The Daring Cooks make Cold Soba Salad and Tempura | The Gingered Whisk: The Daring Cooks make Cold Soba Salad and Tempura

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Daring Cooks make Cold Soba Salad and Tempura

Wowza, I am soo late.

I don't really know what happened. One day it was the 17th, I was excitedly printing out my newest Daring Cooks Challenge, and it seemed like I blinked, it was the 12th of February and I realized that not only was I not ready to do my post, but that I hadn't even made the challenge yet! Yikes! I did a scramble to the grocery store, but of course they had none of hte crazy ingredients from the recipe we were given (it didn't help that they were all in Japanese, either...)

Ok, so I was going to be a little late this month, I could accept that. What I didn't know what HOW late I was going to be! Geesh!

I blame it all on this little face, though.

One second she was innocently sitting on her blanket, shaking her rattle and making cute little "Babababa" noises, and the next she was on her belly, army crawling for dear life, throwing handfuls of dog food from bowls, ripping hidden dust bunny villages from under the couch, trying to eat whatever she can get into her mouth before I dive-bomb her from across the room and pull it out of her sweet little chubby hand...

Whew, no wonder I didn't get this challenge done on time! :) Once I did complete it, though, I was glad that I did! I was a little nervous about a cold noodle salad (I like my noodles hot and covered in thick sauce!), but all the flavors here were very good! Unique, for sure, but really enjoyable! I liked the tempura, too, it almost makes eating fried foods not so bad if you think of it as eating green beans, sweet potatoes and zucchini! :)

Cold Soba Salad - I have no idea where I got this recipe, it just turned up in my in-box. :)

·         1 pound soba noodles
1/4  cup  rice vinegar
·         tablespoons  soy sauce
·         tablespoons  sesame oil
·         2 tsp honey or agave nectar
·         tablespoon  powdered wasabi
·         1/2  cup  minced green onions
·         1/4  cup  dried bonito flakes (optional)
·         Toasted Sesame Seeds
toppings: Shredded carrots, diced cucumber, scrambled egg, sliced cabbage, mushrooms, green onions,  ham,
In a 5- to 6-quart pan over high heat, bring about 3 quarts water to a boil. Add noodles and cook until tender to bite, 3 to 6 minutes. Drain noodles and rinse gently under cold running water until cool.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and wasabi.
Pour about half the dressing into a small bowl and reserve.
Add noodles to the large bowl; mix to coat.
Cover and chill until cold, about 1 hour, or up to 4 hours.
Just before serving, add reserved dressing to noodles and mix to coat.
Sprinkle salad with green onions and bonito flakes, if using.
Top with any toppings you wish.
Sliced Ham, Cucumber, Red Pepper, and Scrambled Eggs!

Tempura - Alton Brown

5 ounces unbleached cake flour
5 ounces white rice flour
1 1/2 quarts vegetable oil
1 large egg, beaten
1 1/2 cups cold seltzer water
1/2 cup vodka
Kosher salt
Whisk the cake flour and rice flour together in a medium glass bowl. Set aside.
Heat the vegetable oil in a 5-quart Dutch oven over high heat until it reaches 375 degrees F on a deep-fry thermometer.
Once the temperature reaches 365 degrees F, whisk the egg, seltzer water and vodka, in a medium mixing bowl.
Pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture and whisk to combine, about 10 to 15 seconds. Some lumps may remain.
Set the glass bowl in a larger bowl lined with ice.
Dip the veggies into the batter using tongs, drain for 2 to 3 seconds over the bowl, and then add to the hot oil.
Adjust the heat to maintain between 375 and 400 degrees F.
Fry 6 to 8 pieces, at a time, until puffy and very light golden, about 1 to 2 minutes
Remove to a cooling rack lined with 3 layers of paper towels set over a half sheet pan.
Sprinkle with salt, if desired.
Repeat the same dipping and frying procedure with the remaining vegetables.

Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce
In a blender blend ¼ c peanut butter, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1 minced garlic, ¼ tsp red hot pepper flakes, ¼ tsp sugar, and 1/4 cup hot water until the sauce is smooth.


  1. Oh my goodness! Ainsley looks so.... grown up! I'm sure you have your hands full with her now that she's crawling around, but you still never fail to make some gorgeous food! I've wanted to try tempura for a while, might just have to give this recipe a try.

  2. Hey, better late than never, right? I think you did a great job. Anyone who completes these challenges with little ones in the house deserves a medal. At least that's what I tell myself some months... :) I love the picture or all your tempura'd veggies lined up - looks super tasty! :)


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