I find people who don’t like noodles a rare and confusing breed, and FYI “zoodles” do not count. Noodles, done well, are quite literally happiness in a bowl. With the weather heating up and chef work consuming my life I needed a comforting fix to eat on the go. Asian noodles are lighter, brighter and pack more of a punch than the cream laden pastas you might be used to.
This vegan soba bowl is ticking all my boxes as peak private chef season kicks off. Fresh, crunchy, quick (under 20 minutes), loads of veggies, 1 pot to wash up and it can be eaten cold between running errands. Made with 100% buckwheat noodles it’s also gluten free!
The allure of a meal like this is you can use practically whatever produce you have on hand. For a variety of textures and flavors, I went with baby cucumbers, sesame seeds, spring onion, tenderstem broccoli (broccolini) and spring onion. I also think edamame beans, mange tout, and radish would work well, too. For an extra punch of protein throw in some tofu!
Vegan Cold Sesame Soba With Chili and Cucumber
1 teaspoon garlic, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
2 teaspoons sriracha (or a similar asian chili sauce)
2 tablespoons soy
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons sesame oil, plus a bit extra for the noodles
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
honey or palm sugar – to taste (+- 1/2 teaspoon to balance the acidity of the sauce)
+- 85g Gluten free soba noodles (They usually come in convenient little bundles)
2 Spring onions, thinly sliced
3 Baby cucumbers, thinly sliced at an angle
65g Tenderstem broccoli (aka Broccolini)
1/4 teaspoon chili flakes (optional)
Prep all your ingredients as listed and pop a kettle of water on to boil.
Mix together the dressing ingredients except for the palm sugar. Once the ingredients are combined add the palm sugar a little bit at a time until the sauce has a nice balance between sweet and sour (roughly 1/2 teaspoon depending on the size of your limes).
Place a pot over a medium/high heat and add the boiling water.
Blanche the tenderstem until just starting to soften but still bright green in colour. Remove the tenderstem from the water with a slotted spoon and run them under cold water until cool, or alternatively, pop them into a bowl of iced water. This stops the cooking process and keeps the veggies crunchy and green!
Cook the noodles according to the packet instructions. Once al dente, run the noodles under cold water, and add a little sesame oil to stop them sticking together.
Toss the noodles through the dressing and place into a serving bowl. Scatter over the drained tenderstem, sesame seeds, spring onions and chili flakes.
This salad will taste better the longer it sits! However keep the veggies separate if you plan on leaving it in the fridge for longer than a day.