Soba Noodle Salad: A Quick, One-Pan Meal for Busy Evenings
By Geraldine Tran
The first-year medical students are gearing up for the end of our pulmonary block. As I’m studying for a test or aiming to meet a deadline, the last thing I want to worry about is what to eat.
I’ve heard sad stories from my classmates, one of whom subsisted on string cheese and M&Ms in the days before one of our first exams. Some rely on fast, but expensive, meals during finals or midterms week.
As for me, I need something that’s fast to prepare, packed with nutrients and easy to clean up. This soba noodles recipe is great any time you need to save time. It’s entirely plant-based, vegan, high in protein and rich in vitamins.
Ingredients (4 servings):
1 pack of soba noodles (I like Hakubaku’s Organic Buckwheat Soba Noodles)
2 cups carrots (shredded)
2 cups red cabbage
1 sliced red bell pepper
1 cup shelled edamame beans
4 spring onions (sliced)
4 tablespoons crushed, roasted peanuts for garnish (optional)
Parsley for garnish
Dressing: Soy Chili Sauce
½ cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
1 tablespoon fresh, grated ginger
Juice of 1 lime
(adapted from www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/soy-chili-sauce)
1. Submerse dry soba noodles in boiling water for four minutes. Then rinse with cold water and drain well.
2. Toss chilled soba noodles with carrots, red cabbage, bell pepper, edamame beans and onions.
3. In a separate bowl, combine the soy sauce, rice vinegar, chili powder, sugar and ginger.
4. Top with lime juice, parsley and peanuts.
This basic recipe is extremely easy to modify. If you don’t like cold noodles, or the vegetables taste too raw, you can sauté the mixture in sesame oil. Also, the dressing can be whatever you’re craving. I’ve tried topping the dish with curry sauce, soba sauce and sesame-ginger salad dressing so far. Not only are you getting a major dose of protein from buckwheat and edamame beans, but you’re getting a serious serving of vegetables as well. This meal will keep you energized and satisfied for lunch or dinner so you can stay strong and focused.
Geraldine Tran is a first-year medical student.