Soba Noodles with Miso-Sesame Sauce

Soba noodles are made from buckwheat, which is actually a seed, not a grain. Some Soba noodles are made with a little added wheat flour, so check the ingredients if you are trying to avoid gluten. Buckwheat is a cooling food that is appropriate for hot summer days. It is delicious served at room temperature. This recipe is from Ancient Wisdom Modern Kitchen by Yuan Wang, Warren Sheir, and Mika Ono. In addition to being nutritious, Buckwheat is thought to help menopause symptoms, improve memory and slow the graying of hair as well as strengthen the Spleen, Stomach, Liver and Kidneys.


     1 medium size cucumber

     1 sheet nori seaweed (optional)

     8 ounces dried soba noodles

     1/3 cup water, plus extra for cooking the noodles

     4 tablespoons white miso

     3 1/2 tablespoons tahini or other sesame paste

     2 tablespoons lemon juice

     1 tablespoon mirin wine (sherry can be substituted)

     1 (1/2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated

     1 medium-size carrot, peeled and sliced into match         stick-shape pieces

     2 green onions, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces


  1. Peel the cucumber. Slice it in half lengthwise and scoop out and discard the seeds. Cut the cucumber into matchstick-shaped pieces.

2.   Toast the nori seaweed (if using) by holding the sheet by       one corner and passing it briefly over a lighted burner on       your stove, about an inch above, several times. With a       pair of scissors, cut the nori into 1/4 by 1/2 inch pieces       and set aside.

3.  Cook the soba in boiling water for 4 to 5 minutes, until al       dente or according to the package directions, then drain,      rinse under cold running water, and set aside.

4.  Warm 1/3 cup water

5.  In a small bowl, mix the miso, tahini, lemon juice, mirin,      and grated ginger. Add the warm water a little at a time      until the mixture is the desired consistency. You need not      use all the water. Place the noodles, cucumbers, carrot,      and green onions in a serving dish and toss with sauce.      Garnish with nori.

You can also experiment with other summer vegetables and flavor combinations for a wide variety of easy summer dishes.