Isn't it funny how some things we usually eat hot also work really well cold, but others don't? Like cold pasta, (eg. fusilli or penne), in a salad is delicious, but somehow cold tagliatelle seems really wrong. And cold tomato soup is gorgeous as gazpacho, but cold cauliflower soup sounds revolting. Cold waxy potatoes in salad are wonderful, but cold chips are less so!
My point is that whilst I usually prefer my noodles hot, these gorgeous soba noodles work really, really well cold - they retain their bite and nutty flavour and are great for soaking up the flavours of punchy dressings, like this creamy and crunchy peanut and sesame one.
I've photographed this in plastic tubs because I can't think of a better packed lunch for sweltering summer days like today. The stir-fried tenderstem in ginger and garlic will stay really crunchy even after a few hours sitting around in a lunchbox, and the cool, crisp cucumber and nutty noodles work really well together. The star of the show is the sesame, soy sauce and peanut butter dressing, which takes seconds to throw together but adds crunch, saltiness and a glossy finish in one go.
Tenderstem & Cucumber Soba Noodle Salad
- 200 g soba noodles
- 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 200 g tenderstem broccoli tips
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed (or 1 tsp lazy garlic)
- 1 cm fresh ginger, peeled and grated (or 1 tsp lazy ginger)
- half a cucumber
- 3 spring onions
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- ½ tbsp soy sauce
- 1 heaped tbsp crunchy peanut butter
- Bring a large pan of water to the boil and add the soba noodles. Simmer for 5 minutes until tender, then drain and rinse thoroughly with cold water. Transfer to a large bowl.
- Whilst the noodles are boiling, heat the oil in a small frying pan and add the ginger, garlic and broccoli. Cook over a medium heat stirring frequently for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, use a potato peeler to shave off long strips of cucumber, and add these to the bowl with the noodles. Slice the spring onions finely and add these to the bowl.
- In a mug or small bowl, whisk together the sesame oil, soy sauce and peanut butter into a dressing, and pour over the noodles, tossing to combine.
- When the broccoli is cooked, divide the noodles between two plates (or lunchboxes) and top with the broccoli.
For more noodle salad recipes from blogging friends, take a look at:
- Nicola's Easy Nutty Noodle Salad from Kitchen Sanctuary
- Choclette's Samurai Samphire Noodles with Miso Marinated Tofu from Tin & Thyme
or take a look at my: