold soba noodle salad after a day at the pool or when the mercury rises above 90 (the two usually coincide as it did today).  Soba noodles are Japanese buckwheat noodles, higher in protein and fiber than wheat or rice noodles.

This is Korean comfort food, amazingly simple to make yet so satisfying.  I like to eat it without meat, but one can easily add some shrimp, pork or even sashimi.  One key ingredient that may not be easily accessible to all is fresh perilla leaves, available at most Asian grocery stores.  Perilla is a member of the mint family and is not unlike arugula or fennel with a strong, unique flavor all its own. 

Perilla – a staple of Korean summer recipes

In addition to selling it in small packets in the produce section, Korean grocery stores often sell perilla in pots in the late spring/early summer. Once planted in the ground (full to partial sun), you won’t ever have to buy another perilla plant again. The plants go to seed in the early fall and will self-propagate.  By next summer, you will have a profusion of perilla plants growing in a 5 feet radius around the original plant.

 

Soba noodles usually come in pre-measured single serving bunches.

 

SOBA NOODLE SALAD

(serves 4)

4 bunches of soba noodles
10 perilla leaves, sliced thinly
2 C. mixed baby greens
1/4 – 1/2 thinly sliced red onion
1/2 C. soy sauce
1/4 C. vinegar
1/4 C. + 3 Tbs. sugar (more or less to taste)
2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbs. water
crushed toasted sesame seeds for garnish

Cook soba noodles according to package directions.  Rinse under cold water and set aside.   Combine soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, olive oil and water in small bowl.  Whisk until well combined. 

 

Toss greens, perilla, onions and noodles in dressing.  Garnish with crushed toasted sesame seeds and serve immediately.

 

 

 

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12 Responses to “Heat wave? Time to make soba noodle salad”

  1. Mrs Ergül Says:

    Wow, this looks very good! I can’t forget my husband’s face the first time he had cold soba! I might try this to see that face again hehe


  2. I love Japanese cuisine. Nice cuisine for hot days.

  3. Becky Says:

    so simple, so good! excellent recipe!

  4. Nate Says:

    I love shiso / perilla! We generally use the red shiso ones instead of the green. One time we tried growing our own, but failed miserably. What’s your secret to happy perilla plants?

  5. onespicymama Says:

    Nate Says:
    July 18, 2008 at 3:05 pm
    I love shiso / perilla! We generally use the red shiso ones instead of the green. One time we tried growing our own, but failed miserably. What’s your secret to happy perilla plants?

    Hmm, maybe it’s the red shiso that’s finicky? The green w/purple underside perilla is like a weed. I do absolutely nothing to it – not even water it. It is in partial sun and we’re in zone 5.

  6. Donal Says:

    Hey there! This recipe looks and sounds really great, I love noodle salads! :)

  7. Camille Says:

    This looks so yummy for a light dinner or lunch. And, I’ve learned something new. I’ve never heard of perilla. Nice photos.

  8. midori01 Says:

    I love soba noodles and I used to eat them a lot. I will check your recipe out.

  9. Michelle Says:

    that looks so yummy .thanks for sharing ;-)

  10. janet Says:

    This looks delicious.

    Did you add lettuce as well? or is it only perilla?

  11. onespicymama Says:

    janet Says:
    July 24, 2008 at 3:55 pm
    This looks delicious.

    Did you add lettuce as well? or is it only perilla?

    I added perilla and baby greens (lettuce). You can add any kind of lettuce – romaine, red or green leaf, etc.

  12. vittoria Says:

    Great recipe didn’t have shiso used Agastache added red pepper and shrimp and the whole family loved it!
    thanks for the great recipe and inspirational pics!


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