It’s finally starting to really warm up in Vancouver which has me thrilled as this type of weather screams “salads”. Now, as you may know by now, I’m not a huge fan of leafy green salads. Although it is light and refreshing, I just don’t feel like I’m getting full – ever – unless there are a ton of macros on it. For me, the most satisfying salads would be packed with grains and legumes or, my personal favourite: noodles.
Noodle salads are the best. Slippery, slurpy noodles paired with a chockful of vegetables sliced to be matchstick-thin and tossed together in a savoury dressing. Coming back from a wine trip in the Okanagan meant I would not only be bringing a ton of delicious wine back with me but, but also would have access to some of the best fruits and vegetables that BC has to offer. I took a gander at one of the roadside fruit stands and picked up a bag of radishes, a yellow zucchini, potatoes, apricots, blueberries, and eggplant. I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to make yet but by the time I pulled up to my apartment I had had something in mind: spicy summer soba noodle salad.
Now, I wasn’t going to use all of the ingredients in this one dish. Instead, I picked the lightest ingredients which I knew would be great in this light and refreshing salad. Thinly-sliced radishes and long strands of zucchini would act as the perfect base to bulk up this salad without making it too heavy on the noodles. Some fresh herbs and an umami-bomb of flavour for the dressing accompanied with chewy soba noodles fared to the perfect lunch on a hot summer’s day.
I do not have a have spiralizer so I was able to make zucchini noodles with my mandolin. After julienning the zucchini, be sure to salt it atleast for 15 minutes or so. Salting water-packed vegetables like zucchini and eggplant helps draw out the excess moisture by allowing the vegetables to sweat. Don’t forget to rinse off all of the extra salt as well!
For this salad, I had allowed the zucchini to sweat while I brought the water to cook the soba noodles and had drain the hot liquid over the zucchini noodles to lightly cook it. At this point, you may dunk it into an ice bath or simply leave the cold water running over it. I chose the latter because I’m lazy and that is one less bowl to worry about it.
All in all, this soba noodle salad is a complete breeze to make and is so addictive – would highly recommend doubling the recipe up!
SPICY SUMMER SOBA NOODLE SALAD – serves 3
150g buckwheat soba noodles
1 yellow zucchini, either spiralized or julienned with a mandolin
10 radishes, thinly-silced with a mandolin
1 bunch cilantro, washed and roughly chopped
1 bunch scallions, sliced
2 eggs, scrambled
toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tbsp chili oil
1 tbsp sesame seed oil
½ tsp rice vinegar
2 tsp fish sauce
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/8 tsp toasted sesame seeds
few dashes white pepper
Bring a pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Cook soba noodles according to packaged directions, Drain under cold, running water and set aside.
While the water is coming to a boil, generously salt the julienned zucchini in a colander to bring the excess moisture out. Let sweat for a minimum of 15-minutes. Rinse the salt and moisture off and set aside.
Cook the scrambled eggs into a flat omelette. Let cool and slice into thin strands.
When ready, assemble all of the ingredients into a bowl and section off by ingredients – noodles, cilantro, scallions, radish, zucchini noodles, chiffoned egg crepe and garnish with toasted sesame seeds.
To make the dressing, mix or shake all of the ingredients in a small container and pour over top of the salad. Serve immediately.