Thursday, July 16, 2009

Soba Noodle Salad

This is a wonderful spring and summer salad, with Asian inspiration. Soba noodles, if you are not familiar with them, are thin Japanese noodles made with buckwheat flour, and are often served cold. Soba noodles can be found in the Asian aisle of many markets; they have a nice body to them and an earthy, old world taste. In this noodle salad, the mango, mint, and various other flavors contrast and match well with each other, giving the whole salad a good balance.

You can make this dish a few hours in advanced, or even the night before and let the soba chill and marinate, just be sure not to add the peanuts, mint and basil until just before serving. It's a nice dish that can make either six large meals, or 12 well portioned sides.

3/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeño chile pepper, seeded and minced
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Zest of one lime
1 tablespoon sesame oil
12 ounces soba noodles
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1 large ripe mango, peeled and chopped into cubes
1 cup chopped fresh basil
1 cup chopped fresh mint
1 cup chopped roasted, salted peanuts
Lime wedges for serving (optional)
1 Place the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt in a saucepan over medium heat for 1-2 minutes until the sugar and salt dissolve. Stir in the garlic and jalapeño, and allow to cool. Add the lime juice, lime zest, and sesame oil and mix well.

2 Cook the noodles in salted water, until al dente, according to the package instructions. Drain and then rinse well under cool water. Transfer the noodles to a large bowl and toss with the dressing.

3 Add the mango, bell pepper, basil and mint. Toss and plate. Serve with chopped peanuts sprinkled over the top and lime wedges.

Very tangy and sweet! With just enough crunch from the peanuts. It's so colorful and aromatic, you can just smell the mint and garlic

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