Cold Soba Salad and Tempura

Cold Soba Salad

The February 2011 Daring Cooks’ challenge was hosted by Lisa of Blueberry Girl. She challenged Daring Cooks to make Hiyashi Soba and Tempura. She has various sources for her challenge including japanesefood.about.com, pinkbites.com, and itsybitsyfoodies.com.

This was a delicious Daring Cooks’ challenge. I had never had soba noodles before and was a little bit skeptical about whether or not it was something we would enjoy. I’ve tried many whole wheat pastas in the past that were too healthy and not tasty, but these buckwheat noodles have a wonderful texture and mellow, slightly salty taste.

I knew I liked tempura, but had never made it at home. This tempura was very light and easy to make, but I’m still not sure that I would make it again because I rarely cook fried foods at home.

But the Soba Salad I would definitely make again. I was surprised that I liked the Soba Salad even more than the tempura. It reminded me of a pasta salad with an Asian twist. It is a quick healthy meal, that would be perfect on a hot summer night.

Cold Soba Salad and Tempura
 
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
Soba Noodles:
  • 2 quarts (2 Liters) water + 1 cup cold water, separate
  • 12 oz (340 g) dried soba (buckwheat) noodles (or any Asian thin noodle)
Spicy Dipping Sauce:
  • ¾ cup 70gm/2½ oz spring onions/green onions/scallions, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) rice vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon (2½ ml) (4 ? gm) (0.16 oz) granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon (1¼ ml) (1/8 gm) (0.005 oz) English mustard powder
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) grape-seed oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) sesame oil (if you can’t find this just omit from recipe.)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste - roughly 1/3 a teaspoon of each
Common Hiyashi Soba Toppings:
Directions
Cooking the noodles:
Spicy Dipping Sauce:
  1. Shake all the ingredients together in a covered container. Once the salt has dissolved, add and shake in 2 tablespoons of water and season again if needed.
Toppings:
  1. All toppings should be julienne, finely diced or grated. Prepare and refrigerate covered until needed.
Serving:
  1. Traditionally soba is served on a bamboo basket tray, but if you don’t have these, you can simply serve them on a plate or in a bowl. Divide up the noodles, laying them on your serving dishes. Sprinkle each one with nori. In small side bowl or cup, place 1/2 cup (120 ml) of dipping sauce into each. In separate small side dishes, serve each person a small amount of wasabi, grated daikon, and green onions.
  2. The noodles are eaten by sprinkling the desired garnishes into the dipping sauce and eating the noodles by first dipping them into the sauce. Feel free to slurp away! Oishii!

Cold Soba Salad and Tempura
 
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 egg yolk from a large egg
  • 1 cup (240 ml) iced water
  • ½ cup (120 ml) (70 gm) (2½ oz) plain (all purpose) flour, plus extra for dredging
  • ½ cup (120 ml) (70 gm) (2½ oz) cornflour (also called cornstarch)
  • ½ teaspoon (2½ ml) (2½ gm) (0.09 oz) baking powder
  • oil, for deep frying preferably vegetable
  • ice water bath, for the tempura batter (a larger bowl than what will be used for the tempura should be used. Fill the large bowl with ice and some water, set aside)
  • Very cold vegetables and seafood of your choice ie:
Directions
Notes
Recipes courtesy of pink bites and itsy bitsy foodies