I was aiming to get this posted by Wednesday as promised, or at least by Thursday, but here it is Friday and I’m only now getting everything together for the Soba Salad with Miso Dressing from Family Table.
Sometimes I struggle a little with writer’s block, which I realize is silly. I have the photos ready to go, and the recipe all typed up, but I’m undecided on what exactly I want to say and how long my post should be and all of a sudden… it’s the end of the week.
Family Table has been a total sleeper hit of a cookbook for me. I never expected much out of it, I’ve been pretty underwhelmed with “staff meals at our fancy restaurant you can make at home”-type cookbooks in the past. But in May I tried the recipe for the Blue Smoke Oatmeal Cookies in Family Table and now I’ve bookmarked about three-quarters of the recipes as “must try”.
I’ve always liked soba noodles much more in theory than in actual practice. Usually because they sound great but turn out bland and unsatisfying. This recipe is solids proof that soba noodle salads are usually underseasoned. A half cup chopped fresh ginger sounded like way too much, as did the 5 tablespoons of white miso, 3 tablespoons of lime juice, plus the soy sauce, not to mention the tangy radishes and the colossal two bunches of green onions. Yet it all comes together to make a bright, refreshing dressing. The only this that didn’t work for me was the hefty cup of oil. I liked the miso dressing more before I added the oil than I did after. I’m not a huge fan of oil on my salads, so take my opinion with a grain of salt, but I think 1/4 – 1/2 cup of olive oil is plenty to bring the dressing together without muting the very flavors that went in there in the first place.
It’s worth mentioning that 5 tablespoons of miso is a lot- about half the “standard” container. White miso is sweeter and milder than red or brown miso, but if you’re running a little short, it should still be good if you mix a little of a stronger miso into the dressing.
Original source: Family Table
Soba Salad with Miso Dressing
Another atypical salad for the warm summer months, this cold salad makes use of vegetables most people avoid in their salads and one of my favorite types of noodles. Add some thinly sliced cooked chicken, beef, shrimp, or marinated tofu for a one-dish meal.
This soba salad can be made and dressed up to 2 hours prior to serving. There is raw egg* in the dressing, hence the time limit.
- 2 tablespoons Kosher salt
- 1 pound soba noodles or other spaghetti-shaped noodle/zoodle
- 5 tablespoons white miso paste
- 1/2 cup peeled fresh ginger
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 3-4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 large egg*
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- freshly ground black pepper
- 4 medium carrots about 4 cups grated
- 1-2 bunches scallions about 2 1/2 cups thinly sliced
- 2 bunches radishes about 4 cups thinly sliced
- extra veggies as desired**
In a large pot, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil and then add the two tablespoons of Kosher salt.
- While the water heats, make the dressing. Chop the peeled ginger, then combine the miso paste, chopped ginger, soy sauce, and lime juice in a blender jar. Blend at medium speed until smooth. Add the egg, blend again until combined. Running the blender at the slowest possible speed, drizzle in the oil slowly, until the dressing becomes smooth. Add the pepper to taste. Salting the dressing is unnecessary because of the miso and soy sauce.***
Once the water in the pot begins boiling, add the noodles and cook them, stirring often to prevent clumping. Once they are al dente, drain the noodles and rinse them well under cold water. Drain the noodles as well as you can, then spread them out on a baking sheet to cool.
Prepare the vegetables in your salad by peeling and coarsely grating the carrots. Next, thinly slice the scallions on the bias. Finally, carefully use a mandoline or sharp knife to thinly slice the radishes. Put them in a large serving bowl.
Combine the cooled noodles with the carrots, scallions, and radishes. Drizzle the miso dressing over the salad and toss to distribute. Serve cold or at room temperature.
This soba salad is best consumed immediately or within 2 hours of dressing the noodles and vegetables.
*If you don't want to use raw egg in your dressing, soak 1/4 cup of cashews in a little water instead for 2 hours. Drain the soaking water and use the cashews to help thicken the dressing.
**I added one thinly-sliced red bell pepper and 2 1/2 cups of grated broccoli stems.
***The dressing can be made up to 1 day ahead. It should be stored covered and refrigerated.