Believe it or not, but the inspiration for this dish actually comes from a vegetarian cookbook from IKEA that we got over 15 years ago.
It is a dead-simple recipe with a delicious ginger, sesame and soy dressing that goes very well with the nuttiness of the buckwheat soba noodles. No leftover parts, guaranteed!
Over the years, I have been tinkering with the dressing recipe but found that it really depends on the individual strength of the ingredients. The intensity in the flavor of sesame oil, soy sauce, and stem ginger syrup varies very much from brand to brand. Below you will find my approximation, but please do keep tasting while you prepare the dressing to keep it balanced.
for the dressing
- 3 tbsp Kikkoman soy sauce
- 2 tbsp stem ginger syrup
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
for the salad
- 200g/7oz udon noodles
- 200g/7oz edamame, shelled but uncooked
- 1 red chili pepper, halved, de-seeded and thinly sliced
- 12-15 cherry tomatoes, halved
- black sesame seeds
- fresh coriander leaves
- Add all the ingredients for the dressing in a small resealable jar and mix thoroughly
- Cook the soba noodles according to instructions and add the edamame beans for the last 2 minutes.
- Drain and rinse with cold water to chill the soba noodles and edamame
- Put in a large bowl, add half of the dressing and the cherry tomatoes and mix thoroughly and season.
- Transfer the noodles and edamame to plates or bowls and add the chili peppers and coriander leaves, sprinkle over the black sesame seeds and serve.
The remaining dressing can be used to taste, but don’t overdo it. You really want to avoid a massive puddle of dressing at the bottom of your bowl (or on your clothes)
Initially, the soba salad was paired with blanched mangetout and (much more) cherry tomatoes, but swapping the mangetout with edamame works brilliantly too. I didn’t add them this time, but adding some sliced spring onions at the end is also highly recommended for additional kick and crunch.
Verdict: 9/10. Definitely will be made again.