Cold Sesame Noodle Salad with Soy – Sriracha Vinaigrette

June 3, 2015 § Leave a comment

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Last week in Baltimore, it already felt like the middle of summer with its high temperatures and humidity. I love when there is plenty of sunshine. However when it’s too hot and humid, I feel lethargic and not in the mood to cook because that involves making my apartment hotter. Am I the only one who feels this way?

But have no fear, I’ll still be adding more posts! I’m actually trying to post more frequently since I have more time in the summer. I’m really excited to try out and share some great summer-friendly recipes so stay tuned!

To combat the temptation to eat out, I made this refreshing and easy cold sesame noodle salad tossed in a flavorful, slightly spicy dressing. It won bonus points in my book for also being light and healthy so it didn’t weigh me down and helped me feel energized.

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This is a simple dish but definitely is not lacking in flavor! The dressing really brings this noodle salad to the next level. The rice wine vinegar provides a nice acidity that helps enhance the freshness of the dish. Sriracha is added to give a subtle kick (or not so subtle if that’s your thing), and the soy sauce and toasted sesame oil give the dish more depth.

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To make this dish completely cook-free, you can skip pan-frying the tofu or omit it completely. This noodle salad is so adaptable and is the perfect summer dish!

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Cold Sesame Noodle Salad with Soy-Sriracha Vinaigrette

Yield: 3-4 servings

Adapted from Bon Appétit

My specific brand of buckwheat soba noodles (Hakubaku organic soba) that I bought from the grocery store came in bundles of 3 oz. so I used 6 oz. for this recipe. Feel free to adjust the ingredient amounts to make things easier if your noodle package contains a different amount.

I normally wouldn’t use extra-virgin olive oil for this purpose but since it was the only oil I had on hand, besides coconut oil, I opted to use extra-virgin olive oil in the dressing. Because there are more assertive flavors in the dressing, it worked well in the noodle salad. The original recipe calls for 1/3 cup oil; I used 1/6 cup and found that this was enough.

Nowadays, nori seaweed can often be found in Whole Foods and large grocery stores in individual snack packages in various flavors (I used wasabi for this recipe and it was delicious). However if your grocery store doesn’t carry this, try going to an Asian specialty grocery store.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/6-1/3 cup oil
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Sriracha
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 6 oz. buckwheat soba noodles (vermicelli would also be good here)
  • 6-7 cups matchstick-size pieces of mixed crunchy vegetables (e.g. bell peppers, cucumbers, carrots, radish)
  • Cilantro, chopped
  • 4-5 oz. firm/extra-firm tofu or other protein
  • All-purpose flour or non-GMO cornstarch (omit if using other protein)
  • Nori seaweed, cut into strips using scissor
  • 1 tbsp white or black sesame seeds (optional)

Directions:

In large bowl, whisk together rice vinegar, oil, soy sauce, Sriracha, and toasted sesame oil. Add vegetables and toss to coat well. Set aside.

In large pot of boiling water, cook noodles according to directions on package, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water. Drain well and then add noodles to large bowl with dressing and vegetables. Add cilantro. Gently toss to combine.

Dry tofu as much as possible by firmly pressing each side with paper towels. Cut tofu into bite-sized cubes.

Put several spoonfuls of flour or cornstarch onto large plate and add pinch of salt; combine. Toss cubed tofu in flour mixture so that each side is coated.

In large frying pan, heat oil on medium-low heat. When oil is hot, cook tofu until crispy and golden brown on all sides. Remove tofu from pan and drain on plate lined with a paper towel.

Portion noodle salad into individual bowls and top with fried tofu, strips of nori seaweed, sesame seeds, and cilantro. If you wish to serve this family style, simply put toppings in smaller individual bowls next to the noodle salad so people can add them.

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