Raw carrot ribbons and barely cooked snow peas and asparagus retain lots of crunch in this speedy dinner. The dressing is the perfect blend of salty, toasty, tangy, and pungent. The combination makes for a wonderful light summer meal. If you want to add some heartiness to the dish, some grilled shrimp or chicken would be the perfect addition.
The key to your success on this one is to use the freshest vegetables possible. Any carrots will do the trick but if you can get your hands on some fresh purple carrots, your final dish will be all the more appealing.
The best way to create the carrot ribbons is to use a Y-peeler similar to this one. The thinner the strips, the more tender they will be. But still, crunchy. I’ve probably mentioned this before, but if you want to simplify the process of grating fresh ginger …place it in the freezer beforehand. The colder the ginger, the easier it will be to grate.
The Chinese hot mustard is complex and, as you can imagine, quite hot. It is offset in the mix with the addition of brown sugar and the result is delicious. But if you’re concerned about the heat and spiciness, you can successfully use Dijon mustard in its place for less “bite.”
While the carrot ribbons are hangin’ out in the dressing, it’s time to prepare the snow peas and asparagus.
The green veggies need only a few minutes on the stove to just barely cook them. Rinse them in cold water right away to stop the cooking process …to ensure that you retain the crispiness. They are then added to the bowl with the carrot ribbons.
The final step is to cook the soba noodles. Keep a close eye on them. They are easy to overcook, so test for doneness early, and rinse with cold water as soon as they’re ready to halt the cooking process.
And that’s it, folks. So easy, right? You’re ready to serve up this goodness. Just top it off with some fresh basil. And enjoy.
soba, snow pea & asparagus toss
Based on a recipe from Cooking Light
Ready in less than 30 minutes. For a protein upgrade, add grilled shrimp or chicken.
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil (or regular sesame oil)
- 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon light brown sugar (or dark brown sugar)
- 1 teaspoon Chinese hot mustard (or Dijon mustard)
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 large garlic clove, grated
- 2 large purple carrots, peeled & shaved into ribbons (or orange carrots)
- 8 ounces fresh snow peas (about 2 cups)
- 8 ounces fresh asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
- 8 ounces uncooked soba noodles
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, thinly sliced
Whisk together first 8 ingredients (up to and including the garlic) in a large bowl. Add carrot ribbons to mixture; toss to coat. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add snow peas and asparagus; cook until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Remove vegetables with a slotted spoon to a colander; rinse immediately with cold water until cool. Add snow peas and asparagus to carrot mixture.
Add the soba noodles to the boiling water; cook until al dente, 5 to 6 minutes. Drain and rinse immediately with cold water. Add to the bowl with the vegetable mixture; toss well. Sprinkle with basil.
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