I don't know who invented the soba salad but it's not the Japanese. Go to Wholefoods, Tavern, Real Food Daily, M Cafe in LA - Soba salad is on their regular menu. I can't get used to the idea of pre-seasoned soba noodles though.The Japanees tradition is to eat fresh soba plain and quickly with a dipping sauce before they go limp or eat soba in a hot soup. The first time someone served me a soba salad, I was horrified. But I have become more open to fusion. If pasta works, why not soba?
During the Common Grains event, we decided to put soba salad on the menu, and people went for it. But we did something slightly different with the dressing to maintain the quality of our fresh, handcut soba.
Fresh hand cut tartary soba noodles.
Flour: Anson Mills Tartary Soba blended with Kitawase Soba
Water ration: 48%
We went light on the salad dressing and used two instead on one dressing. The oil based dressing was used with the leafy vegetables and the oil-less Dowari- sauce for the noodles. This way, you can taste the noodles before they get masked with the salad dressing.
It's simple to make this salad. Pour the Dowari dipping sauce over the cold noodles. In a separate bowl, toss the leafy greans with the oil based dressing, and serve the salad right on top of the noodles. This presentation allows you to taste the texture and flavor of the soba before it gets tosed up with the seasoned leafy greens. I sprinkled some deep fried buckwheat grouts on top on this salad.
Soba salad with leafy greens, avocado, kiwi, red radishes, cilantro
and buckwheat groats.
Here is a simple sesame dressing that I used for the leafy greens.
Creamy sesame dressing for Soba Salad
(Makes 2 cups)
1 cup grape seed oil or canola oil
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/3 cup Mori tsuyu dipping sauce or more to taste or use 1/4 cup soy sauce
1 Tbls sesame oil
1 garlic clove, chopped finely
3-4 Tbls Atari Goma (Japanese sesame paste)
1 tsp grated ginger juice
1Tsp sugar to taste
Salt and Pepper to taste
Put all the ingredients in a blender. Blend until creamy.
Dilute Hongaeshi with 25% Dashi. Bring to a boil in a pot and
simmer for a couple of minutes. Remove from heat and