I kept returning for more of this insanely creamy and delicious salad. My favorite part, aside from the bright colors, is the balance of Asian-ish flavor: salty soy sauce, peanut butter, honey, lime juice, toasted sesame oil, and garlic, which make up the dressing that clings to everything without being cloying. It gets better as it sits, so if you have extra time, it is ideal to make this a day ahead. Extra chopped peanuts and chili flakes on the side for those who want heat, and extra crunch is also a good plan.
PEANUT CRUNCH SOBA NOODLE SALAD
Ingredients: 6 ounces soba noodles, 1 cup shredded carrots, 1 cup bean sprouts, 1 cup shredded purple cabbage, 2 chopped green onions, 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, 1/2 cup chopped peanuts + extra.
For the dressing: 1/4 cup peanut butter, 1-2 tbsp. soy sauce, 2 tbsp. toasted sesame oil, 2-3 tsp. honey, 1 tsp. minced garlic, 1 tbsp. lime juice, 1 tbsp. warm water.
1. Cook noodles/Prep ingredients: Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the noodles according to the directions on the package, minus a minute or so. (You'll want the noodles al dente, so start testing them before the time is up.) Drain the noodles, then rinse under cold water to stop the cooking. Prep the veggies, if necessary, by chopping the cabbage, cilantro, green onions, and peanuts.
2. Make dressing/Assemble salad: Whisk together all of the ingredients for the dressing in the bottom of the serving bowl. The consistency should be like thin peanut butter. If you want it thinner, add 1-2 tbsp. extra warm water. Tip in the noodles, cabbage, bean sprouts, carrots, green onion, cilantro, and most of the peanuts. Toss well to coat. Sprinkle the remaining peanuts on top. Allow to rest, covered, in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving or up to 2 days. Serve with extra chopped peanuts on the side and chili flakes (optional).