Ginger Soba Noodles

Ginger Soba Noodles Recipe

Some things I liked about the past few week: The girl with red tights and a banjo at the bus stop. Standing at Ocean Beach to watch the surfers. Roasting a pan of teensy delicata squash seeds. The skater kid wearing Japanese paper tape as rings. Happenstance meeting with Joy & Tracy outside Tartine. Seeing my girl Bea get married in Palm Springs. Reading all your nice notes. Me, Wayne, & lots of pelicans standing the shore of the Salton Sea. And eating these soba noodles for lunch.

Ginger Soba Noodles

For those of you who cook/roast/bake as many delicata squash as I do this time of year - their seeds are really fun. They're tiny and tasty, and because everyone else throws them out, you rarely see them around. It's a bit of fuss, but they're great in salads, pastas, brittle, and the like. Just clean them, dry them, and roast them tossed in a bit of olive oil and salt at 350F until extra golden.

Ginger Soba Noodles

You can certainly make the dressing a day or two ahead of time. Just give it a good shake and a taste before using - then adjust the salt and balance if needed.

12 oz / 340 g dried soba noodles

Ginger Dressing:

1 tablespoon freshly grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
zest and juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 cup / 2.5 oz / 70 g chopped white onion
1 teaspoon mirin (optional)
2 teaspoons brown sugar or honey
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
3 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
1 celery stalk, strings removed, then chopped
1/3 cup / 80 sunflower oil or untoasted sesame oil

3 tablespoons of chopped tarragon, plus more to taste

a few big handfuls of cubed tofu, pan-fried or baked until golden

1/3 cup + toasted squash seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, or sesame seeds

Cook the soba noodles in well salted water, drain, rinse under cold water, and shake off as much of the water as possible.

In the meantime, make the dressing by combining the ginger, toasted sesame oil, lemon zest and juice, onion, mirin, sugar, salt, vinegar, celery, and sunflower oil in a food processor. Blend until very smooth, then press aggressively through a strainer. Taste and tweak a bit if needed - the dressing should have a bit of bite, and an edge. It'll hit the pasta and you want it to be able to cut the starchiness. Set the dressing aside.

In a large bowl, toss the soba noodles with most of the tarragon, the tofu, most of the squash seeds/nuts, and about 2/3 of the dressing. Really get in there and toss well. Add more dressing if needed (I use all of it), and season again until the noodles are to your liking. It's nice to serve this with a few wedges of lemon on the side, or a bit of brown rice vinegar. Finish with the remaining tarragon and seeds.

Serves 4 - 6.

Prep time: 10 minutes - Cook time: 20 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Comments

  • What a wonderful dressing for soba. I love it and can't wait to share it with others! Enjoy the rest of fall!

    Michelle
  • This sounds great and perfectly light.

    Joy
  • I'm a big fan of the ginger/mirin/sesame/tofu/noodles combo, but it's never occurred to me to toss it all with tarragon. I'm trying to imagine the sweet licorice bouncing in between these Asian flavors, and just can't come up with it. I guess I'll just have to try this out and see for myself. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Molly
  • I use a very similar recipe for a backpacking meal. I add reconstituted shitake mushrooms. It always amuses us to be eating such a gourmet meal 12 to 15 miles from the nearest road.

    Jen @ anothergranolamom
  • Any chance of some London recommendations soon? We're headed over there on Saturday and I've been keeping my eye out for some trip notes from when you were over there! HS: Ack - I know! I'm so sorry it is taking so long. Every time I sit down to write it up, I get pulled away. Soon! Go to Morito / St John Food & Wine / Dover Street Market Rose Bakery - more to come, promise.

    Katie
  • Heidi - What percentage buckwheat do you prefer and why? I'm new to soba and enjoy it, but am baffled by the range available at the market. HS: Hi Stephanie - one of the brands that I see in a lot of natural food shops is Planet Organic soba. Those are the ones you see in the photos up above, and I tend to stock up on them when I see them. They're a blend (of buckwheat & wheat flour) - not sure what percentage offhand though.

    Stephanie
  • I love ginger, so much. And that dressing sounds wonderful. I love the first picture. It's dark and a bit moody without being 'dark'. The bowl is beautiful, the mood is set, the scene is there, the countertop is cold and white, the noodles are warm...no words needed. Just that photo. Beautiful, Heidi!

    Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga
  • hmmmm, delicata squash sounds familiar but I can't picture it. I save pumpkin seeds when I'm feeling industrious and I love pepita seeds. I recently made a wonderful tahini soba noodles and have enough noodles to give this a try. I love ginger.

    Gwen @SimplyHealthyFamily
  • I've had a packet of soba noodles sitting in my pantry for ages, trying to find the perfect dish to make with them, this (as soon as I get some squash seeds) will be it!

    Natashia@foodonpaper
  • I just made somthing similar to dinner tonight. I sauteed finely shredded cabbage to stir into the noodles. There's something about slurping gingery noodles this time of year, huh?

    DessertForTwo
  • Now if only you could have made the girl with the red tights and a banjo this for lunch...perhaps she would have deemed you worthy of a song?

    The Healthy Hipster
  • Lovely little post... Your original sesame otsu recipe is still hands down my favorite way to eat soba noodles (and basically asian-style noodles in general...) I love the idea of the roasted seeds in this though. Thanks for sharing, Heidi

    Amy
  • great to know that delicata seeds are edible! i am never sure which kinds of squash seeds are good for roasting, aside from acorn and butternut. does anyone save and roast seeds from other kinds of squash?

    maureen
  • I have a box of soba noodles I haven't figured out what to do with- thanks!

    Simply Life
  • Mmm, delicious! I don't know what it is about this time of year but I just can't get enough ginger. The toasted seeds sound so yummy too :)

    Heidi
  • Oh this is a lovely recipe Heidi! It arrives at a perfect time as I've run out of steam for our packed lunches, especially on the kind of hot days we've been having in Sydney.

    Deborah
  • Ohhhh, my word. Seriously. Soba noodles rip my heart open and massage it. y-u-m.

    Bev Weidner
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