So, I'm pretty sure I'm breaking all the rules with this recipe.
But I don't really care because it's SO GOOD.
Crunchy peanut soba noodle good.
I adapted this from a recipe for Vietnamese rice noodle salad.
But then I added ginger, soy sauce, and soba noodles, which are all traditional Japanese ingredients.
While its ethnic origins may be confused, this salad is spot on in flavor and texture, and I can't get enough.
Part of the reason I love this salad is because it's so versatile. I've made it twice now, and each time I made it a little differently, and each time I couldn't stop snagging fork-fulls of it out of the fridge.
The first time I used gluten-free brown rice rotini. I liked how the chewiness of the pasta held its own with the crunchy carrots, cabbage, and peppers, as opposed to a softer rice noodle.
The second time I used soba noodles, which also held up nicely with the other ingredients, while mimicking them in size a little more. I have this weird obsession with making all the ingredients of a pasta dish roughly the same size.
The second time I also added fried onions. Great decision. I'm always intimidated by frying things and rarely ever do, but these onions came together in about 5 minutes and added another savory element to the salad. You could totally skip them though.
You could also skip the teaspoon of cornstarch that I added. I just found that it made the sauce a little more saucy, if you know what I mean. It clung to the noodles better instead of pooling in the bottom of the bowl.
You most definitely cannot skip the crunchy salty roasted peanuts. They're mandatory. And delicious.
Crunchy Peanut Soba Noodle Slaw
1 9.5 oz package soba noodles
1 yellow pepper, cut into matchstick-size pieces
1 small head (or 1/2 a large head) green cabbage, cut into small strips
2 carrots, shredded in a food processor or hand-grated
1 cup dry roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
handful of fresh herbs (mint, cilantro, basil or a combination) roughly chopped
Fried Onions (optional)
1 cup diced onion
neutral cooking oil
3-4 tablespoons lime juice (from about 2 limes)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tablespoon minced ginger
3 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon corn starch
1 teaspoon water
Boil water and cook soba noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cool water.
In a large bowl, combine soba noodles, yellow pepper, cabbage, carrots, and peanuts.
To make the fried onions, place a large sauté pan over medium high eat. Cover the surface of pan with 1/2 inch of neutral oil (like canola oil or grape seed oil) Add onions. Fry for about 3-5 minutes or until onions are golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a plate covered in paper towels. When slightly cooled, add to the salad.
To make the dressing, whisk together lime juice, garlic, ginger, fish sauce, brown sugar, red pepper flakes and soy sauce in a small bowl. In a separate, smaller bowl, stir together cornstarch and water until cornstarch is dissolved. Add to the rest of the sauce and stir to combine.
Pour sauce over noodles and vegetables. Toss to combine. (Tongs are helpful here) Eat immediately, or chill in the fridge. Garnish with chopped fresh herbs, more peanuts, and lime wedges.
Adapted from Delancey.
- The recipe makes a lot! Probably 6-8 servings. It could be easily halved.
- Try adding different colored peppers, or cucumbers cut like matchsticks, or bok choy instead of the cabbage.