As much as I love this disgusting heat wave in Toronto (really!), I don’t enjoy sweating over a hot stove. It’s why cold Japanese noodles are the ultimate summer dish.
This dressing is so easy to whip together—a savoury, zesty mix of miso, soy sauce, sesame oil and ginger–and no blender needed!
Feel free to turn up the heat. A teaspoon of chili sauce nicely balances the chilled noodles and veggies.
prep the veggies & protein
Gather the veggies. There are many options depending on what’s in season, and here are some recommendations:
- bok choy
- cherry tomatoes
- mushrooms (like enoki, king oyster, shiitake and shimeji)
- red bell pepper
- eda mame (soybeans)
- seitan, tempeh or firm tofu, sautéed
If you cook seitan (made from wheat), it looks and feels like chicken. (It’s also known as “wheat meat.”) High in protein, low in carbs, seitan can be prepared as you would tofu and tempeh. I typically toss it into my stir fries or boil it in soup.
Look for seitan in health food shops; I found mine in bulk, and also at a Chinese vegetarian grocer.
make the dressing
This is my current supply of sauces, vinegars, soup base and noodles.
Left to right: miso paste, seasoned rice vinegar, toasted sesame oil, sweet brown rice vinegar, light tamari (soy sauce), ponzu sauce. Front: kamut and buckwheat soba noodles.
It’s the first time I tried the Tradition Miso brand* of organic miso paste. There are brown rice, barley and chick pea versions. The brown rice miso was aged for three years, and tasted wonderfully rich and flavourful. So I suggest just one tablespoon for this dressing. I also love the fact that it comes in a glass jar rather than plastic.
Total time: 5 minutes
Yields enough for 2 hearty noodle bowls
1/3 cup of water
1 tbsp of miso paste
1 tbsp of soy sauce or tamari
1 tsp of toasted sesame oil
chili sauce (optional)
- In a small bowl, combine the ingredients.
- Optional: for added creaminess, stir in 1 tbsp of tahini (sesame paste).
pick your noodles
Below are common varieties eaten in Japan but any noodle will do, even spaghetti.
- soba: thin Japanese noodles made of buckwheat
- somen: common in Japan, China and Korea; thinner than soba and made of wheat flour
- egg-free ramen: adapted from Chinese wheat noodles; a number of vegan ramen brands are available on the market (let me know if you have tried any!)
- udon: thick wheat noodles
Cook time: 5 to 10 minutes depending on the noodle type.
Total time: 7 to 12 minutes.
- In a pot of boiling water, cook the noodles according to the instructions.
- After they are cooked, rinse under cold water. This removes the starch and prevents sticking.
- Serve in a bowl with the dressing.
add the toppings
I always have fun decorating my bowl with various garnishes. These work well in Asian-inspired dishes.
- bamboo shoots
- bean sprouts
- black sesame seeds
- green onion, chopped
- nori (dried seaweed) strips
- red chili flakes
Enjoy and stay cool this summer! Slurping is recommended.
* For this blog post, I was not paid by companies to write about their products. These opinions are entirely my own.