As I mentioned before, I'm enjoying this Japanese homestyle cookbook. Most of the recipes found within are actually doable. I own other Japanese cookbooks that would require me to make a special trip to Japan to find the obscure ingredients (though I would LOVE that, by the way. Hmmm). However, what I find so helpful in this cookbook is not only the author's ingredient substitutions, but the descriptions of the original ingredient's taste or function so that presumably the cook can make her own judgement about substituting another ingredient more easily found here.
Based on one of the yummy recipes within the book, I made a few changes and now share this Soba Noodle Salad with Tuna & Cucumber.
This basic recipe could be switched up for a more Nordic style pasta salad by using canned or smoked salmon instead of tuna, cream cheese mixed with cream for the mayonnaise, and fresh dill instead of the sesame seeds & soy sauce . That sounds yummy, too.
Soba Noodle Salad with Tuna & Cucumber:
- 1 package Soba Noodles (you can also use spaghettini or Chinese Noodles)
- Canned Tuna (I was lucky to have some home-canned tuna to use in the salad. I'm also going to try the recipe using canned salmon----possibly using cream cheese and dill rather than mayo and sesame seeds in that version).
- 1 English Cucumber (or any other small, thin skinned cucumber)
- 1/2 small mild onion
- 1 Bunch of Scallions
- 3 T. toasted sesame seeds
- 1/4 C. mayonnaise
- 1 tsp. soy sauce
- Salt to taste
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Boil noodles per the package's instructions. Meanwhile, peel strips of the cucumber (or all of it, if your cucumber has a thick and bitter skin) and slice the cucumber thinly. Slice the onion in half and then slice it very thinly into half-moons. Place the onion in a bowl of cold water to reduce the bitter onion taste. Slice the white portion of the scallions thinly, as well.
When the noodles are al dente, drain and rinse with cold water to cool them a bit. Place the noodles in a large bowl. Rinse the sliced onion under cold running water, let dry a bit, and then add them to the noodles. Add the cucumbers and scallions to the noodles and toss (using your clean hands is the best method for this). Drain the tuna and flake it over the noodles. Briefly toss the tuna and soy sauce into the noodles (don't over do it, you want to preserve the flakes of tuna). Taste for seasoning----add salt (usually up to 3 tsp.) to taste. Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds over and Enjoy!!
***We ate this pasta salad with Soy Glazed Tofu Steaks and Miso Soup.