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Friday, May 30, 2014

Random Food Fridays - Soba Slaw

Another beautiful salad for a hot, late Spring day. I know that I post a lot of soups and salads and there is a reason for that - endless variety! And, eat more fruits and veg, yo! Every season offers new freshness to try.
I recently started using Soba noodles. I thought they were gluten free, but many are not. If you are going gluten free, be sure to check the labels. The primary ingredient for Soba is buckwheat. Sometimes they also have yams or soy flour too. They cook up in about 3 minutes. You really have to watch that they don't over cook! If you use them in a salad or plan to add them to a stir fry, undercook them a bit. They have a slightly nutty flavor and hold their shape well. I understand that I haven't even eaten them in the traditional way yet. Usually they are either served cold, with a dipping sauce and toppings. Or, they can be served with a hot broth and toppings. So far, I've used them in salad, stir fries and even with spaghetti sauce. I did pick up some Soba sauce at our local Japanese grocery on my last visit.
For this salad, I used a T-style peeler to shred the carrots and cucumber into long "noodles". There are a number of products you can use to get the same result. But, if you want to use your regular grater, you will still have a delicious, if slightly less stylish, salad. I can't over emphasize the importance of fresh herbs here. You can use any, but I went with a classic South East Asian combo of mint, Thai basil and cilantro. Because I often eat salads for lunch, I like to add a protein to keep me going through the afternoon. Raw cashews are a perfect match for this salad. They add a sweet richness to this fresh and crunchy dish.

I hope that you will give any of my salads a try. More, I hope you will buy some weird thing you've never eaten before and concoct your own magic salads!

Soba Slaw
5 medium carrots, scrubbed and shredded into long pieces
1 English or Japanese cucumber, with peel, washed and shredded to the seed part
1 Cup shredded purple cabbage
1 packet Soba noodles, cooked per package instructions and immediately rinsed in cold water
Big handful of fresh herbs - 1/3 each mint, Thai basil and cilantro - chop larger leaves
1 tbsp. sesame seeds
Raw cashews for serving

Sweet Chili Dressing
1 tbsp. toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup Mai Ploy sweet chili sauce
1 tsp. fresh grated ginger
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. rice vinegar

Toss all salad ingredients together, except for the cashews. Combine all the dressing ingredients and toss with the salad. Serve with cashews and additional fresh herbs. Stores well in the fridge. Makes 6 servings.

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