Soba Noodle Salad

by: Chef Ilona Daniel

Yield: 4-6 servings
1 cucumber, peeled, julienne cut
¼ cup lite seasoned rice vinegar
3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil+ 3 tbsp. butternut oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2/3 cup mint chiffonade, or finely chopped
1 cup scallions, julienne cut
2 ½ cups coarsely grated carrot
2 cups fresh, thin green beans cut on the sharp diagonal into about 3-inch lengths
1 8-ounce package soba noodles, broken in half
2 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted

Bring about 3 quarts of water to a boil in a large saucepan.

Julienne the cucumber and place it in a large bowl along with the vinegar, sesame oil, butternut oil and soy sauce. Let the cucumber marinate while you prepare the rest of the vegetables.

Add about ½ teaspoon salt to the boiling water then stir in the soba noodles. Set a timer for five minutes. Continue stirring the sobas until the water comes back to the boil. Lower the heat so the water is at a medium boil. After one minute, add the green beans. When the timer goes off, test a noodle to be sure it is cooked. Pour the sobas and beans into a colander and rinse with a little cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain the noodles and beans very well as water will dilute the dressing and the flavor of your salad. (Note: check the suggested cooking time on your package of soba noodles. If it is more than 5 minutes, then adjust the recipe by adding the green beans when there are 4 minutes to go.)

Stir the well-drained noodles and beans into the bowl with the cucumbers. When coated with dressing, stir in the mint, scallions and carrots. Serve sprinkled with the toasted sesame seeds.

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