Cold Noodle Salad With Spicy Peanut Sauce
Soba, Japanese buckwheat noodles, are ideal for salads because they taste particularly great when served cold. Crunchy vegetables are highlighted here, adding lots of crisp, fresh texture. Substitute with any raw vegetables you have on hand, such as cabbage, carrot, fennel, asparagus, broccoli or cauliflower. The spicy peanut sauce is very adaptable: If you don’t want to use peanut butter, you can use any nut or seed butter, like cashew, almond, sunflower or even tahini. Both the soba and the peanut sauce can be prepared ahead of time and stored in the fridge overnight, but wait to combine them until you are ready to eat for the best texture and consistency. The peanut sauce thickens as it sits, so add a tablespoon or two of water to loosen it up, if necessary.
- Serves: 4 persons
- Kosher salt
- 10ounces soba noodles
- 1medium zucchini or cucumber (about 6 ounces)
- 5radishes (about 4 ounces)
- 1bell pepper (any color)
- 1tablespoon sesame oil
- ½cup roasted salted peanuts (about 2 ounces), roughly chopped
- 2scallions, trimmed and finely chopped
- Handful of cilantro leaves
- 1lime, cut into wedges for serving
- ½cup smooth peanut butter (not natural)
- ¼cup soy sauce
- 2tablespoons maple syrup
- 2tablespoons lime juice (from 1 lime)
- 1tablespoon sesame oil
- 2teaspoons chile oil or hot sauce, plus more to taste
- 1garlic clove, grated
Step 1Bring a pot of salted water to the boil. Add the soba, stir to prevent sticking, and cook according to package instructions until just tender. Rinse under cold water until the noodles are completely cold.
Step 2Meanwhile, make the sauce: In a medium bowl, combine the peanut butter, soy sauce, maple syrup, lime juice, sesame oil, chile oil or hot sauce, and garlic. Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and whisk until the sauce is a pourable consistency. Taste and add more chile oil or hot sauce as desired; set aside.
Step 3Cut the zucchini or cucumber and radishes into 1/8-inch thick slices, then cut into thin matchsticks. Slice the peppers into 1/8-inch pieces. Place them all in a large bowl.
Step 4Loosen the soba noodles by running them under some water, then allow to drain again. Add them to the vegetables, add the remaining 1 tablespoon sesame oil and toss to combine.
Step 5When you are ready to serve, drizzle with spicy peanut sauce and top with peanuts, scallions and cilantro. Serve immediately, with lime wedges alongside.