- Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. If using soba noodles, add to boiling water and cook until tender, about 4 minutes. If using spaghettini, cook according to package directions, from 8 to 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, finely grate 1-1/2 teaspoons (7 mL) peel from lemon or lime. Then stir in ginger, garlic, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar and oil. Slice cucumber in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, scrape out and discard seeds from both halves. Thinly slice into half-rounds no thicker than 1/2-inch (1-cm) wide. Add to bowl and stir.
- Before draining pasta, add spinach to boiling water. Drain immediately. Rinse under cold running water until cool. Then drain very well and add to soy sauce mixture. Using two forks, toss pasta until evenly coated. Squeeze 2 tablespoons (30 mL) juice from lemon or lime. Stir 1 tablespoon (15 mL) juice into noodles, then taste and add remaining juice, if needed. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds, if you like.
This light-tasting recipe comes from Jason Kang, one of Chatelaine’s designers. Ever since he treated the kitchen staff to his cold noodle salad, we often make it as a side dish for dinner, then bring the leftovers to work for lunch. You can add smoked salmon or shrimp, but it’s fabulous without it.
Soba noodles are Japanese buckwheat noodles. The dark buckwheat flour gives the noodles a brownish-grey colour. They are high in protein and lower in calories than regular pasta. A cup (250 mL) of cooked noodles has 6 grams of protein and only 113 calories.
From the sea
These noodles are a perfect match with seafood. Just before serving, add flaked real or imitation crab meat, cooked baby shrimp, small pieces of leftover cooked salmon or slices of smoked salmon. Or tear nori (sheets of dried seaweed that are used for wrapping sushi, sold in the Asian section of supermarkets) into small pieces and scatter over salad.