I have been following Ms. Sonoko Sakai the last while on Instagram since I came across photos of her soba making workshops; it is on my “bucket list” to make it to LA one day to attend her classes and learn how to make soba You can imagine how ecstatic I was when I read Francis Lam’s article “Sonoko Dreams of Soba” in March edition of Saveur; there is was..a beautiful photo of her soba salad with lemon-miso vinaigrette, and it has all the flavors which we love: lemon, miso and ginger! Since I don’t know how to make the noodles, I used packaged organic soba; it is still a little chilly here in Vancouver, at this time I prefer to have a warm salad so I lightly sautéed some of the vegetables, and added different ingredients to our liking and dietary needs. Ms. Sakai, thank you very much for the inspiration; I just have to fly to LA to take your soba workshop sometime soon.
Ingredients (serves 4):
For the salad: Small Radicchio leaves (about 6 to 8 pieces), 3 to 4 stalks of kale rabe*, 16 small variety of cherry tomatoes (roasted)*, 2 small carrot (peeled), 1 medium English cucumber (thinly sliced crosswise), 50 g (about 1/4 package) of sugar snap peas, green onion (1 stalk, finely chopped), a package of organic buckwheat noodle (200g, you can use less noodle), drizzle of olive oil
For the dressing: 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, 3 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1 1/2 Tablespoon rice vinegar, 1 1/2 Tablespoon soy sauce, 1 Tablespoon white miso paste, 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil*, 1-2 teaspoon maple syrup*, juice of one inch piece ginger (peeled), kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
*these are my substitutions and additions: kale raab is actually very delicious and sweet
Here’s the link for the original recipe:
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Wash the vegetables, strain and dry thoroughly
- Cut the cherry tomatoes into halves, toss lightly in drizzle of olive oil on shallow baking dish. Spread them out into one layer and season lightly with kosher salt. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until tomatoes are soft. Set aside.
- Tear the radicchio leaves and chop the kale rabe into medium bite size pieces; set aside
- Using a simple vegetable peeler and cut the carrot into ribbons (they will be curly); slice the cucumber thinly; set aside
- In a large bowl, prepare an ice bath. Remove and discard the stem end and string from each sugar snap pea pod. Place them in boiling water for approximately 2 minutes, transfer them into the ice bath to stop the cooking process. Drain the peas thoroughly, toss together with cucumber and carrot ribbons.
- Using a microplane set over a fine sieve (or tea leaf strainer) set in a bowl, grate the ginger into the sieve, then using a small spoon, press on the ginger solids to drain as much as juice as possible.
- In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil with lemon juice, rice vinegar, soy sauce, miso paste, sesame oil and maple syrup. Pour 1 teaspoon of ginger juice (I used more actually) and mix well with the dressing. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper, whisk until emulsified.
- In large pot of boiling water, cook the soba noodles according to package instructions; treat it like pasta and cook until they are al dente. This step requires your full attention as soba noodles can be overcooked easily. When they are done, rinse under cold water (until water is no longer murky), toss and drain the noodles thoroughly, set aside.
- In large saute pan, heat a teaspoon of the dressing over medium high heat; add the kale raab, cook for 2 to 3 minutes (until it is wilted), add radicchio and cook for another minute; use a pair of tongs to toss the vegetables together. Keep in mind you would like to keep the vegetables “cooked” yet crunchy.
- Using a large bowl, mix the vegetables and soba noodle; assemble the salad onto a large platter or divide into 4 serving plates with dressing on the side. Garnish with chopped green onions and roasted cherry tomatoes. Enjoy!
Note: If you like soba noodle salad, go to my blog archives and check out my Mushroom Soba Salad with Yuzu Ponzu dressing, published in February 2014. Store leftover dressing in a mason jar (I just love them!), should be good for 1 to 2 days. I used it the next day with sauteed kale rabe and granny smith apple bits, it was absolutely delicious.