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Crunchy Tempura and Soba Noodle Salad

Crunchy Tempura and Soba Noodle Salad
Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times

We all ask "what's for dinner" fairly often. After testing recipes in a hot kitchen in the hot days of August, the Times Test Kitchen staff has the answer: salad. And after tasting the four main-dish salads they created, we ... Read more

Total time: 40 minutes | Serves 2


  • 1/2 cup ice water
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons tempura batter mix
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • Oil, for deep frying

Step 1Measure ice water into large mixing bowl. Sprinkle batter mix blended with baking powder over ice water. Stir just until ingredients are moistened; do not beat. Batter will be lumpy. If it seems too thick, add more water. Place bowl of batter into bowl of ice water to chill.

Step 2Heat oil in deep skillet to 375 degrees. Drizzle batter into pan, a portion at a time, so it just covers surface of oil and fries evenly. Fry until batter browns, turning to brown all sides, 3 to 4 minutes. Repeat, frying until all batter is used. Remove with slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. When fried batter cools, crumble into small pieces. Makes about 2 cups.

Salad and assembly

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant dashi
  • 4 cups mixed salad greens
  • 2 cups cooked soba noodles
  • 1/2 cup bonito flakes
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • 2 tablespoons prepared sesame seeds and seaweed
  • Black sesame seeds, for garnish

Step 1Combine soy sauce, lemon juice, rice vinegar, water, sugar, sesame oil and instant dashi. Cover and let stand until ready to serve salad.

Step 2For each salad, arrange 2 cups mixed greens on serving plate. Top with 1 cup cooked soba noodles, 1/4 cup bonito flakes, 2 tablespoons sliced green onion, 1 tablespoon prepared sesame seeds and seaweed and 1/4 cup crumbled tempura batter. Garnish with sprinkle of black sesame seeds.

Note: Look for tempura batter mix in the Asian aisle of well-stocked supermarkets or at Japanese markets. Instant dashi, soba noodles, bonito flakes, prepared sesame seed and seaweed (such as Mishima brand) and black sesame seeds can be found at Japanese and Asian markets. This recipe makes enough tempura to use with other dishes. Store leftover crumbled tempura in paper bag for a few days; use to top salads, casseroles or anything where you'd like some crunch.


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