a cool dish for a hot night . . .

We live in New England – and it’s forecasted to be hot and humid tonight – around 88 degrees today. So, this morning, I made part of our supper for tonight – cold soba noodle, persian cucumber and wakame seaweed salad. I happen to have a boat load of soba noodles in my cupboards so that was easy to find, boil water and cook on the stove. I drained it, spritzed it with very cold water and then drained it well again.

For the cucumbers, they’re the small ones that you get in packs of 5 or 6 at the grocery store. I like them because they’re very crunchy and less full of seeds and juice compared to the bigger ones. After I cut off the ends, I quarter-cut them (cut on a slight angle, turn it a quarter, cut, turn, cut, turn) until you have small chunks of cucumber. In parallel, I heated up some water and soaked some dried wakame to reconstitute the seaweed. A little bit goes a long way and I usually use too much. This time, I used half of what ballooned up in the soaking liquid. Rinsed it with cold water and chopped it up into smaller pieces, draining it well.

In a small bowl, I mixed together some homemade teriyaki sauce (soy, mirin, sake, sugar heated in a pan and cooled, kept in an old honey jar,) Marukan seasoned rice vinegar, Asian chili sauce, honey and sesame oil. Tasted it and added a little more vinegar to make it more piquant. Shook it up in a small jar and then added it to the drained soba noodles, cucumber and wakame seaweed. Mixed it together gently, covered it with plastic wrap and put it into the fridge until tonight. DSCN9087

With the soba noodles, I’m planning to prepare some extra-large shrimp, either stir fried in the shell with ginger, scallion and garlic or fry as tempura with hoisin sauce dip. There’s a brand of “colossal” size shrimp that I keep in my freezer so that I can take out a handful for meals like this. They’re now thawing in a plastic bag on the kitchen counter.

So that’s it for tonight. I’ve been striving to cook two dishes a meal for supper – rather than the usual 3, so combining vegetables with noodles is a good option, made in many ways – also with risotto (Lundberg parmesan risotto or Near East couscous with pine nuts.)  Last night, I sauteed cut-up asparagus with the risotto and have also done the same with zucchini and mushrooms to add to couscous. Handy & dandy too!