Prepared as described here, these noodles are one of my favorite meals. Apart from being delicious, this dish is easy to prepare and the ingredients are easy to find. It’s informal enough to throw together yourself and enjoy with a cold beer or two, but works just as well as the main dish at a dinner party where you set out the various garnishes and each person creates their own combination. There’s no exact formula for this dish- just make sure you have a spicy, flavorful sauce and plenty of crunchy, finely chopped vegetables (for the health!). I like using a fish like tuna or salmon – just barely seared – but you could also use pork, chicken or shrimp. The mix of colors, textures and flavors will make you never want to eat a boring, oily pasta salad again!
Ingredients (for 1 person):
3-4 tbs. Spicy Sesame-Chili-Garlic sauce
2 oz dry soba noodles
2 tbs. finely chopped scallions
1/4 lb sushi-grade tuna or salmon
2 tbs. sesame oil
Shredded red cabbage
Shredded iceberg lettuce
Finely chopped spinach leaves
Finely chopped cucumber slices
Slices of red bell pepper
Hard-boiled eggs, cut into slivers
Dried seaweed flakes
In a medium pot, bring salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, place several ice cubes in bowl of cold water and set aside. Add soba noodles and cook until tender- just a couple of minutes. Remove immediately from water with a slotted spoon and plunge into the ice water. After about 5 minutes, drain the noodles and toss them with the dressing and scallions.
Heat sesame oil in a pan. Sear the fish until the edge of the meat turns white – this should take only a minute or two. When seared, remove from heat and cut the meat into bite-sized portions.
Place the noodles in a bowl. Arrange garnishes and chunks of fish around the sides of the bowl in clusters and serve.
To eat: mix all of this up until vegetables are lightly coated with the sauce. Serve with cold beer or a fragrant white wine like gewurztraminer.