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Soba Noodle Salad with Shiitake, Broccoli & C...

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  • Soba Noodle Salad with Shiitake, Broccoli & Creamy Sesame Dressing

    I gotta be honest: being in Japan has got us a little bit blocked in terms of our foodie pursuits. Don’t get me wrong: the local food is absolutely amazing. But we’ve been living here for a couple of months… and when it comes to re-creating our favourite dishes at home, it’s a whole other story. So many western ingredients that we are craving are simply not available, or… they taste different. Humble things like: potatoes. Oh boy! Potatoes in Japan taste SO sweet – our favourite potato bake was a little disappointing this time. I know, I know… #firstworldproblems.

    However, what happens in situations like these is that you get forced into thinking more creatively. In our case, what we had to do was to simply let go of all our western ideals and just “embrace” japanese flavours fully. Even at home. So we started creating japanese-inspired dishes with our own twist. Like this really yummy soba noodle salad which I’m going to share with you today!

    This is SO delicious (it makes us forget about our potato cravings – I swear). It is a dish that gets you your veggies, and soba noodles are a lovely gluten-free source of extra fiber since they are traditionally made with buckwheat flour. It is comforting yet very refreshing – perfect for spring! We love to eat this dish at lunchtime. It can be made ahead to save a bit of time as well.

    I’m pretty convinced that I will keep making it even outside of Japan – I’ve always been a huge fan of these flavours. If you are too, then I’m sure that you will enjoy it. Give it a try!

     

    Kinlake-Japan-City-Lifestyle-10230

     

    First things first: How to Make Creamy Sesame Dressing

    In Japan, it’s all about the sesame dressing – in fact, grocery shops stock so many different types of it! To me, that’s heaven… However, the problem with commercial versions is that they’re laden with nasty ingredients. Wherever you are in the world, you’re always better off making your own – no worries, it’s easier than you think. I like to make bigger batches of it and store it in the fridge for a few days – it’s a great topping for all types of spontaneous salads! I just love this thing.

    • 7 tbsp roasted sesame seeds
    • 3 tbsp light soy sauce
    • 1 tbsp mirin
    • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
    • 3 tbsp of japanese mayo, or homemade vegan mayo
    • 6 tbsp water

    If you’ve got a spice crusher (like this), then you might want to make the first part of your dressing in there, as you will need to grind the sesame seeds well. When the sesame seeds are grinded, you can begin to add the other ingredients slowly and keep grinding/mixing. The dressing is ready once it looks creamy, a bit grainy and not too liquid. If you don’t have a spice crusher, you can try to do the same procedure with a powerful food processor!

     

     

    Soba Noodle Salad – Makes 3-4 Servings

    • 500g of soba noodles (or asian noodles of your choice. Udon & Rice noodles are great too!)
    • A head of broccoli, cut in bite-sized pieces
    • 200g of shiitake mushrooms, cut in big chunks
    • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
    • 3 tsp garlic powder
    • 1 tsp ginger powder
    • Pepper, to taste
    • Mixture of 2 tbsp soy sauce + 4 tbsp water

    TO TOP

    • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
    • Creamy sesame dressing
    • A sprinkle of Sesame seeds

     

    Cook your soba noodles according to package instructions, and steam your broccoli while at it. We love to combine both things, so what we do is simply place a sieve over the noodle pot, place the broccoli right there – it will cook over the steam (who needs a special steamer when you can just do THAT?! Right?). Even if your noodles don’t take that long to cook, you can use a separate pot with boiling water and follow the same method. The broccoli will be ready when it’s cooked through but still crunchy, that takes about 10 minutes. When your noodles are cooked, drain them and give them a good wash with cold water so that they’re not warm – this is meant to be a cold salad after all!

    Meanwhile, or after you’ve already tossed the broccoli & noodles in a large bowl – time to make some tasty shiitake mushrooms. Splash some sesame oil in a medium pan, throw in your shiitake mushrooms and all seasonings except soy sauce/water, then cook on medium high heat. When they start to look well roasted, add the soy sauce/water and cook on high heat until all liquids evaporate. Voilà, you got yourself some tasty shrooms.

    Add them in a large bowl with the rest of the ingredients and mix well. You can either add the sesame dressing at this point and mix it through to coat the noodles, or serve in bowls and set the dressing aside. As you prefer! Top your goodness with chopped spring onion and some extra sesame seed and you got yourself a yummy lunch.

    TIP.: in my opinion, this refreshing noodle bowl could benefit from something crunchy, so feel free to add something crispy as a topping. Here in Japan, we have access to pumpkin chips – those are worth daydreaming about.

     

    Hope you enjoy this recipe! If you try it out, do let us know what you think about it. Have a great weekend everyone 🙂


    Linda is a mediterranean wild spirit. People are her primary inspiration and shape her creative world. She likes to experiment with illustration, hand lettering, and custom-made ideas that don’t always involve a computer and is striving to create unique imagery. She’s in love with all things natural, real and meaningful. Half-Luxembourgish and half-greek, she swears by cretan mountain tea from her homeland to keep her fueled during busy days, and is an avid fan of Wes Anderson movies.

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    • Cheryl Malik

      Holy moly, that looks SO good and light. Thanks for including my vegan tofu mayo 🙂 Sesame noodles are basically the best thing ever so I need to try this!

      • Cheryl!! I’m beyond excited about your comment – I am in love with your vegan tofu mayo recipe so I felt like it would be perfect as part of this recipe. If you try it out, let me know what you think!! :))

    • It looks and sounds so good!! Can i come have dinner with you pretty please?

    • Anne Beffort

      I am so happy to read that you like Soba noodles. These are part of my weekly meals. My favourite recipe is Soba noodles with spinach, soja, garlic, tempeh and sesam! But your recipe inspires me to try something else. I will check it out!

      • Ohhh those combos sound SO good, Anne! And yes, soba noodles are delicious. I love the fact that they are usually gluten-free and rich in fiber, it makes such a healthy substitute for usual noodles/pasta! Here in Japan we are totally spoiled with them, because we can get them freshly made – the texture of those is incredible. Let me know what you think when you try the recipe 🙂

        x

    • This looks so delicious <3 We've been meaning to try this meal out for ages, but just didn't have the time until now. I just wish we had tried it earlier, it was so delicious and good!! We tried it with Udon Noodles, but I think Soba would have been even better, so we will try that out next time. Thank you once again for sharing another really delicious recipe, looking forward to more in the future!! Hope you guys had a nice time in Japan and are now enjoying Chiang Mai! 😀

      • Ohhh Clare!!! So happy to read your comment <3
        I am so honored that you tried & loved this recipe! It really brightens my day to know your enjoyed it as much as I had fun experimenting and putting it together :)))

        There will certainly be more recipes after Chiang Mai, once we're back in a place where our cooking mode is on! I have a looooot of foodie things I want to play around with, and so does David! On top of that, we are also working on an upcoming, really big project that will actually be focused on food – but that one will come out waaaay later, as it will align with our big move this year. Just thought I'd let you know already – you will certainly be the first to be updated when we move forward with that one 😉

        We miss Japan already. It was absolutely magical!! I know we'll have to go back :)))
        Hope you guys are also doing well – sending you loads of hugs <3

        x
        Linda

        • Sounds so exciting the food related project!!! Can’t wait to find out more about it and good luck with the move! 😀 Thanks for the spoiler! 😀

          Hope you guys are doing well too and looks like you are enjoying Chiang Mai so much! We want to go back there so much after seeing your instagram! Such a great place and good food! Sending loads of hugs too you guys too. <3 PS. I hope that you chose to call the portable scanner, squishy 😛

          • OF COURSE it will be Squishy. Squishy loves to squish paper when he feels fishy 😛 hahahaha!!!

            We are definitely enjoying Chiang Mai – we discovered some new food spots that are totally mind-blowing. Would be cool if we cross paths there together some day, wouldn’t it? Lots of foodie adventures for sure :)))

            • Heheeee! Awesome to hear that Squishy is it’s name. Hope he doesn’t get too fishy 😛 So glad to hear that you guys are enjoying Chiang Mai and seeing your Instagram stories! Definitely would be amazing to cross paths one day! If you guys ever visit Norway though, you are both more than welcome to visit! They have some pretty nommy food here too 😀

              Also, just seen your new website design and I’m loving it! Really clean, nice design! Awesome work guys! 😀 😀

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