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
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.