Peanut-Ginger Soba Noodles with Cucumber and Cilantro

Wine Commentary by Gary Twining • Photo by Beth Segal

Cold, richly dressed noodles satisfy in summer. Just ask generations of macaroni salad lovers. But spin the globe in this gluten-free dish to add the drama of Asian seasonings with peanuts, sprightly greens, and herbs. It’s worth a trip to the import store for special elements, or just order them online, in advance.



6 TBS tamari (gluten-free soy) or soy sauce

2 TBS sesame oil

1/2 cup smooth peanut butter, unsweetened

1/4 cup rice vinegar

1 TBS grated fresh ginger

2 cloves garlic, minced



3 TBS sea salt

10 ounces soba (buckwheat) noodles

1 carrot, peeled, grated



5 scallions, thinly sliced

1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds

1/4 cup salted peanuts, chopped

1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped


In bowl, stir together 2 TBS water with the tamari, sesame oil, peanut butter, vinegar, ginger, and garlic. Set aside.


Boil 3 quarts water with sea salt. Break noodle bundles in half, and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes until tender. Rinse and drain thoroughly. Toss drained noodles first with the carrot, then with the sauce. Add toppings.

Makes 4 servings.


You could add: Cooked chicken or shrimp, or fresh tofu.


Gary: With the saltiness of the soy sauce, the nuttiness of the peanuts and sesame seeds, and the brightness of the ginger and cilantro, look to a medium-bodied white with ample acidity. A dry sparkler would also be in order, as would a Pinot Gris/Grigio or Alberino. Consider aromatic whites to enhance the cilantro, such as Sauvignon Blanc, Verdejo, Viognier and dry Riesling.

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