Thursday, July 4, 2013

Cold Soba Salad with Chicken, Basil, and Bell Peppers

One of my favorite summer dishes that my mom used to cook when I was younger was simple soba that she'd serve cold in lil bundles that we'd dip in cold tsuyu seasoned with wasabi and with lots of handfuls of chopped green onions and nori seaweed.  That started my love affair with soba.  I continued this love affair in my adulthood, even though I never cooked it myself, by frequenting one of my favorite midtown New York lunch spots, Soba Nippon, where I'd eat soba warm in a delicious broth during the winter and then cold as part of a huge chicken salad during the warmer months.  I haven't come across a soba preparation that I didn't like!

I was recently craving soba again but it's been way too hot and humid to even think of eating it warm in a broth (Chicken Soba Soup with Poached Egg) and I didn't have any tsuyu handy (well I did find a bottle in the very back of my pantry but I won't even tell you how old the expiration date was!) so I decided a cold soba salad would be a perfect healthy and delicious dish!  The fresh basil and vinegar/lime juice sauce really make this meal for me.  And topping it with some coarse salt, black pepper, toasted sesame seeds, and spicy red pepper boost the flavors of the dish.  This soba salad is pretty easy to make and can be really quick to put together if you do all the chopping in advance.

Servings: 4 (but if you go back for seconds then this would serve 2)

8-9 ounces soba
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 limes, squeezed
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 bell peppers, thinly sliced,
1-2 cups fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
2-3 cups chicken, cooked and shredded
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Red pepper (gochugaru) (optional)


  • Cook 8-9 oz of soba according to packet instructions al dente.  Rinse cooked soba in cold water, drain, and set aside.
  • In a large bowl whisk together 2 tbsps toasted sesame oil, juice from 2 limes, and 2 tbsps rice vinegar.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Toast 1 tbsp sesame seeds until lightly browned.  Watch this carefully as sesame seeds can go from beautifully toasted to terribly burnt real quickly.  
  • Add to the large bowl with the sauce 2 sliced bell peppers, 1-2 cups thinly sliced basil, 2-3 cups shredded chicken, and the cold soba.  Toss until well mixed and sauce evenly covers all the ingredients.
  • Top each bowl with toasted sesame seeds and additional salt and pepper to taste.  
  • Optional: Add some red pepper for a spicy kick.  I like to add gochugaru, which is a Korean red pepper powder which I mooch from my mom.
Sorry girls, this is spicy and not for you!  I did set aside tiny bites of chicken before adding it to the noodles and gave the girls a lil taste as a reward for posing nicely for these photos.
Adapted from Martha Stewart.

1 comment:

  1. This looks wonderful! I found Grubbin' Pugs through Bah Humpug, which is one of my favorite Facebook postings. Thanks for sharing your food and your pugs. Your drawings make my day happier.