Wish Upon A Dish: Sesame Miso Soba Noodles

August 5, 2013

Sesame Miso Soba Noodles

I needed a substantial, but cold, noodle dish to graze on during the day. Something that can be eaten while working at my desk but with enough flavor to want to eat the whole bowl.
The usual influx of cold noodle and pasta salad posts started weaving their way around the blogosphere during the huge heat wave that paralyzed 3/4 of the country, but sadly produced the usual. I was looking for less, to no sugar and tired of the peanut butter.
I needed and wanted one that was light on ingredients but big on flavor. I needed the Minimalist's take on a sesame noodle salad.

He had the cure for my craving and produced a wonderfully flavorful, no sugar or peanut butter, and light dressing. I have been experimenting with all kinds of miso this summer, mostly in marinades and braising but I needed a salad dish in my repertoire and this fit right in. The sesame oil gives it just enough nutty flavor to make you forget that gloppy peanut paste that can weigh down the noodles.

I used soba noodles (so much better for a diabetic) but any long pasta (except angel hair) will work fine (thin linguine is perfect), just nothing too thick. This is a Japanese Vinaigrette and I like it lots. I would even use this as a hot dressing for grilled vegetables or better yet, mix the vegetables with the noodles. Yum!

Miso Ginger Sesame Vinaigrette
Inspired by Mark Bittman
Yield: 1 cup (enough for 1 pound of pasta or three soba bundles)

* 2 tablespoons Tamari
* 2 tablespoon yellow miso
* 3 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil
* 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
* 1 garlic clove, minced
* 4 dashes of hot chili oil or red pepper flakes
* 2 scallions, sliced or a handful of chives, minced
* 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
* 3 tablespoons cooking water
* 1 teaspoon maple syrup
* salt & pepper to taste

* Julienned vegetables (carrots, zucchini, red peppers, broccoli and cauliflower florets)
* Sesame seeds (optional garnish)

1. Put a large stockpot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta for 3 minutes, then throw in the vegetables.
2. Reserve 1/4 cup cooking water and drain the pasta mixture.
3. Add dressing ingredients to a container with a lid. Shake until it is smooth and the miso breaks down.
4. Pour over noodles and toss. Top with additional sliced scallions or chives and sesame seeds.

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