Spicy-Tahini Soba Noodle Salad

Noodles:
12 ounces dried soba noodles 
1 carrot, peeled and julienned 
Small bunch of broccolini, cleaned and ends trimmed 
3-4 shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced 

Dressing:
1/4 cup tahini 
1 1/2 teaspoon sesame chile oil
1 1/2 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons room temperature water
1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste) 

Garnish: 
Black sesame seeds

1. To a pot of boiling salted water, add the soba noodles. Cook for 5 minutes and then give them a taste; you'll probably find they're just right. (Just FYI, I found that the box's instructions (cook for 8 to 10 minutes) yielded an overcooked noodle.) Drain and rinse the noodles in cold water and transfer the noodles to the refrigerator. 

2. While the noodles are chilling, let's make the dressing. To a small bowl, add the tahini and sesame oil; whisk until smooth. Add the water and whisk more until very smooth. It might start to clump up at first, just keep whisking--it'll eventually become smooth. Salt the dressing to taste (I found that I was happy with 1/4 teaspoon). 

3. Remove the noodles from the refrigerator. If they're especially stuck together, you can add a bit of water to the noodles to loosen them up. Add the dressing, and using your hands really get in there to ensure that the noodles are thoroughly coated. Toss in the julienned carrots. Divide the noodles between plates. 

4. To a small sauté pan, add a tablespoon of olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the broccolini and mushrooms. Sprinkle with a few pinches of salt. Cook, tossing the vegetables and mushrooms, for about 3-5 minutes. Top each plate of soba noodles with a few broccolini and a few mushrooms. Garnish with sesame seeds, if you like. 

Serves 3 to 4






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