This is a feel good, comfort food dish and since it makes really good leftovers, you might find that you’re feeling good the next day or two. Its quite filling so I serve it in a small bowl, oh and I eat it with chopsticks – so it feels a little like take out, but healthier.
[Prep: 25 minutes / Cooking: 5 minutes / TOTAL: 30 minutes]
[Serves 4 small dinner sized portions]
- small bunch of broccoli, washed and slivered
- 4 purple kale leaves, washed, stems removed and shredded
- ½ large cucumber, washed, peeled, deseeded and sliced
- ¼ medium red onion, peeled and slivered
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes [I have a thai kind that I like to use called Dragonfly Dried Chilli Crush]
- small piece of fresh ginger, about 1.5” cube, peeled and grated with a zester
- juice from ½ lime
- ½ package soba noodles
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and pressed
- 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons mirin or rice wine
- 3 tablespoons peanut oil
- 3 tablespoons peanut butter – try for sugar free or low salt kind
- 3 tablespoons tahini paste
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/3 cup boiled noodle water reserved
[This recipe was inspired by Andrew Zimmerman’s version as seen in Food and Wine.]
There are many types of noodles that will work for this dish. I had half a packet of soba noodles in my pantry, but you could even use linguine – though I would break the pasta in half before boiling. I was happy to only have half a packet because I wanted this to be more of a noodle salad than noodle heavy dish. Fill your pot with 8 cups of water, cover and turn the heat on high. It should take about 5 minutes to come to a boil. [You should have enough time to prepare the sauce while waiting for the water to heat up – see the directions below]. Once it’s boiling, add the soba noodles and leave uncovered. Wait for the water to come back to a boil and then add 1 cup cold water and wait for the water to boil one last time. [These directions are specifically for those using soba noodles]. Before straining the noodles in a colander over the sink, reserve about a 1/3 cup of the noodle water.
Now onto the sauce. I use a small bullet blender for the next step but a mini food processor will also work. As for the peanut butter I tried to find one with no sugar and low salt, but all I could find was a low sugar and salt variety – because of this I used 1 tablespoon of sugar and no extra salt. Add the peanut oil, peanut butter, tahini paste, sugar, mirin, rice vinegar and soy sauce to the blender and mix until all the ingredients are well incorporated. The consistency should be thick - it will be thinned out with the reserved noodle water later.
All that’s really left to do is mix everything together. First toss the noodles with the veggies, add the sesame seeds and red pepper flakes and then alternate incorporating the Sesame-Ginger Peanut sauce and the reserved water a little at a time. Mix well each time. Everything should be coated well with the sauce. If you have time to wait to eat, put the noodle salad in the fridge for about 15 minutes so it gets chilled. If not, eat it warm tonight and then cold tomorrow!