March 13, 2012

Soba Noodle Salad with Edamame

Today, the electricity went off. I'm not sure why, something about an ice storm?!!!!!!? At least my soba noodles had boiled, and my cabbage had been chopped. I sat in the dark, eating my salad, wondering what life would be like without electricity. And then, as always, the lights turned back on and the thought slowly left my mind. I was free to resume my day; internet, lights, and all.

Soba is the Japanese word for buckwheat and is synonymous with thin, light brown noodles made from buckwheat flour. They have a similar thickness to spaghetti and are used in a variety of hot and cold dishes. Soba noodles are most commonly eaten in Japan, but are becoming increasingly popular throughout other parts of the world due to their delicate charm and slurping ability. Despite what most people think, buckwheat is actually a fruit seed rather than a cereal grain. It lacks the protein 'gluten' commonly found in grains, therefore is a suitable option for people with a gluten intolerance or allergy. [Although, some soba noodles are a mixture of buckwheat and whole wheat, make sure to check the label!] Also, buckwheat contains all of the essential amino acids - total score! Buckwheat flowers are extremely fragrant, and require the hard work of the honey bee to cross pollinate. In return, the bee produces a wonderfully thick dark honey, with a nutty earthy smell, and a malty rich molasses flavor. 

So, thanks to the honey bee, we can now turn our delicious soba noodles into something that will please the palate. Earthy, nutty, and creamy, this salad has a lot of charm. It's light, healthy, and crisp; perfect for a warm summers day, a light lunch, or - with the addition of some prawns and veggie tempura on the side - a gourmet meal. 

makes 4 servings
recipe adapted from Taste of Home

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp orange juice
1 tsp Sriracha hot chili sauce
1 tbsp ginger
1 clove garlic
2 cups frozen edamame beans, thawed
1/2 lb (8 ounces) dry soba noodles
4 cups nappa cabbage, shredded
1 cup carrots, shredded
2 green onion stalks, thinly sliced
2 - 3 tbsp sesame seeds

In a food processor, add the soy sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, canola oil, sesame oil, orange juice, Sriracha, ginger, and garlic. Pulse until the ginger and garlic have become minced. Set to the side.

Thaw the edamame beans in a bowl of cold water.

Shred the cabbage and carrots and mix together. Slice the green onions. Set to the side.

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the soba noodles and boil following the directions on the back of the package. Once cooked, rinse under cold water and then let sit for 2 minutes in a bowl of cold water. Rinse again.

In 4 medium sized bowls, place a 1 1/4 cups of the cabbage carrot mixture on the bottom. Layer with the soba noodles and edamame. Drizzle the sauce on top and then finish with sliced green onions and sesame seeds.


  1. I'm totally intrigued. I've never cooked with soba noodles before, but I just recently saw them at the health food store and since have been oh-so-curious. This salad looks so tasty, too! I think this weekend I'm going to give those noodles a spin. Thanks!

    1. I encourage you to try this salad. I am actually making it again tonight, it was that good.

  2. Heather-- you've done the dish proud. As a Japanese American who grew up on my grandmothers dishes, this looks fresh, cool, and completely legit (although much more beautifully prepared than I've had). GREAT post!

    1. Thanks Sandy. It's just such a fresh and light meal. I'm glad it stacks up to your grandma's cooking ;) Sounds like a tough act to follow.

  3. Hi there! Just found your blog today and love your photos! They are so beautifully set up. Can't wait to read more!

    1. thank you. I have also just checked out yours. I love the 365 day challenge!

  4. This was delicious! I just made this and it will definitely be added to our collection of regular meals. Your blog is beautiful and there are several other recipes I'm going to try soon. Thank you!