Friday, July 19, 2013

Beat the Heat With Buckwheat - Soba Dressed in Ginger & Lime

It's hot!  I don't like hot. Hot makes me sweat, which makes me uncomfortable.  Hot makes it harder to breath, which makes me uncomfortable.  Hot gives me a sunburn, which makes me really uncomfortable.  Hot makes me grumpy, which makes others uncomfortable.  Hot suppresses my appetite, which makes me more grumpy, cause I don't like being suppressed, and neither does my appetite.   But, I have found a solution to all this uncomfortable suppression, with a nice cold pasta dish.

This is not your conventional "pasta" salad.  Nope.  Believe it or not, I find most "Pasta Salads" to be over laden with "stuff" and that makes them too heavy to eat when it's hot.  Ironic, no?  But Japanese pasta/noodles are a little different.  They are much more delicate in texture, so they do not respond well to heavy mayonnaise or sour cream based dressings.  They also don't react well to the overabundance of adjuncts with which their Italian brethren are often assailed.  One must treat them with a lighter touch, thus making the "salad", if you want to call it that, much more light and refreshing.

I have recently stocked my cupboards with a variety of noodles from the familiar Thai Rice Sticks (Mai Fun) to Japanese Soba (Buckwheat) and Somen to Chinese Mein and Fun See (Mung Bean).  All of which are destined for cold noodle applications in an effort to "beat the heat".

This brings up an interesting point.  When Pasta (being Italian Semolina Noodles) is served cold, it's usually considered a "pasta salad".  So if you serve Asian noodles cold, is that considered a salad as well...?  a noodle salad?  or is it just "cold noodles"?  Inquiring minds want to know.

Today, I chose to keep it simple with a Ginger-Lime dressing over Japanese Soba (Buckwheat noodles) with a few Green Onions thrown in for some crunch.  I love just about anything made with buckwheat; like Galette à l'Oeuf or Crepes Flambé with Maple; but I especially love buckwheat noodles, like Pizzoccheri alla Valtellinesi.  However, there is NO way I am gonna try to make THAT in this heat... That is definitely a winter-time dish.  Now, with Soba on the menu, I can enjoy the unparalleled deliciousness of buckwheat even in the heat of summer

Soba in Ginger-Lime Dressing

3 TB Lime Juice
2 TB finely grated Ginger
2 TB Peanut or Light Olive Oil
1 1/2 TB Tamari
1 TB Sesame Oil
2 tsp Honey
3-4 drops Hot Chili Oil
4-6 Green Onions, sliced on the bias
6 oz Soba (Japanese Buckwheat Noodles) which was 2 bundles out of a package

Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot set over high heat. (do not Salt the water)

Combine Lime Juice, Ginger, Peanut Oil, Tamari, Sesame Oil, Honey and Chili Oil in a small bowl.

Whisk until homogeneous and set aside.

Slice the Green Onions on the bias into 1/2 to 3/4 inch pieces, set aside.

When water boils, drop the Soba into the water.

Cook for 3 minutes (I know the package says 4, but 3 minutes is plenty) then drain and spray with cold water to stop the cooking and cool them off;  allow the water to drain completely.

Place noodles in a bowl.

Drizzle with the dressing.... (re-whisk the dressing if necessary)

Toss to coat well.

Add the Green Onions.....

Toss again...

Serve.


Great tasting and good for you... Buckwheat contains a full set of biologically available essential amino acids, which puts it on par with Soy.  Unlike Soy however, Buckwheat doesn't require over-processing (Tofu) or fermentation (Tempeh & Miso, mmmmmm Miso) to convert it into a beneficial food.  Buckwheat is also rich in Iron, Zinc and Selenium as well as the antioxidant Rutin.  Most importantly, at least in this case, it's cold.

The really think the world needs more Buckwheat... I'm just sayin'

Mangia!!
~~

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