Spicy-Tahini Soba Noodle Salad

in Dinner, Salads

Spicy-Tahini Soba Noodles // www.acozykitchen.com

I know so many of you are so cold right now. Every few pictures on Instagram are screenshots of what the weather is like in the Eastern United States. And you guys are literally freezing. I know your face probably hurts and you can’t feel your toes because of the cold, but honestly I’m kinda jealous. I wish I had snow boots on and got the chance to take pretty winter white landscape photos. And then I’d come in the house and have one of those rooms specifically designed for taking off big jackets and boots (what’s this room called, guys?! I forget!) and then I’d proceed to light a fire and make some soup. And maybe whip up this plate of healthy soba noodles because it’s January, after all.

It took me FOREVRRR to finally give soba noodles a try. I’m pretty sure I was scarred from my childhood nightmare, which consisted of tall stacks of healthy buckwheat pancakes. Buckwheat flour has never been my favorite, so I guess it’s no surprise that once I learned that soba noodles used this flour, I steered clear. A few years ago I was at a vegan eatery that forces you to feel grateful about your life, which actually just makes me angry. Like, don’t tell me to be grateful; I’ll be grateful if I want to be, you know? Anyway, I left angry but was delighted to learn that soba noodles could be very delicious. My opinion had been forever changed.

Spicy-Tahini Soba Noodles // www.acozykitchen.com

Spicy-Tahini Soba Noodles // www.acozykitchen.com

Spicy-Tahini Soba Noodles // www.acozykitchen.com

Spicy-Tahini Soba Noodles // www.acozykitchen.com

Now that we’re all on Team Healthy, I figured it’d be a good time to give them a whirl at home. This is actually a good, quick, weeknight dinner. It’s one of those dishes that can be prepared in about 20 minutes. I love it with broccollini and shiitake mushrooms–both are currently in season, but feel free to use other vegetables. I think some cauliflower florets would work nice or, say, snap peas.

My favorite part of this dish is the dressing. It’s creamy and spicy, and since tahini has the tendency to be a little bitter, the honey adds a much-needed element.

This is the type of meal that makes you feel full and light all at the same time. I’ve never eaten noodles and felt so refreshed and healthy. It’s a good feeling.

Spicy-Tahini Soba Noodles // www.acozykitchen.com

Spicy-Tahini Soba Noodle Salad

Print this recipe!

Noodles:
6 ounces dried soba noodles
1 carrot, peeled and julienned
Small bunch of broccolini, cleaned and ends trimmed
3-4 shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced

Dressing:
1/4 cup tahini
1 1/2 teaspoon sesame chile oil
1 1/2 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon zested fresh ginger
2-4 tablespoons room temperature water (this amount may vary, depending upon how thick your tahini is)
1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

Garnish:
Black sesame seeds

1. To a pot of boiling salted water, add the soba noodles. Cook for 5 minutes and then give them a taste; you’ll probably find they’re just right. (Just FYI, I found that the box’s instructions (cook for 8 to 10 minutes) yielded an overcooked noodle.) Drain and rinse the noodles in cold water and transfer the noodles to the refrigerator.

2. While the noodles are chilling, let’s make the dressing. To a small bowl, add the tahini, sesame chile oil, honey and freshly zested ginger; whisk until smooth. Add the water and whisk more until very smooth. It might start to clump up at first, just keep whisking–it’ll eventually become smooth. Also, you may need to add a bit of additional water until it becomes smooth (I only needed 2 tablespoons of water but you may need more). Adjust the seasoning by taste; adding a bit more chile oil, if you like, or more fresh ginger. Salt the dressing to taste (I found that I was happy with 1/4 teaspoon).

3. Remove the noodles from the refrigerator. If they’re especially stuck together, you can add a bit of water to the noodles to loosen them up. Add the dressing, and using your hands really get in there to ensure that the noodles are thoroughly coated. Toss in the julienned carrots. Divide the noodles between plates.

4. To a small sauté pan, set over medium heat, add a tablespoon of olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the broccolini. Sprinkle with a few pinches of salt. Cook, tossing the broccolini, and cook for 2 minutes or so. Add the mushrooms and cook for an additional minute or so. Top each plate of soba noodles with a few broccolini and a few mushrooms. Garnish with sesame seeds, if you like.

Serves 3 to 4

{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

Elisa @ Insalata di Sillabe January 8, 2014 at 4:01 am

I’ve always been a little skeptical about soba noodles, in fact I’ve never tried them so far but I’ve heard great things about them. And if even you – one of my absolute favorite foodbloggers – say they are worth a try, well…then I will!

xo, Elisa

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Adrianna Adarme January 8, 2014 at 8:51 am

Elisa, you’re so sweet! I like you!

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AbbyThe Frosted Vegan January 8, 2014 at 4:05 am

A mudroom might be what you are talking about! Also, you arent jealoud, just believe me, ok?! I havent left the house two days since its basically Antarctica outside!

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Adrianna Adarme January 8, 2014 at 8:50 am

MUDROOM! Yes, thank you!

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Katrina @ WVS January 8, 2014 at 5:12 am

I definitely need more soba in my life. I love it so much and this recipe looks perfect!

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alex January 8, 2014 at 6:25 am

Hi, Happy New Year! Quick question: can I make an equally, or almost equally, delicious dressing without tahini — what can I use as a substitute? I’m living in Siberia and can’t find tahini anywhere, it’s really unfortunate because tahini is so wonderfully delicious!
Fortunately, there ARE soba noodles here, can’t wait to try them out for this recipe of yours! Thanks :-D

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Adrianna Adarme January 8, 2014 at 8:53 am

Hi Happy New Year! Siberia? Whoa! Thank you for being here. I think peanut butter would be a great substitute, as would almond butter or cashew butter. I added the honey to offset the bitterness to the tahini–so since the other nut butters I mentioned aren’t really bitter, you might want to skip the honey or do “honey to taste.” GL!

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Maggie @ A Bitchin' Kitchen January 8, 2014 at 6:35 am

I want this salad! I tried soba noodles for the first time a couple years ago and am absolutely addicted. I feel like regular noodles tend to get mushy in pasta salad after a day or so, but soba noodles hold up sooooo well.

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Belinda@themoonblushbaker January 8, 2014 at 7:41 am

Oh can I relate to your experiences with vegan health food store. I have been made to feel guilty about the fact I do not always get organic produce and whine about little food things.
I am completely on the opposites side of the world ; it is bleeding hot here. This salad look prefect for the summer weather here; creamy and delicious but not too rich.

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Sarah Crowder (punctuated. with food) January 8, 2014 at 8:04 am

Yay right up our alley – and I’ve been craving something soba. Beautifully styled, Adrianna.

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Adrianna Adarme January 8, 2014 at 8:51 am

Thank you! Haha. It maybe took me about 10 minutes to arrange this plate of soba noodles. :/

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Allie @ 6000 Miles to Home January 8, 2014 at 8:41 am

Yumm, I’m a sucker for soba noodles. My boyfriend will love this one, too – thanks!

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Nicole January 8, 2014 at 9:20 am

I want this right now! Oh goodness, I never thought about the fact that most California people don’t need a mudroom. My mind is kind of blown. Especially since the husband wants to turn our bathroom remodel into a half bathroom/half mudroom and I’m all, NO.

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Rachel January 8, 2014 at 9:31 am

Spicy + soba? Done and done.

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Liz @ Tip Top Shape January 8, 2014 at 9:44 am

Oh my goodness, this sounds like heaven!!!

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Margarita January 8, 2014 at 10:03 am

so funny how everything i have left in the fridge are the very ingredients that are in this recipe (except for the ginger). must make!

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Adrianna Adarme January 8, 2014 at 10:34 am

I love it when this happens! I love the addition of the fresh ginger in this, but if you want you could skip it!

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RLT January 8, 2014 at 10:31 am

But, because it is so cold here, can I throw the noodles in at the end to serve everything warm?

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Adrianna Adarme January 8, 2014 at 10:33 am

Yes! I tried it this way first, my only gripe was that the tahini did weird things when it hit the super hot noodles. It kind of created little lumps, so I thought it looks a bit funny but it didn’t affect the taste at all!

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Tammela January 8, 2014 at 1:16 pm

I love love soba noodles, and totally agree about that full-but-light feeling you get after eating them — not like feeling weighed down after a bowl of spaghetti. Here’s one of my go-to soba noodle salads: http://taplatt.wordpress.com/2013/06/05/recipe-buckwheat-noodle-salad-with-asian-style-peanut-sauce/

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Kate January 8, 2014 at 1:39 pm

The only time I’ve ever been sick on an airplane was as a little kid flying from Tokyo back to the US. I was coming down with the flu and they served us cold soba noodles with hot soy sauce, which my tummy didn’t like at all. It took me another 25 years to face soba noodles, but now I love them and often toss with a spicy peanut butter dressing to take along–ironically–on plane flights. The tahini sounds like a great variation!

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Adrianna Adarme January 8, 2014 at 2:02 pm

This would be an amazing airplane meal, actually. And food poisoning can scar you forever. A few years ago this happened with a cobb salad and I have yet to recover! :)

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Diane January 8, 2014 at 1:44 pm

Café Gratitude! I hate that place.

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Adrianna Adarme January 8, 2014 at 1:59 pm

Haha. Heart you!

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Natalie January 8, 2014 at 2:59 pm

This looks delicious! Not to be a total rube, but where did you find the sesame chili oil? I’m not sure I’ve ever heard of it.

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Adrianna Adarme January 8, 2014 at 7:41 pm

Not a rude question at all! You should be able to find it at any Asian supermarket, Whole Foods will have it and most regular supermarkets should have it in their Asian sections. It’s cheap, too! Like, $3!

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AnneElise January 8, 2014 at 4:04 pm

If you’re really cool, you call it a lean-to. Also, it’s so cold outside where I am that if I spill water on my clothes, it’s frozen immediately. Such fun. Oh yeah. ALSO COOL RECIPE, GOOD JOB.

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Hilary January 8, 2014 at 5:08 pm

i love the snapshot of the soba noodles. It should be hanging in a really cool soba house.

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Anna M January 9, 2014 at 1:51 am

Ok, people I was afraid to try, but you all sold me I will try the Soba. It looks GREAT.

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Juliette January 9, 2014 at 2:45 am

Hello Kate!
I would like to start a blog about cooking and I like to know what is your blog host? because I found the presentation is clear and simple
Thank you for all that you share with us!
soon
Juliette

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Emily January 9, 2014 at 6:34 am

Yep. Cafe Gratitude. And the dishes are also named obnoxious things, like “I Am Joyful,” “I Am Effervescent,” “I Am Contemplative,” etc. Apparently “I Am Transformed” is tacos, which I’m sure are fine, but I seriously doubt they’re transformative.

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Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health January 9, 2014 at 9:44 am

i had a very similar salad last night except that I replaced tahini with peanut butter and topped it with salmon. I am glad you finally got to try soba, isnt it just amazing?

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Emily January 9, 2014 at 8:27 pm

As a West Sider, I concur with your feelings on Cafe Gratitude. Made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious – I added a bit of rice vinegar to the dressing for a little tang. Yum!

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Bobbi January 10, 2014 at 4:09 am

Can’t wait to make this one! I’ll use stevia instead of honey and eat it during my 12 Days of Detox.

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Holly Henderson January 23, 2014 at 9:58 am

Okay, the little owl proudly holding the black sesame seeds? So cute.
And I love that you are not afraid to make a little honey-mess on the granite for the sake of the photo. All in the name of food and art!

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Adrianna Adarme January 23, 2014 at 7:16 pm

HAHA! I know. Every time I do it I’m like, do I really need to do this. Honey is such a pain to clean up!

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