Saturday, June 23, 2007

Cold soba noodles with beans, cucumber and sesame dressing

I sometimes have food phases where I find something I like and then I experiment with it for a while. While the phase lasts, I don't mind eating variations of that food very frequently - which can be a bit hard on the Boyfriend. Reading the food blogs out there, I can see that I'm not alone with the phenomenon, though, it seems to be a foodie thing. Right now, I'm hooked on cold noodles, especially the japanese kind. These cool, slippery soba noodles with crunchy pieces of cucumber and beans are the perfect lunch on days when the heat becomes overpowering: light and refreshing yet filling. Just watch out for your white shirt/tie.

Cold soba noodles with beans, cucumber and sesame dressing (serves 2)

  • 150g soba noodles
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled and very thinly sliced
  • 300-400g green beans, cut in half and blanched, cooled
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 heaped teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
For the dressing, toast the sesame seeds in a dry frying pan until lightly brown. Grind into a coarse paste in a pestle and mortar. Tip the paste in a small bowl and add the rice vinegar, sugar and soy sauce and stir well to dissolve the sugar. You may want to vary the quantity of the ingredients according to your taste. Cook the soba noodles according to packet instructions, then rinse under cold water. Place in a bowl and mix with the sesame oil. Add the vegetables and dressing and mix. Make sure only to add the dressing when the noodles are completely cold or they'll soak it all up. For a more substantial meal, serve with beef teriyaki.

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