Cucumber & Pea Soba

Updated: Jul 20, 2018

This recipe was originally created by my dear friend and cookbook author extraordinaire, Alana Chernila.  I had the pleasure of testing this recipe for her last book, "Eating From the Ground Up".  I helped her to strengthen the recipe into something that has now become a family favorite.  

1 1/2 pounds cucumbers

1 Tbsp sea salt, plus more for the pot

12 ounces soba noodles

3 Tbsp rice vinegar

2 Tbsp Asian Sesame Oil

1 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 1/2 Tbsp tamari or soy sauce

1 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

2 cups sugar snap peas, strings removed (Large peas that are shelled may be used as well as shown above)

1/2 cup finely chopped fresh Shiso or Basil leaves

2 scallions (white and green parts), thinly sliced

1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds

1. Place cucumbers on the counter, and use a rolling pin or big wooden spoon to whack the cucumbers until they split in several places then cut into smaller 3/4 inch pieces.

2. Transfer cucumbers to a large colander. Massage the salt into the cucumbers, then weight them down with a plate and something heavy (a jar filled with water works well). Let the cucumbers drain for 15 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the soba and cook, stirring occasionally until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain the soba and rinse repeatedly to cool soba down completely.

4. Whisk together the rice vinegar, sesame oil, olive oil, tamari, sugar and red pepper flakes in a large, wide bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients, tossing gently to coat ingredients in the dressing.

5. Best if you allow flavors to blend for at least an hour before serving. Even better the next day!