The February 2011 Daring Cooks’ challenge was hosted by Lisa of Blueberry Girl. She challenged Daring Cooks to make Hiyashi Soba and Tempura. She has various sources for her challenge including japanesefood.about.com, pinkbites.com, and itsybitsyfoodies.com.
Soba are Japanese noodles made with buckwheat. They make a frequent appearance in my kitchen since cooking them takes only 2 minutes. But tempura has not been a frequent player in my kitchen dramas, and will remain offstage even now, since it requires deep fat frying. As a result, the vegetables with my soba noodles salad are briefly baked in the oven, which yields soft and warm veggies without turning them into artery-hardeners.
Soba Noodle Salad
This is a fresh and simple salad, and is great for lunch boxes since it needn't be served warm.
for the salad:
soba (buckwheat) noodles, found with the fresh pasta at a large grocery store or Asian store
vegetables of your choice, for example onion rings, peppers, mushrooms, aubergine, or carrots
pork strips, pan fried with soy sauce (optional)
for the dressing:
3 T soy sauce
2 T rice wine vinegar
1/2 t sugar
1/4 t mustard
1 T mild oil
1 T sesame oil
scallions (green onions)
daikon (Japanese radish), grated
Cook the soba noodles according to packet directions. Rinse in cold water and let cool.
Toss the vegetables with a little oil and bake in a 450 F (230 C) oven for 12 minutes.
Make the dressing by whisking together all the ingredients.
To serve, place noodles in a bowl, top with the daikon and scallions.
Pour over the dressing.
Add the vegetables and pork (if using).