I guest posted the other day at Turntable Kitchen. Kasey and Matt are in Japan, which is one of the places Jack and I loved the most.
We spent a week in Kyoto and one of the first things we set out to find was soba. It’s served in teeny tiny hundred-year-old restaurants. The noodles are handmade, and cold soba is served plain with a dipping sauce. Just dip and slurp. The louder the better.
Since the soba I make at home comes from a box I, of course, add stuff. But I try to keep it simple. We’ve been loving this version lately where the cucumbers are sliced into nearly the same shape as the soba. It’s a great refreshing option for summer because you feel like you’re eating bowl full of noodles, but with half as many actual noodles.
You would never see avocado with soba in Kyoto, but, well, I’m not the one that’s in Kyoto right now. So bring on the avocado.
- 4-6 ounces soba noodles
- 1-2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 2 medium cucumbers (or 1 large seedless cucumber)
- 1/4 cup chopped scallions
- 1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1-2 tablespoons ponzu sauce (or extra tamari & rice vin with a squeeze of lime)
- avocado slices
- sesame seeds
- optional additions: tofu or a protein of your choice
- optional: sriracha or chile flakes
- Boil the soba noodles in salty water until al dente. Blanch them for 30 seconds in a bowl of cold ice water, then drain. Return them to the (empty) bowl and gently toss with a splash of sesame oil so they won’t stick together while you finish everything else.
- Thinly slice the cucumbers using a julienne peeler. (you could also use a mandolin or veggie spiraler). Discard the first peel (it will be all skin) and carefully make your slices around the seeded part in the middle.
- Toss the cucumber slices and scallions with the soba noodles. And tamari, rice vinegar, and ponzu and toss again. Taste and adjust seasonings. Top with sliced avocado and sesame seeds. Serve cold.
I have this julienne peeler. It’s a gadget worth getting because it takes up no space in your drawer. There are less expensive ones… I went for this one because it had good reviews and it wasn’t a wacky neon color.