Monday, August 15, 2011

Cool Soba Noodle Salad & 2nd Look at Buckwheat Soba

With so many people trying to avoid Gluten in foods these days I thought I'd better look at Buckwheat Soba noodles one more time. Buckwheat is Gluten free as far as I can tell from every source I've read. This is good news as at least one of my immediate family members is going gluten free much of the time & so many of my friends seem to be trending that way for health reasons.

It seems people avoid eating buckwheat, believing that it is a type of wheat. Despite the name and the fact that it is used like wheat as a grain, buckwheat is not a type of wheat and is not even related to wheat. Its original name was "beech wheat" in reference to buckwheat's small, black, triangular seeds that although much smaller, resemble beech nuts from the beech tree. From "beech wheat" it was translated into the Dutch word "boecweite" or "boekweite": 'boek' meaning beech and 'weite' meaning wheat. After Dutch settlers introduced "boecweite" to colonial America, it eventually became known as 'buckwheat'. It is related to rhubarb and sorrel.

Soba Noodle Salad with Tuna & Cucumber

1 package Soba Noodles, *Buckwheat
1 small can of Spanish Oil Packed Tuna
1 small Cucumber, sliced & cut into quarters
3 Tbsp pumpkin seeds
1 small bunch of green onions, sliced
1/4 C. spicy mayonnaise
4 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
Salt to taste

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Boil noodles, cook till al dente & then cool down once finished cooking. Toss in Tuna, Cucumber, Pumpkin seeds & Green Onions.Chill & eat cold. **Avoid over cooking or soaking Buckwheat Soba in the cooking water.  The noodles are fragile & get a somewhat pasty flavor & consistency if they aren't drained right away.