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Cold Soba Noodle Salad with Strawberries
Cold Soba Noodle Salad with Strawberries
Gentl and Hyers/Open Kitchen

Good news: It’s finally spring, and that means a bunch of delicious seasonal produce is about to make its yearly debut. Susan Spungen’s cold soba noodle salad with strawberries, from her new cookbook, Open Kitchen, takes advantage of one of our favorites: strawberries.

“While adding strawberries to a salad like this may seem unusual (and it is),” Spungen writes, “it really works. The juiciness of the berries adds a cool and sweet-tart contrast to the slight spiciness of the peppers and the salty miso dressing.” Even better, this dish is almost no-cook, takes less than 30 minutes and can be made up to one day in advance. Just toss the strawberries in right before serving so they don’t get mushy.

From Open Kitchen by Susan Spungen, published March 3, 2020 by Avery, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC. Copyright © 2019 by Susan Spungen. Photo © Gentl and Hyers.

RELATED: Soba Noodles with Peanut Sauce

8 servings

Dressing

¼ cup rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons white miso

1 hot red chile, finely minced, or more to taste

2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

Salad

One 8-ounce package soba noodles, cooked and rinsed

4 ounces shishito peppers (if not in season, you can substitute poblano peppers)

2 Persian cucumbers—peeled, seeded and thinly sliced on the bias into ¼-inch-thick half-moons

8 ounces strawberries, hulled and cut in half (about 2 cups)

1 small red chile, thinly sliced

2 scallions, white and green parts, trimmed and thinly sliced

¼ cup fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped

¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped if large

1. Make the Dressing: Stir the vinegar, sugar and salt together in a small bowl until dissolved. Add the miso, chile and oil, and whisk to combine. Set aside.

2. Place the noodles in a serving bowl and toss with the dressing.

3. Grill the shishito peppers on a hot grill, grill pan or cast-iron skillet until blistered and softened, about 3 minutes per side. Cool, then slice on a bias, avoiding the seeds.

4. Assemble the Salad: Top the dressed noodles with the grilled peppers, cucumbers, strawberries, chile, scallions, mint and cilantro; mix gently to combine.

Note: This dish can easily be made ahead. Up to one day in advance, cook the soba noodles; rinse them with cool water, lightly oil them and store in a resealable bag or container in the fridge. When ready to serve, put them in a colander and run cold water over them to loosen, if needed. Make the dressing; refrigerate. A few hours ahead, blister the shishitos. One hour ahead, prep the herbs and strawberries. At the last minute, toss all the salad ingredients together. Don’t add the strawberries until just before serving.

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