This refreshing noodle-based salad comes from Sonoko Sakai, a Japanese American Hollywood movie producer turned cooking teacher and food writer. Whether using fresh soba noodles or dried, take care to cook very gently—don’t walk away from the pot!—as they go from perfectly cooked to overdone in a matter of moments. For the greens, use any hearty, strongly flavored lettuces, such as arugula, endive, or chicory, to balance the earthy buckwheat noodles.
Featured in: “The Art of Homemade Soba Noodles.”
Soba Salad with Lemon–Miso Vinaigrette
This refreshing salad of soba noodles tossed with winter greens and mixed vegetables is brought together by a tart dressing of miso, ginger juice, and lemon.
Yield: serves 4
- 2 1⁄2 oz. small radicchio leaves
- 2 1⁄2 oz. small red leaf lettuce leaves
- 24 small shiso or basil leaves
- 16 small grape tomatoes
- 4 small dill fronds
- 2 small carrots, thinly sliced crosswise
- 1 Persian cucumber, thinly sliced crosswise
- 1 red finger chile
- 1⁄3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1 1⁄2 tbsp. rice vinegar
- 1 1⁄2 tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 tbsp. white miso
- 2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
- 1⁄2 tsp. sugar
- One 2-inch piece ginger, peeled
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
- 8 oz. fresh soba noodles or dried noodles
- In a large bowl, combine both lettuces with the shiso, tomatoes, dill, carrots, and cucumber. Using a sharp knife, begin thinly slicing the chile from the tip. When you reach the seeds, stop slicing and discard, or save the remaining chile for another use. Add the sliced chile to the lettuces in the bowl and toss to combine.
- In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil with the lemon juice, rice vinegar, soy sauce, miso, sesame oil, and sugar. Using a Microplane positioned over a fine sieve set in a bowl, grate the ginger into the sieve, then press on the solids to extract as much juice as possible into the bowl. Add 1 teaspoon of the ginger juice to the bowl of dressing, reserving the rest for another use. Season the dressing with salt and black pepper and whisk until emulsified. Divide the dressing among 4 small ramekins and sprinkle each with some of the sesame seeds.
- In a large pot of boiling water, cook the soba noodles until al dente, about 3 minutes for fresh noodles or 4–6 minutes for dried noodles. Drain into a colander and rinse under cold running water until the water runs clear. Divide the noodles among 4 serving plates. Divide the lettuces and vegetables over the noodles, sprinkle with the remaining sesame seeds, and serve immediately with the dressing on the side.