Silky. Delicate. Satisfyingly wholesome. Sweet in all the right places, crunchy, fresh, zesty and herbaceous. Scandalously blending Thai and Japanese flavors. Unorthodox, you say? … All the better.
This dish landed upon me on one of those romantic nights home alone, with no one to cook for but yours truly. I was in the mood for something nurturing and bright, but deeply uninterested in leaving the premises for supplies. I sipped my wine, pondering the kitchen for just the right thing until my eyes landed upon that perfectly ripe avocado, being caressed by a neighboring mango. In a flash, every ingredient, every flavor combination came whirling into my head all at once. I got so excited, I nearly spilled my wine on the floor as I flung myself towards the cupboard wherein laid my soba noodles.
Looking back on it now, it all seems so obvious. How this combination not have happened before?
I cooked, tasted, sipped and smelled, in sheer anticipation of sharing this luscious meal with myself. The ensuing experience filled every facet of culinary craving, satisfied every nook of desire, and left me solitarily fulfilled from having given such a beautiful gift to myself. So, I am writing this week to remind anyone who reads, that such a sensuous, nurturing experience is most definitely worthy of an evening in with yourself.
Anyhow, enough ranting, lets get down to it.
YOU WILL NEED (for ONE):
(CLICK THE PINK-LINKS FOR MORE INFO ON THEIR APHRODISIAC PROPERTIES…)
- 1/3 of a pack of soba noodles (if it is one of those cute little thrice divided packages they come in)
- handful of cashews or other nuts (peanuts, macadamias, etc) – roasted and salted (they really need the salt as this is more or less the only ingredient that packs a punch of salt
- 1/2 an avocado – diced or sliced
- 1/2 a mango – finely sliced
- 1/2 a lebanese cucumber (you know, the really crunchy fresh almost baby cucumbers)
- small handful of mint
- small handful of cilantro (coriander)
- roughly a tablespoon of toasted sesame seeds (black would be great too)
FOR THE SAUCE:
- 1 small clove garlic, finely diced
- 1/2 tbsp of ginger – finely gated
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp mirin vinegar
- 1/2 tbsp honey
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- Play with the flavors – measurements are approximate so taste until it seems balanced to you)
Start by boiling your soba noodles. It is essential to keep a close eye on these babies – they only take a few minutes, and as soon as the are ready (slightly al dente) you will need to strain and run cold water over them, turning with your finger to get them all as cold as possible as quickly as possible. Keep the water running, and keep a’turnin until all the noddles are cold. Let drain for a minute or so, then spread the noodles out on a paper towel to further dry, with another one covering them, patting dry. I know this seems a little over the top, but it is very important. If you skip this step, the sauce will not take to the soba and you will find yourself facing a super sloppy and less flavorful bowl of soba. Once they are nice and dry you can let them sit while you prepare the rest of soba’s soon-to-be comrades.
There is almost no need to give you further instructions, seeing as the simple prep is laid out with the above ingredients. All you need to know, is to mix the sauce well, and before adding the honey, you may need to mix it with a tiny splash of hot water to incorporate into the rest of the sauce. Then, in a large bowl mix the soba, the sauce and the sesames (saving some for garnish). Maybe let sit for a minute or two to infuse.
Grab your now flavor-soaked soba, twirl it onto your plate, and garnish lovingly with all the other luscious ingredients.
How simple is that, to boot? This is most definitely going to be a staple treat for me, and i hope this infectious soba infatuation will spread…