The secret's always in the sauce, but that's especially true with this dish! A zingy, ginger-sesame dressing with just a touch of heat makes this soba + veggie combination come alive, and might just make you slurp the leftover sauce from the bowl when nobody's looking. It's quick to make - the only real labor is chopping the veggies, which can be done the night before. The soba noodles provide lean protein, manganese, copper, and some vitamin B1, as well as a dose of dietary fiber. The fresh ginger and veggies are obviously packed with vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants. What's not to love? So, let's break this dish down into parts: the veggies, the sauce, the noodles, and the final dish.
Step One: The Veggies
The crunchier the better! You can always substitute in what you have in your fridge, but here's what I used in this dish:
- 2 stalks of celery, thinly sliced
- 3 carrots, julienned (pretty to use purple carrots here)
- 1 large cucumber, seeded and julienned
- 1 red pepper, julienned
- 5-10 radishes, thinly sliced
- 1/4 of a purple cabbage, thinly sliced
- Fresh cilantro, pulled from the stem.
You could also add some steamed, shelled edamame for a little protein boost, if you're eating soy these days. Also, if you like it super hot, add a little bit of diced jalapeno or another feisty pepper.
Step Two: The Sauce
Here is the heart of this dish. It can also be made ahead of time, but allow it to cool to room temperature if you've kept it refrigerated. There are a couple of specialty oils in this recipe, but it's totally worth it to keep them on hand - I get my infused oils at Whole Foods. The real trick to making this sauce is the ten-minute waiting period where the vinegar and sugar become one - a perfect marriage of sweet and sour.
In one measuring cup, combine the following:
- 1/2 cup canola, sesame (not toasted), or grapeseed oil
- 2 T toasted sesame oil
- 2 T chili oil
- 2 T garlic oi
- 2 T minced, fresh ginger
In a second measuring cup, combine these ingredients:
- 3/4 cup gluten free tamari (low sodium if desired)
- 3 T balsamic vinegar
- 3 T rice vinegar
- 5 T dark brown sugar
Stir up the second mixture well, and let it sit for ten minutes. When you stir it after ten minutes, you should not hear the sugar granules scraping in the mixture - if you do, wait a few more minutes.
Once the sugar is dissolved, slowly pour the tamari-vinegar blend into the oil blend while whisking briskly. The two should form a nice emulsion with the consistency of maple syrup. Set dressing aside until you're ready to serve. It will keep for three-five days in the refrigerator.
Step Three: The Noodles
You'll want to make the noodles close to mealtime, as they will dry out or get sticky if left too long after cooking. The good news is that you only need eight minutes to cook these babies, and then you'll be ready to assemble your dish in no time. For a gluten free meal, make sure you buy 100% buckwheat noodles. The trick with soba noodles is to cook them for exactly eight minutes and then rinse thoroughly under cold water immediately after straining. Once they're cool enough, use your fingers to toss the noodles under cold water. Skip this step, and you'll have a gummy, clumpy mess on your hands. After rinsing the noodles thoroughly, set aside.
Step Four: Assembly Instructions!
Place a handful of noodles in the bowl, and top with chopped veggies, fresh cilantro, and a sprinkle of peanuts or toasted sesame seeds if you like. Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of the sauce over the top, and sit down to a fresh, incredibly healthy, vegetarian, gluten-free meal that will make all the mouths and bellies in your whole family happy!
Hope you enjoy, and we always welcome your comments and suggestions on our recipes!
With love and sauce from us to you,
Sarah + The Osmia Crew