We've been eating a lot of soup lately. Winter, unsurprisingly, usually makes you crave hearty, stick-to-your-ribs kind of food, like stews, baked pasta and occasionally Shake Shack. But when you are tired of lasagna, sometimes a cold and light noodle salad will do the trick, even when it's 5 degrees outside. Cucumber and radishes add excellent crunch, and thanks to buckwheat soba noodles, you can eat a heaping plate and not feel too full (all the better to save room for dessert.)
I probably shouldn't be writing this now considering we likely have at least two more months of chilly weather, but I for one am looking forward to spring. I love squash and apples and potatoes as much as anyone, but you know, one can only eat so much. We're leaving for Paris(!) in a week, and I'll be back in March with pictures (and of course, where we ate–I have a running list of approximately 50 places right now.)
Soba Noodle Salad (adapted from Bon Appétit)
2 scallions, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 star anise pods
2 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
½ cup vegetable oil
Noodles And Assembly
12 oz. soba noodles
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
3 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
3 scallions, thinly sliced
½ large English hothouse cucumber, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced
4 radishes, trimmed, thinly sliced
1 cup cilantro leaves or any sprout
Cook all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat, swirling pan occasionally, until scallions and garlic are just golden brown, about 3 minutes. Let cool; transfer oil to a jar and cover until ready to use.
Noodles And Assembly
Cook noodles in a large pot of boiling water according to package directions; drain. Rinse noodles under cold water, then shake off as much water as possible.
Whisk soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and oil in a medium bowl until sugar dissolves. Add noodles, chicken, and scallions; toss to coat.
Toss with cucumber, radishes, and cilantro and drizzle with chile oil just before serving.