Succulent Soba Salad

Soba Salad 6

A big part of culminating the perfect aphrodisiacal dinner is having a light meal that will leave you feeling fresh, alive and full of energy. A meal like this is easily digestible, includes lots of raw ingredients, has a light but effective protein, zero dairy or gluten, and is quick to prepare for a relaxed and swift dinner.

Buckwheat Soba noodles are a fantastic gluten free option – tasteful, packed with protein and cook in about 5 minutes. I do a soba salad that has almost all raw ingredients except for the noodles and mushrooms, for a beautiful enzyme packed meal that is very light on your system, and full of aphrodisiacal ingredients – to name them: cucumber, mushroom, carrots, ginger, garlic, honey, mint, and silken tofu. Silken tofu really lives up to it’s name as the texture just barely holds itself together, melting in your mouth at first touch. As other soy products it is also full of phytoestrogens, which are a plant’s own estrogen and are therefore particularly stimulating for women. The slightly sweet ginger-spiced noodles are bursting with flavor as they soak up the marinade, and are brightened by all of the fresh vegetables around them, and the meaty mushrooms provide a needed kick. A slippery and crunchy salad for a fresh summer night, this is a staple in my monthly menu, and I predict will shortly be part of yours…

YOU WILL NEED (for two + lover’s leftovers):

  • 1 pack gluten free soba noodles
  • 200g silken tofu – very delicately chopped into cubes or rectangles
  • 1 medium cucumber – julienned (very thinly sliced into long strips)
  • 1 large carrot or 2 medium – peeled and julienned
  • 1 cup of portobello mushrooms (can use shiitake for the asian flavor but i prefer portobello) – thinly sliced
  • Spring onions sliced into thin diagonal rounds
  • 3 tbsp black sesame seeds for garnish
  • small handful of mint for garnish
  • dash of olive oil and sesame oil for frying mushrooms

FOR THE MARINADE:

  • 1 clove garlic, finely diced
  • 1.5 inch head of ginger – finely gated
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp mirin vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey (mixed with 1 tbsp hot water to melt & integrate)
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • Play with the flavors – measurements are approximate so taste until it seems balanced to you)

You will notice that I have used bok choy instead of cucumber in the shown pictures, but cucumber is a much nicer combination and an avid aphrodisiac! I recommend the cucumber version – much fresher….

Soba Salad 4

Start by putting some water on for your soba noodles. Cooking soba noodles is fairly precise, if they over-cooked they become very gluggy – so take them out while they are al dente – and be generous with your al-dente-meter. Put them in once the water is high boiling, and make sure to stir often. Once you remove them from the heat, strain them and immediately run cold water through them, mixing so the water gets everywhere, and until they are luke warm or cold. Let drain for a few minutes. Afterwards, lay them out on a large area of paper towels and cover with another layer of paper towels – this is very important to making a tasty soba noodle dish, as they will now soak up the flavor of your marinade, and not become a slushy sloppy mix.

In the meantime, you can be frying off your mushrooms in a half half mix of olive oil and sesame oil which is a very good frying oil for it’s high smoke point. Once they are soft and browned, place in a large bowl along with the carrots and cucumber, and now dried soba noodles. Whisk all marinade ingredients together in a small bowl, afterwards adding to the bowl along with 2 tbsp of the black sesame. Mix well so the marinade gets all over the noodles and has a moment to soak in…

To serve, make a swirled pile on your plate, garnished with the rest of the sesame, the spring onions, mint, and a side of the silken tofu (if you put the tofu in the noodles, it will fall apart – let that happen in your mouth).

Enjoy this silken treat with the fresh vibrant feeling that ensues…

 

Soba Salad 5

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