Asian Inspired Cold Buckwheat Noodle Cucumber Salad

9 06 2011

During my frequent excursions over to Japan for training over the last several decades, many trips occurred during the typhoon season. Much like hurricane season in the United States, the basic weather was hot, humid and sultry. Great relief was often found in a bowl of soba, or buckwheat noodles, served cold. Contrary to the name, buckwheat is not a cereal grain. It is actually a fruit seed related to rhubarb and sorrel. Thus it is a great alternative to people who wish or need to avoid foods high in gluten. Like any diet rich in whole grains, diets rich in buckwheat are associated with lower rates of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Buckwheat is rich in flavonoids like rutin and minerals like magnesium.

  • 1 package of soba noodles (I especially like the Roland organic soba)
  • 2 cups of stock (You can use seafood, fish or chicken stock. The stock adds a layer of flavor to the cooled noodles, but you can use water as well to cook them)
  • 2 Thinly sliced cucumber
  • 7oz Tofu (extra firm) cut into ¼ inch cubes
  • Several slices of Daikon (Japanese radish)
  • Toasted Nori seaweed strips (optional)
  • Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
  • Dressing:
    • 2 Tbs Rice Wine Vinegar
    • 2 Tbs Ponzu Sauce (you can use Soy Sauce instead)
    • 2 Tbs Mirin (you can substitute a white wine in a pinch)

Heat the stock to boiling in a medium saucepan. Add the noodles and cook until slightly al dente, just like pasta. Drain and cool the noodles. Mix the dressing together and combine with the other ingredients. Top with seaweed and red pepper flakes if desired.

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4 responses

9 06 2011
tasteofbeirut

I tasted soba once and was not all that enamored with it; your salad makes me want to give it another shot, it sounds so easy to make and delicious as well!

9 06 2011
What's Cooking with Dr. Mike: The Grassroots Gourmet™

Especially good if you use lots of cucumber and some seafood with the dressing. The dressing is a traditional sunomon type for cucumber salad.

9 06 2011
doggybloggy

a little hot sauce and some sesame oil and I am good till September – what a great dish.

9 06 2011
Suse

I find that two or three rinses of the noodles under cold water eliminates any gumminess and allows me to store the leftovers in the frig without them sticking together (I cook mine in water). I serve them with scallions sliced thin on the bias and a couple of drops of sesame oil, and the dressing as a dipping sauce. It’s just my personal preference, but yours sounds good, too, Doc. I’ll try it!

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