Soba Noodle Salad with Coconut Lime Dressing

With a to-do list spanning nearly two pages, it’s getting harder and harder to update this blog when I want to. It’s getting harder and harder, in fact, to cook food that is worthy of posting about! Many nights we’re eating pasta or a boring salad, and lately I have taken to snacking on crackers and greek yogurt. Talk about a balanced diet.

This pasta was a weekend endeavor and it turned out to be more than worthy of a post. The dressing complemented the nutty, earthy flavor of soba so nicely, and who doesn’t love coconut and lime together? My advice: when zesting the lime, really try to get every last piece of lime zest – it really adds to the limey-ness of dressing and helps to balance out the richness of the coconut. I made some quick pickle cucumbers – finely sliced and soaked in rice vinegar while cooking – but I forgot to throw them on for the pictures. They’re included in the recipe below.

Soba Noodle Salad with Coconut Lime Dressing

Inspired by Use Real Butter

1/2 package soba noodles
1/4 head read cabbage, shredded
2 large carrots, shredded
1 head bok choy, finely sliced
3-4 portabella mushrooms, chopped
juice and zest of one lime
1 tablespoon of rice wine vinegar
1 cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon Ponzu or soy sauce
1 teaspoon chili pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, chopped
handful black sesame seeds, to garnish
1/2 english cucumber, julienned
Green onions, sliced

Soak the cucumbers in rice or other vinegar in a bowl while you are preparing the rest of the recipe.

Cook the noodles according to package directions. Rinse under cold water and set aside.

In a large pan, saute the vegetables – cabbage, bok choy, carrots – over medium-high heat with some neutral cooking oil. Cook for just a few minutes, until the vegetables are tender but not mushy. You still want a bit of a crunch to them. Set them aside and cook the mushrooms with a little more oil in the same pan. Mix them with the veggies.

Combine the lime juice, vinegar, coconut milk, ginger, Ponzu sauce, honey, and chili flakes in a blender. Blend until the ginger is finely chopped and incorporated and the dressing has emulsified.

Combined the noodles, vegetables, mushrooms, and dressing in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the top and sprinkle sesame seeds as a garnish. Top with picked cucumbers and green onions.

New Year, New Travels

Posts on this blog have been sparse as of late. That’s because I’ve been busy preparing for a trip and then going on said trip! This time, my travels take me to a week in Mexico City and surrounds with my sisters, and a week in Guatemala with the group Engineers Without Borders. I’m currently enjoying free wifi and a trendy cafe in Antigua, drinking Guatemalan coffee an people watching. I couldn’t be more tired, though. Last night was New Year’s Eve, of course, and I managed to stay awake until 12:30 to ring in the new year. Actually, despite trying to go to sleep at 12:30, I managed to stay awake nearly the entire night – with a 4am wake up call for a 6:30am flight and my nagging paranoia that I would not wake up for it, not to mention my irrational, half-asleep fears of not finding a cab to the airport, my mind would not really shut down. That is a real rarity for me.

Nonetheless, I made it to Antigua and am enjoying the mix of expats and locals, trendy cafes and colonial architecture, and volcanoes and pleasant temperatures. As usual, I have been eaten alive by some kind of microscopic bug, to which I seem to be severely allergic while no one else so much has an itch. The worst part about this is that I have been bit mostly on the neck and face, which makes me look like some kind of diseased leper. Luckily, I found a really cute, lightweight, $5 scarf in Mexico that stylishly covers most of them up.

Anyway, I have been eating some amazing food – Cemitas, mole poblano, chiles en nogada, chile rellenos, tacos al pastor, tortas – and enjoying every minute of it. Here are a few photos to enjoy from my iPhone!