21 June 2011

cold sesame soba noodles

You know what makes a ton of sense? Eating cold food in the summer. I am so very bad at this, and will probably continue to insist that we make pizza in the broiler and ignore that it'll cost us buckets of sweat in our apartment. I decided I need to arm myself with tasty cold dishes for later this summer. This recipe was first on deck. I think I put it first because I'd just bought some wonderful tahini (and sesame candy with pistachios, yum!) at the mediterranean market down the street. How in the world I'd never been there in four years blows my mind! It was like walking into a little corner grocery in Turkey or Jordan.

So yeah, this recipe is pretty danged quick and won't cost you too many dirty dishes. It only seemed hard at the time because I was trying to bake complicated bread, feed the dog, feed the cat, use a tiny bit of counter space (because my complicated bread did indeed generate a lot of dirty dishes! But it was worth it!!), drink a beer, and make dinner at the same time. I recommend uni-tasking, whew! I also recommend chopsticks -- noodles are more fun to eat that way.

Cold Sesame Soba Noodles 
tweaked from appetite for china's recipe

12 ounces soba noodles (spaghetti-sized buckwheat pasta)
2 tablespoons peanut oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons grated ginger
4.5 tablespoons tahini
3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons water
1.5 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3 teaspoons chili sauce
1 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 large carrot, peeled and thinly sliced (as close to julienned as possible)
1 large bell pepper (red, orange, or yellow), thinly sliced
pinch of salt
roasted sesame seeds (for garnish)

1. Bring a pot of water to boil and cook noodles until just done and still firm, or the minimum amount of time according to package instructions. Drain immediately, rinse with cold water, and drain again. Toss with 1 tablespoon peanut oil and set aside.

2. Prepare carrot and bell pepper.

3. Heat the other tablespoon of peanut oil in a small pan. Stir-fry the minced garlic and grated ginger until just fragrant, about 30 seconds. Set aside.

4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sesame paste, peanut butter, sesame oil, soy sauce, water, Chinese rice vinegar, chili sauce, sugar, and salt until smooth. Stir in the garlic and ginger.

5. Pour the sauce over the noodles, add carrot and bell pepper, and toss. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with sesame seeds if desired.

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