Ingredients for Salad (Serves 4):
Japenese soba noodles, 9.5 ounces, 1 standard bag
Crabmeat, 1 pound, checked for shells
Cilantro, 1 bunch, chopped
Scallions, 6 – 8, thinly sliced, whites and greens
Sesame oil, 1/4 cup
High quality light soy sauce, 1/3 cup (such as Pearl River Bridge)
Raw honey, 1/4 cup
Pickled ginger, 1/4 cup, minced (purchase the pale version to avoid artificial colors)
Garlic, 3 cloves, minced
Crushed peanuts, 1/4 – 1/2 cup, based on your preference
Sriracha chili sauce, to pass at the table
Prep (10 – 15 minutes, can be made up to a day ahead):
1. Prepare the soba noodles: Cook the noodles in salted, boiling water according to package directions (about 4 minutes). Drain and immediately rinse with cold water until cool. This will stop the cooking process and prevent the noodles from becoming mushy.
2. Slicing and dicing: Thinly slice 6 – 8 scallions. Mince 1/4 cup pickled ginger and 3 cloves of garlic. Do not chop the cilantro ahead of time. It will become limp and unattractive if it is forced to sit in fridge after being removed from stems.
3. Prepare the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup honey, 1/3 cup soy sauce, and minced ginger and garlic. Whisk in 1/4 cup sesame oil (this will help emulsify the dressing).
4. Promptly cover and refrigerate noodles, scallions, and dressing separately if not preparing within the hour.
Assembling the salad (5 minutes):
1. Coarsely chop one bunch cilantro, discarding stems.
2. Using clean hands, combine soba noodles, crabmeat, cilantro, scallions, and honey-sesame vinaigrette. Transfer to a serving dish. Garnish with crushed peanuts. Pass sriracha hot sauce at the table, if desired.
3. Serve and enjoy! If your kids are old enough, chopsticks would be a fun way to make this meal something special.
Notes: This is a kid friendly meal that goes from start to finish in 20 minutes. It even has easy cleanup! To make this dish more economical or vegetarian, simply omit the crab and double or even triple the peanuts. Cooked salad shrimp could also be a delicious variation. Soba noodles are made from buckwheat so they are much higher in protein than traditional wheat flour. This dish is not gluten free, but omitting the peanuts would make it suitable for those with nut allergies. Happy eating and as always, let me know what you think! firstname.lastname@example.org