This cool salad, with a base of full-flavored soba noodles, makes an extraordinary light meal.
- 8 oz (230g) buckwheat soba noodles
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil or peanut oil
- 1½ oz (45g) dried wakame seaweed
- 16 large shrimp, peeled, deveined, with tail segment intact
- 6 fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
- 4 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 4 tbsp mirin
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp Japanese soy sauce
- 2 tbsp rinsed and finely chopped pickled ginger
- 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced
- 2 tbsp black and/or white sesame seeds
- 2 tbsp chopped cilantro leaves
1. Cook the noodles in a large pot of boiling water according to the package directions, or until they are just tender. Drain and rinse under cold water until cool. Drain again (if not using immediately, toss with a little vegetable oil).
2. Soak the wakame in cold water about 5 minutes, or until soft. Drain and cut into strips.
3. Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and shiitakes, and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the cherry tomatoes and stir-fry for 1 minute, or until the shrimp turn opaque. Transfer to a plate and let cool.
4. Whisk the mirin, vinegar, soy sauce, and ginger in a large serving bowl. Add the noodles, shrimp mixture, and seaweed and toss gently. Add the avocado and toss again.
5. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and cilantro. Serve immediately.
Soba Noodles with Tofu: Cut 8 oz (230g) of firm tofu into 8 cubes. Cook the tofu on a hot grill pan, turning the pieces to brown evenly on each side. Add the cooked tofu pieces in place of the shrimp in step 3.