Sunny days are bringing friends and family together for shared meals enjoyed outdoors. Salads are always a welcome addition to backyard barbecues or picnics in the park, and this soba noodle salad is no exception.
Fresh citrus and herbs add a summery zest to this refreshing salad. Hearty soba, savory shiitake and cool cucumbers combine with spicy radishes and peppers to create a salad that’s a meal in itself.
The citrus salad dressing is based on ponzu, a yuzu-soy dipping sauce for dumplings and noodles. Ponzu is usually made with mirin, a sweet cooking wine common in Japanese cuisine. For an alcohol-free version of the dressing, just substitute rice vinegar for the mirin.
Soba Noodle Salad with Citrus Soy Dressing
serves 6 – 12
for the dressing:
- 2 lemons
- 2 limes
- 1/4 cup mirin
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon agave syrup
for the salad:
- 3 bundles of soba noodles
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 6 large shiitake mushroom caps
- 6 sweet peppers
- 3 green onions
- 1 English cucumber
- 1/2 bunch radishes
- fresh cilantro sprigs
- fresh mint sprigs
- First, make the dressing. Zest and juice the limes and lemons into a medium bowl. Add the soy sauce, agave, and mirin, then whisk well to combine.
- To make the noodles, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Remove the bands from the soba noodles and drop them into the boiling water. Stir briefly. After the water returns to a boil, cook the noodles for 7 minutes. Drain the noodles and rinse them in cold water immediately. Add the cooked soba to a large bowl, drizzle with the sesame oil, and gently stir to coat the noodles with oil so that they do not stick together.
- While the water is boiling, prepare the mushrooms. Clean and slice the mushrooms. Heat an oiled skillet and sauté the mushrooms over medium-high flame until nicely browned on both sides. Fry the mushrooms in two or three batches so that they will be crispy. Toss the fried mushrooms into the big bowl with the noodles.
- Wash the peppers, cucumber, and radishes, then slice them julienne. Wash the green onions and cut them on a bias. Wash the cilantro and mint and roughly chop the leaves. Add the veggies and herbs to the bowl with the noodles and mushrooms.
- Pour the dressing over the salad, and toss gently to combine all the ingredients. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
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