A quick, cold, buckwheat soba noodle salad with an assortment of vegetables and herbs — julienned carrot and cucumber, scallions, cilantro and edamame.
Sometimes you need something that is as delicious as it is quick to make. Big flavors, small effort. Fancy looking, but not fancy cooking.
Just like this.
A quick, cold, buckwheat soba noodle salad with an assortment of vegetables/herbs — julienned carrot and cucumber, scallions, and cilantro and/or basil — and edamame. The dressing, a simple vinaigrette of sesame oil, ginger, garlic, rice wine vinegar, and tamari lightly sweetened with honey and packing a slightly spicy kick from sambal oelek. This salad comes together in a manner of minutes.
I topped the salad with toasted sesame and nigella seeds. The nigella seeds were a last-minute addition. Was rummaging through my highly disorganized spice cabinet for black sesame seeds, which I’m positive are hiding in there somewhere, when I came across a full bag of nigella seeds. Once upon a time I had plans for those nigella seeds, though can no longer recall exactly what (I really need to get organized). If you are not familiar with nigella seeds, they’re also referred to as black cumin or black caraway seeds (but not related to either), and have an onion-y + black pepper flavor profile. A bit on the the bitter side. Also touted for their many health benefits.
The noodles, 100% buckwheat. Despite its name, buckwheat is not related to wheat. In fact, it’s not a grain, but rather related to sorrel, rhubarb, and knotweed. Roasted buckwheat groats are known as kasha, a staple in Russia and Poland households; while I have Russian and Polish roots, I’ve yet to try kasha, perhaps this will be the year?
How To Make Buckwheat Soba Noodle Salad with Sambal Chili Dressing
Prepare the Noodles:
Cook the Noodles:
- Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the buckwheat noodles and cook until they are al dente, which usually takes about 5 minutes.
Cool the Noodles:
- Drain the noodles and immediately plunge them into cold water. This stops the cooking process and helps to keep the noodles firm. Drain again and pat dry to remove excess moisture.
Prepare the Vegetables:
Julienne the Vegetables:
- While the noodles are cooking, julienne the carrots and Persian cucumbers. Thinly slice the green parts of the scallions on a bias.
Prepare the Dressing:
Whisk the Dressing:
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the olive oil, rice wine vinegar, tamari, honey, grated ginger, grated garlic, sesame oil, and sambal oelek until well combined. Adjust the quantity of grated ginger and sambal oelek according to your taste.
Assemble the Salad:
- In a large bowl, combine the cooked noodles, julienned carrots and cucumbers, sliced scallions, cilantro (and basil if using), and edamame.
- Add the dressing to the noodle mixture and gently toss everything together until well combined.
- Top the salad with a sprinkle of black and white toasted sesame seeds (or a combination of sesame and nigella seeds).
- Serve the salad with lime wedges and extra sambal oelek on the side for those who like a bit more heat.
Linda Schneider is the blogger behind Wild Greens and Sardines, an homage to her love for all things food and [Mediterranean] travel. What she enjoys most is seasonal, farm-to-table recipes that highlight local ingredients, farmers, and food artisans. She loves going to local farmers’ markets, seeing what’s in season, and sharing recipes with others.