Chilled Soba Noodle Salad with Yuzu Dressing

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As the summer approaches, I like to turn to lighter refreshing vinaigrettes to dress noodles and salads. Using the ready-made jams and marmalades found in Asian supermarkets, we can build a huge variety of dressings for chilled noodles that pair excellently with a variety of vegetables creating a dish that is anything but the generic "Asian-style noodle salads" we see across the US. Instead, we'll bring yuzu honey concentrate, yuzu kosho, and ponzu, as true East Asian ingredients that help punctuate yuzu's lively fruit flavors that inspired this fusion dish in the first place. Note: the tea looks like marmalade. Like tea leaves, hot water is added to make tea.

Yuzu Chilled Noodle Salad
Photo: Emily Kordovich
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
30 mins
Servings:
4

Ingredients

For the Yuzu Dressing:

  • 4 ¼ tablespoon Korean yuzu tea or honey citron tea

  • 3 ½ tablespoon apple cider vinegar

  • 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

  • 1 tablespoon water

  • ½ tablespoon ponzu

  • ½ tablespoon Chinese sesame paste

  • ½ teaspoon yuzu kosho

  • ½ inch thin piece peeled fresh ginger, grated

  • 1 clove garlic, grated

  • Salt

For the Soba Salad:

  • 2 Persian cucumbers, cut into ¼-inch slices

  • Couple pinches of salt and sugar

  • 14 ounces soba noodles

  • 1 small head romaine lettuce, trimmed and very thinly sliced

  • ½ radicchio, cored and very thinly sliced

  • 1 - 2 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced on the bias

  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered

  • 1 cup drained canned mandarin orange segments

  • 1 cup wonton crisps

  • 1 cup pea shoots or watercress sprouts

Directions

Make the yuzu dressing

  1. In a blender or small food processor, add the yuzu tea, vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, sesame oil, water, ponzu, sesame paste, yuzu koshu, ginger, and garlic. Blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt.

Make the salad

  1. Place cucumbers in a medium bowl; add salt and sugar and rub the seasonings into the cucumber. Let stand for 30 minutes at room temperature while you prepare the remaining vegetables.

  2. Cook the soba noodles according to package instructions, stirring the pot for the first 30 seconds to help prevent clumping. Prepare a bowl of ice water. Drain the noodles and transfer to the ice water until cold. Drain the noodles and set aside.

  3. In a large bowl, toss the romaine and radicchio with a few spoonfuls of dressing; divide among 4 wide, shallow bowls. On top of each, swirl a portion of soba noodles in the center. Arrange drained cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes, orange segments, wonton crisps, and sprouts in neat piles around the soba. Pour a few spoonfuls of dressing over each portion, and serve.

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