Spring is a magical time for asparagus. The tender spears are crisp, sweet and super delicious, not only grilled or roasted, but raw as well. Raw asparagus is fairly mild, a little green-tasting, and is great when shaved thin and paired with a tangy sweet dressing. Shaving asparagus is easily done with a vegetable peeler. Trim the tough ends, as you normally would when preparing asparagus, then starting at the base, shave each spear as if you are peeling it repeatedly.
It takes a few tries to get used to it, and you may have some left-over ends to crunch on, but it’s a really fun way to serve asparagus. You can always slice the spears thinly, if you prefer, instead. This salad is best served at room temperature and leftovers can be refrigerated overnight.
- 250g soba noodles
- 1 - 2 Tbsp (15-30 mL) soy sauce or tamari
- 10 - 12 asparagus spears, washed and trimmed, and shaved with a vegetable peeler.
- 2 small thin-skinned cucumbers, deseeded, cut into 1/4 pieces lengthwise, and sliced.
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 2 Tbsp (30 mL) sesame seeds (I used a mix of black and white), toasted
- chilli flakes, to serve (optional)
- a small knob of ginger, grated or finely minced (scant 1 Tbsp.)
- 1 clove of garlic, finely minced
- 1 Tbsp (15 mL) soy sauce or tamari
- 2 Tbsp (30 mL) maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp (15 mL) rice vinegar
- 1 Tbsp (15 mL) sesame oil
- Prepare a medium/large pot of water, bring to a boil over high heat, and cook soba noodles according to package instructions. Stirring them as they cook helps prevent them from sticking together. Once done, make sure to rinse with cold water.
- While the water for the noodles is boiling, whisk all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and set aside
- Dress the drained noodles with 1 Tbsp. of soy sauce or tamari. If using a low-sodium soy sauce or a lighter-tasting tamari, another tablespoon may be needed. Mix the noodles well, let them sit for a minute, then taste a few noodles and add the second Tbsp. (or more..), as needed.
- Prepare the remaining ingredients. Reserving some sesame seeds and scallions for topping, toss shaved asparagus, cucumbers, scallions, and sesame seeds with noodles and dressing.
- Serve at room temperature with chilli flakes on the side.
This recipe was created by Sofia Eydelman, the relentless experimenter, mess maker, and picture taker behind From The Land We Live On – a food blog focused on sharing recipes inspired by seasonal ingredients and a never-ending quest for something interesting and new. To see more recipes from Sofia on Produce Made Simple, click here.