Cold Soba Salad with Wasabi Dressing

I have to share a secret with you: I’m a lazy cook. If a dish involves more than one pot and I have to invest more than 20 minutes making it, it won’t become one of my everyday recipes. This is why I love this dish: it’s super healthy, quick and easy. And: it makes a FABULOUS office lunch as well. Precook it or enjoy your leftovers on your desk the next day.BlueGingerClub_SobaSalad-1

This specific recipe is my interpretation of cold soba noodles with dipping sauce which I had in Japan. I tried to create  a well-balanced meal out of it consisting of complex carbs, veggies and two sources of vegan protein. The dressing is straightforward, but the wasabi gives it a little kick – it’s addictive!

BlueGingerClub_SobaSalad-52 servings
15 minutes

Stuff you need:

  • 2 bundles of dried soba noodles (they are usually packed in portions, see pictures)
  • 200 gram Pak Choy (or any other greens of your choice, spinach will do)
  • 1 package of tofu (1 piece)
  • 2 handfuls of fresh shiitake mushrooms (dried ones are ok, button mushroom or portobello will also do the job)
  • Japanese soy sauce
  • 4 tbs Mirin (= Japanese sweet sake, if you don’t have that substitute with 3 tbs dry sherry and 1 tbs honey or agave syrup)
  • 1 tbs Japanese rice vinegar (cider vinegar will also do)
  • Wasabi powder or paste
  • 1 tbs black sesame
  • Salt, brown sugar, vegetable oil, sesame oil

Get started

BlueGingerClub_SobaSalad-3First of all, do the mise-en-place: you want to wash your veggies, remove the stem of the Pak Choy and mushrooms and cut the latter into quarters. Slice the tofu in small cubes.

After that, fill a big pot with water and bring it to boil. Add the soba noodles and the Pak choy and cook for around 4 minutes. Strain them, then “wash” the mixture with cold water. You even might want to add a few ice cubes to cool it down; this will keep the veggies green and prevent the noodles from becoming overdone.BlueGingerClub_SobaSalad-4

Briefly clean your pot to reuse it or get a pan on the heating plate. Add 3 tbs of oil, then add the tofu and the mushrooms. Fry on high heat for 2-3 minutes, then add 2 tbs of soy sauce and a dash of brown sugar. After another 5 minutes, remove from heat and discard the liquid. Add a dash of salt and a few drops of sesame oil.

In a bowl, mix 5 tbs soy sauce, the Mirin, vinegar and a little bit of wasabi paste (whatever you can handle!). Mix until it’s homogeneous, then try and fine tune it according to your taste. After that, marinade the noodle-veggie combi with the dressing, add the tofu and mushrooms on top and finish your dish off with a pinch of sesame seeds. You could add some finely chopped scallion or pickles for decoration. Enjoy!

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