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Soba are Japanese buckwheat noodles - you can find them at some grocery stores; if not, any Asian food store should have them. (The recipe originally called for ramen, but I just couldn't do that to people). I've also had good luck finding dried shiitake mushrooms at a reasonable price at Asian food stores. Prep time includes the final sitting time.
- 2 tablespoons ginger, minced
- 1⁄4 cup sweet rice wine (mirin)
- 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar or 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt
- 3 tablespoons peanut butter
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 lb asparagus
- 2 ounces fresh snow peas
- 1 red bell pepper
- 3 ounces shiitake mushrooms
- 1 cup bean sprouts, rinsed
- 8 ounces soba noodles
- 1⁄4 cup roasted peanuts, chopped
- Combine all dressing ingredients in a small pan and whisk over low heat until smooth.
- Set aside.
- Trim the asparagus and cut into 2-inch pieces.
- Cut snow peas into thirds after pulling the strings.
- Cook the asparagus in boiling water for 3 minutes (time it!).
- Add the snow peas and cook another 30 seconds, then drain immediately in a colander and rinse with cold water until cool.
- Pat the vegetables dry and put into a bowl.
- Cut the pepper into 1/4 inch slices and slice the mushrooms thinly.
- Toss the pepper and mushrooms with the asparagus, peas, and bean sprouts as well as 3 tbs of dressing, then refrigerate.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil, break the soba noodles into halves or thirds, and cook until tender.
- Drain and rinse.
- Toss the noodles with the vegetable mix and the remaining dressing, then refrigerate for 15 minutes to let the flavors blend and the noodles absorb some of the dressing.
- Garnish with peanuts and serve.