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Asian Inspired Cold Noodle Salad

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Recipe By Dr. Michael Fenster, MD

As a student and devotee to Asian martial arts, I frequently go to Japan for training. Many of these trips occurred during the typhoon season. Much like hurricane season in the United States, the basic weather was hot, humid and sultry. Great relief was often found in a bowl of soba, or buckwheat noodles, served cold. Contrary to the name, buckwheat is not a cereal grain. It is actually a fruit seed related to rhubarb and sorrel. Thus it is a great alternative to people who wish or need to avoid foods high in gluten. Like any diet rich in whole grains, diets rich in buckwheat are associated with lower rates of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Buckwheat is rich in flavonoids like rutin and minerals like magnesium. This is one of my favorite warm weather salads and pairs perfectly with any fish dish or as a meal alone.


380 Calories per serving; 4g Total Fat; 72g Total Carbohydrate

Makes 4 servings


  • 1 package of soba noodles (I especially like the Roland organic soba)
  • 2 cups of stock (You can use seafood, fish or chicken stock. The stock adds a layer of flavor to the cooled noodles, but you can use water as well to cook them)
  • 2 thinly sliced cucumber
  • 7 ounces tofu (extra firm) cut into ¼ inch cubes
  • Several slices of daikon (Japanese radish)
  • Toasted nori seaweed strips (optional)
  • Red pepper flakes (optional)

For the Dressing

  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons ponzu sauce (you can use soy sauce instead)
  • 2 tablespoons mirin (you can substitute a white wine in a pinch)


    1. Heat the stock to boiling in a medium saucepan. Add the noodles and cook until slightly al dente, just like pasta.
    2. Drain and cool the noodles. Mix the dressing together and combine with the other ingredients. Top with seaweed and red pepper flakes if desired.

Reminder: The ingredients in a recipe determine if it should be eaten every day, some days, or on special occasions. It's up to you and you doctor to determine what can be part of a healthy diet for you and any special needs you may have.

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