Chicken Soba Noodle Salad
Note: Low-sodium soy sauce is a must in this recipe. If you only have regular soy sauce, then decrease the amount to 1 tablespoon or the salad will be too salty. Most packages of dried soba noodles recommend a cooking time of 6 to 8 minutes, but that seems too long to still have firm noodles, says Adrianna Adarme in her book, "The Year of Cozy." She prefers to boil soba noodles for about 3 minutes. Since every brand of noodles is slightly different, she suggests tasting the noodles after 3 minutes to see if they are cooked to your liking. To toast sesame seeds, place in a dry pan over medium heat and warm until fragrant and slightly browned; stirring occasionally.
• 4 oz. dried soba noodles
• 2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
• 2 tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce (see Note)
• 1 tsp. sesame oil
• 1/2 tsp. sugar
• 1 garlic clove, minced
• 3/4 tsp. grated fresh ginger
• 1 c. shredded cooked chicken breast
• 3 green onions, thinly sliced
• Small handful of fresh cilantro leaves
• 1/2 tsp. sesame seeds, toasted if preferred (see Note)
Cook soba noodles in salted boiling water until they're tender yet still firm, about 3 to 5 minutes (see Note above). Drain noodles and immediately run them under cold water to stop any additional cooking. Give them a good shake in the colander and set them aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together the rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, garlic and ginger.
Place the noodles in a medium bowl and pour the vinegar dressing over them. If they start to stick together, take a fork and mix in the dressing vigorously. This will help separate the noodles.
Toss in the shredded chicken. Garnish with the green onions, cilantro and sesame seeds.
If you have any leftovers, the noodles will keep well in the refrigerator. Just before serving, add a few teaspoons of sesame oil since the noodles tend to soak up a lot of dressing.