Daring Cooks: Cold soba noodle salad and tempura

The February 2011 Daring Cooks’ challenge was hosted by Lisa of Blueberry Girl. She challenged Daring Cooks to make Hiyashi Soba and Tempura. She has various sources for her challenge including japanesefood.about.com, pinkbites.com, and itsybitsyfoodies.com.

I was excited to see this month’s Daring Cooks was something a little lighter than last month’s Cassoulet.  Another bonus was that both the soba noodle salad and the tempura didn’t really take much time – I literally whipped up both during a study break and was glad of the light comfort food meal they provided.  I recently discovered that my local grocery store carries fabulous soba noodles – both dried and fresh – and this challenge made me realise that I will be purchasing them again, often, because of the endless possibilities they offer – plus, I always find that food like this looks like you have spent so much longer making it than you really have!

I kept it simple with my add-ins…

Although as you can see from the recipe, the possibilities and combinations really are endless…


It really did make for a satisfying, yet light, lunch in the middle of a busy study day.  I saved the leftovers separately and ate it for dinner the next day too!

As for the tempura, I had never made it before but it looked fairly simple and I happened to have sweet potato (my favourite tempura vegetable ever!) on hand, plus some of the red peppers and some broccoli.  It was a little fiddly, for sure, but a welcome break from academic readings.  My tempura were certainly not the prettiest but they were tasty – and they tasted right, which is important!


Thanks for a fun challenge Lisa – it won’t be the last time I make either of these recipes!

51 thoughts on “Daring Cooks: Cold soba noodle salad and tempura”

  1. Your pictures are gorgeous! I’ve become a soba convert because of this challenge too, I will be trying the sweet potato tempura very soon. Great job on this challenge!

  2. Your simple soba salad looks for yummy and refreshing! I love the versatility of the salad, from the ingredients to the dipping sauce…! And your tempura looks perfect. What a great meal for studying! Fabulous work on this challenge, and thank you for sharing!

  3. your challenge looks great. i loved the soba noodles this month, and also made them at the last minute. I think i’m going to stir fry my leftovers for a whole new dish. cheers

  4. Well Mardi has given so many freakin’ options, wine selection for this entry is a bit random.

    But as a general failsafe, go for something with a touch (or more) of residual sugar…generally will work well with the spices and salts.

    My choice? A German (not Alsatian) Riesling…Spatlese or Auslese. (Apologies to German readers for the omission of umlauts – not sure how to get in comments.) If the dish was really spiced up, a Gewurztraminer would do well, though depending on the pick might be too perfumey for my tastes – with this dish.

  5. Mr Neil…. love those wine pairing notes…, awesome selection for this dish. Love a little Tempura myself Mardi, nice one.

  6. The soba noodles look delicious!
    I’m glad I discovered your blog through FFwD. I stopped by today to award you the Stylish Blogger Award to let you know how much I enjoy it. Reading your blog brightens my day. Happy Cooking! Betsy

  7. I love tempura but I just cannot do deep frying. So I have tend to head out of tempura instead of making them at home

  8. Pingback: Tasty Tuesday – Noodle-licious | Welcome to the 4virtu Blog
  9. Those look yummy. How interesting it uses an English mustard powder. I wonder if you could use Wasabi and still get that same nose-heat…

  10. the tempura looks beautiful! i admire you for trying something fried like this – i always shy away from frying things – hate the smell the hot oil leaves behind in the house.

  11. Tempura is the best! And really not so difficult to do at home – I’ll remember your tip about the sweet potato goodness, don’t think I’ve ever had that as tempura.

  12. Pingback: Tasty Tuesday – Noodle-licious - 4virtu

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