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soba noodles

Kid Friendly Salad vegetarian

Asian Noodle and Cabbage Salad

Asian Noodle and Cabbage Salad

I love a good salad.  In fact, I probably eat a salad everyday, with the exception of those super cold winter days when my “salad” ends up in my soup.

When my girls were younger I’d do anything to get them to eat a salad.  I’d add pasta, Asian noodles, assorted bread cubes, crackers, potato chip crusted chicken pieces, or tortilla chips just so they would at least try the salad.  Finally, now that my girls are older, they love salad.   And of course, it can’t be a plain salad, it has to have lots of good stuff all mixed in.   Their absolute favorite?  Asian Noodle and Cabbage Salad.

Any type of Asian noodle works well in this salad.  I love using the unique soba noodles my brother sent me from Japan; green tea and buckwheat soba noodles.  Sometimes I use ramen noodles and sometimes I use rice noodles.  Whatever noodles you decide to use, this flavorful salad will delight the senses and tickle the taste buds.

For a fresh and simply delicious spring or summer dinner, pair this salad with your favorite grilled meats, fish or shrimp.  It’s also lovely with teriyaki marinated grilled organic tofu.  Makes me hungry just writing this post!

Keep dinner simple… Enjoy the flavors of life!

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

Salad

1 small head cabbage, thinly sliced (Savoy and Napa are excellent choices)

1 small head purple cabbage, thinly sliced

1 cup shredded carrots

1 bunch green onion, sliced (add more or less if you like)

1 bunch cilantro, chopped (add more or less if you like)

1 tablespoon white or black sesame seeds, toasted if you like

½ lb Asian noodles, cooked and a dash of oil to keep them from sticking (Example: Soba, Udon, Ramen, Chinese, etc)

Dressing

¼ cup Tamari (or soy sauce)

3 tablespoons sesame oil

½ cup olive oil

¼ cup rice wine vinegar

3 tablespoons sugar

Squeeze of lime juice

Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

Pepper (and a little salt if needed)

Directions

In a small bowl whisk together the tamari, sesame oil, olive oil, rice wine vinegar, sugar, squeeze of lime juice and dash of pepper.  Taste for salt and pepper.  I love to play around with this dressing, so if you feel the need for more of this or less of that, this is the perfect dressing to make your own.

In a large bowl toss together the cabbage, carrots, green onions, cilantro and sesame seeds.

Toss the salad with the dressing and then mix in the Asian noodles until well combined.  Transfer to a platter and sprinkle with extra sesame seeds and chopped cilantro.  Enjoy!

To prep a day in advance: Chop all the veggies and bag separately, and whisk the dressing and keep in the frig until ready to use.  I think the noodles are best when prepared day of as they can get soggy.

The sky is the limit with this salad recipe!  Feel free to add in diced roasted or grilled chicken, toasted almonds, bell peppers for a little zing, sliced fresh zucchini and a little fresh grated ginger to the dressing is divine.

Kid Friendly Pork vegetarian

Yakisoba Noodles with Pan Seared Pork Tenderloin, Fresh Cabbage, Carrots, Shallots and Bean Sprouts

Recently, I had the fun privilege of cooking with my sister-in-law while she, my brother, neice and nephew were visiting from Japan.  Originally from Colombia, South America,  Paula, her Mother and Grandmother prepare the most delicious South American food I’ve ever had the pleasure of tasting (which I’ll blog soon!).  However, the dish Paula and I created this time was a divine little Yakisoba she learned while living in Japan. 

Cam (my handsome little brother) poured Paula and I some Plum Sake and we started cooking.  What we ended up with was a yummy dish of Yakisoba noodles tossed with fresh sautéed cabbage, carrots, shallots and bean sprouts.  Top with chopped fresh green onions, chopped Anori (seaweed) or fresh cilantro and you’ve got one heck of a meal! 

If you live here in the Pacific Northwest you’ll probably find Yakisoba noodles readily available in your local market.  My two Bennett gals prefer the refrigerated noodles that contain the seasoning packets (makes for a quick meal).  If you can’t find the refrigerated Yakisoba with the seasoning packet, check in the Asian section of your market for “Soba” noodles that are dry and can be cooked just like pasta.  I’ve listed a quick recipe for the sauce if Yakisoba sauce is not available.  It’ll still be tasty!  And better yet… try locating an Asian market in your corner of the world.  You’ll find all sorts of delectable foods, and like me, you’ll be hooked! 

Just a side note: Leave out the pork and this will also make a fabulous vegetarian or vegan meal.  Extra veggies fresh from your garden?  Throw them in the Yakisoba, it’ll be yummy!

Thanks Paula and Cameron for a fabulous visit!  (And for all the great food too!) Food is fun, brings families together, and creates some of our happiest memories.  Keep dinner simple… Enjoy the flavors of life!

Happy Cooking!

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

1lb Pork Tenderloin, thinly sliced

1 lb Yakisoba noodles (refrigerated) or Soba noodles (dry)

1/2 cup chopped shallots (or 1 cup chopped yellow onions)

1 small head cabbage (I like chinese cabbage or Napa cabbage)

1 – 1 1/2 cups carrots, Julienne, shredded, or sliced

1 cup fresh bean sprouts

Add ins: Chopped fresh broccoli, asparagus tips, fresh green beans, fresh corn, Japanese squash, butternut squash or zucchini

Garnish with fresh chopped green onions. pickled ginger or Anori (seaweed)

Yakisoba sauce or sauce packets, or Japanese Worcestershire

To make a sauce:

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/3 cup rice wine (Mirin)

2 tablespoons sugar

1 clove garlic, minced (optional)

Mix together until sugar is dissolved and set aside.

Directions

Over medium high heat add a little high heat oil to a large skillet or frying pan.  Add the pork and fry until it turns white.  Next, add the onion and carrot and fry until they soften slightly. Then add the cabbage and fry until soft.  Add the bean sprouts last.

Pull the noodles apart to keep them from staying in a clump, and stir them into the mixture. When everything is nicely mixed together, pour 2 or 3 tablespoons of water over it and stir-fry a little longer.

Add the seasoning sauce (powder or liquid) that comes with the package of noodles, or if there is no sauce, use Japanese Worcestershire sauce, or recipe sauce above.

Toss the noodles and veggies with the sauce and serve immediately.  Garnish with pickled ginger, chopped green onions, Anori or fresh chopped cilantro.  Enjoy!