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Sesame noodles

(FOOD STYLING/KAROLINE BOEHM GOODNICK; aram boghosian for the boston globe)
September 10, 2008
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Serves 4

Soba noodles form the basis of this salad, with toasted sesame seeds, and a kick of chili oil. Peanut butter adds satisfying protein, grated ginger and rice wine vinegar their appealing tastes, and scallions and cucumbers crunch.

1/2 cup white sesame seeds
Salt, to taste
1 pound soba (buckwheat) noodles
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce
1 teaspoon chili oil
1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1medium cucumber
3 scallions, sliced diagonally
1. In a skillet over low heat, toast the white sesame seeds, stirring constantly, for a few minutes or until they begin to turn light brown.

2. In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the soba noodles for 4 to 6 minutes or until they are soft but still have some bite. Drain them into a colander, rinse with cold water, and transfer to a large bowl.

3. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil and toss gently.

4. In a small bowl, stir the peanut butter with the remaining 1 tablespoon sesame oil until it is smooth. Stir in the soy sauce, chili sauce, chili oil, ginger, 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar, and sugar. Add the dressing to the noodles and toss well.

5. Halve the cucumber lengthwise and use a spoon to remove the seeds. Cut the cucumber into matchsticks. In a bowl, combine the cucumbers with the remaining 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar. Top the noodles with the cucumber, scallions, and sesame seeds.Robin Shepard

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