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Curried Soba and Cucumber Relish

Curried Soba and Cucumber Relish

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 6 Serves 6.
Curry powder, used here to enhance a simple dish of Asian buckwheat noodles, is a blend of spices, including cumin, coriander, turmeric, ginger, chilies and pepper. Heating the powder in a dry pan causes its flavor to blossom, making it more robust and aromatic.


For the cucumber relish:

  • 2 cucumbers, peeled
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar or cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 2 1/2 tsp. curry powder
  • 3/4 cup plain nonfat yogurt
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 Tbs. sesame seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 12 oz. dried soba noodles


To make the cucumber relish, split the cucumbers in half lengthwise, then cut crosswise into thin slices. In a large bowl, toss the slices with the salt and let stand for 15 minutes. Add the vinegar, brown sugar, soy sauce and sesame oil and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour to allow the flavors to marry before serving.

Put the curry powder in a small, heavy fry pan over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until aromatic, about 1 minute. Immediately pour the powder into a large bowl. Stir in the yogurt, cilantro, sesame seeds and pepper.

Bring a large pot three-fourths full of water to a boil over high heat. Add the soba noodles and cook until just tender, about 3 minutes, or according to the package instructions. Remove 1/3 cup of the cooking water, then drain the noodles thoroughly.

Add the noodles and reserved cooking water to the curry sauce. Toss to combine and coat the noodles evenly with the sauce.

To serve, divide the noodles among individual plates. Top each with an equal amount of the chilled cucumber relish. Serve warm or cold.
Serves 6.
Adapted from The Mayo Clinic Williams-Sonoma Cookbook, by John Phillip Carroll (Time-Life Books, 1998).