Turbo Thursday – Asian Soba Noodle Peanut Salad

Salad for dinner? Yep, you heard me…! But not any salad – it’s warm and comforting soba noodle salad with a spicy peanut butter dressing. i.e. Asian vibes! Incredibly tasty and healthy at the same time. Something else that makes this  bowl of crisp veggies and oozing noodles worth a try is the speedy cooking. You will have the dinner/lunch ready in about 20 minutes or so. And that’s something worth considering.

Speaking of quick and tasty cooking; this post is the first in a mini blog series that I’ve named Turbo Thursday. And as you probably can figure out of the name Turbo Thursday it’s all about quick but yet delicious cooking. I published five posts in this series last September and now it’s time for another four crazy easy and tasty recipes (one recipe for each Thursday in September). So let’s bring some simplicity into the kitchen! I promise that you can make wonders even when time is short.

I set up two simple rules when I created this series:

  • The food should be super tasty, comforting and fresh
  • It will require no more than 20 minutes cooking

Easy!

Even I who love spending time in the kitchen has come to realize that sometimes, or quite often, the time is insufficient and the energy levels are pointing at zero. And at those moments it’s nice to have some quick meals up your sleeve. And off cores you can superseded Turbo Thursday  with Fast Friday, Speedy Sunday, Hasty Hump Day… I think you get the point.

But back to today’s recipe which just happens to be vegan; it wasn’t my attention but it’s nice when things turns out this great without any animal produce. The addition of peanut butter will make you forget how healthy this dish actually is. It’s packed full of veggies like cabbage, carrots and bell peppers but the lovely dressing hides all your thoughts of wholesomeness and leaves you with nice feeling and a great taste in your moth. And as with all recipes go on and make it your own – add more chili, swap some of the peanut butter for almond butter or throw in some broccoli, soy beans or what ever you fancy and have on hand.

Soba noodles.
Soba noodles.

This was also my first attempt to cook soba noodles and I totally loves it. Sometimes I think that noodles can turn out a bit soggy and slimy but not this time. The soba noodles had a nutty taste from buckwheat and a nice chew. With the crisp veggies, the spicy dressing, the crunchy peanuts and not to forget the coriander (because coriander is essential!) it turned out to be a real winner on a busy weekday. And it’s lovely in the lunchbox the day after.

And a huge thanks to my dear friend Anna who inspired me to cook up this amazing noodle salad.

Asian Soba Noodle Peanut Salad – 6-8 Servings

When salad taste as good as this one it’s easy to enjoy all year around. The spicy peanut butter dressing just lifts it a few notches and makes it heavenly.

Ingredients:

Noodel Salad
300 g soba noodles (1 package)
150 g carrot (1 piece)
150 g bell pepper (1 small)
500 g red cabbage (½ a small head)
100 g scallions (4 pieces)
30 g coriander (1 bunch)
Salted peanuts

Peanut Sauce
30 g ginger (1 thumb size piece)
3 garlic cloves
1 red chili
Neutral oil
250 g peanut butter (1½ dl)
100 g light soy sauce (1 dl)
50 g lime juice (½ dl or juice from 1 lime)
50 g sesame oil (½ dl)
40 g agave syrup (2 tbsp.)
400 g noodle cooking water (4 dl)
Salt

Preparation:

Fill a big pot with water and bring it up to a boil or use a electric water kettle to heat up the water in a faster way. Meanwhile finely shop or grate the chili, garlic and ginger. Don’t bother pealing the ginger just give it a rinse and remove any soil or dirt. I removed the seeds from the chili but keep them if you fancy a hotter sensation. Fry chili, ginger and garlic in a big skillet on medium-high heat in a splash of oil until fragrant and just lightly colored. Add peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice, sesame oil and agave syrup and lower the heat.

Boil the noodles for around 4 minutes. While the noddles are cooking rinse and finely slice or grate the veggies. If you’re in a hurry simply grate them in the food processor with the shredding disc attached. Finely slice the scallions and coriander. When you drain of the noodles there should still be a slight bite to them. In other words; go for a bit chewier noodles than you want the finished result to be. The noodles will continue cooking and suck up the peanut butter sauce. Add about 4 dl of the cooking water to the peanut butter sauce and let it simmer on low heat. Dunk the drained noodles into the sauce and let everything simmer for an additional 2 minutes before folding in the vegetables. Save about ⅓ of the coriander and the scallions for garnish. Add salt to taste. Don’t cook the veggies in the sauce but let them sit on the heat for just enough time to get warmed through. Server in big bowls and sprinkle with salted peanuts and the rest of the coriander and scallions.

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