Confetti Soba Salad

All that I can really say about the creation of this salad is that I found two really good recipes, and kind of mashed them together, and then ended up throwing a few more ingredients in the sauce to end up with a delicious and satisfying salad.  Another great recipe for a summer's day, but I am sure it could quickly become a fantastic stir fry as well. 
The story begins with, as usual, my hunt for recipes.  I found a website with a post called Cold Noodle Salads for Hot Days on The Kitchn, and was quickly attracted by the lovely pictures and tantelizing ingredients.  I was wavering between two salads, one called Bun Chay and the other Soba Noodles with Wilted Bok Choy, so I decided to combine the ingredients, kind of, and throw in a few ideas of my own. 
The results were fantastic, and M agreed.  This is kind of like the Otsu, but more in look than in taste.  It has more of a darker flavour, and is not quite as springy.  Still, the boatload of veggies make this an excellent dish, and add lots of colour- thus the name.  Enjoy!

Soba Confetti Salad

Serves 6-8

Inspired by Soba Noodles with Wilted Bok Choy and Bun Chay

1 very large or two small carrots, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks
3 baby bok choy, stems and leaves separated and both cut into thin slices.
4 oz soba noodles
6 scallions, cut into ½ inch or so slices
1 cup purple cabbage, shredded
1 cup green cabbage, shredded
1 cup bean sprouts
8 oz tofu
2 tbsp agave nectar
3 tbsp mirin
5 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp miso paste
1 tbsp chili garlic sauce
¾ tsp Chinese hot mustard powder
Fresh herbs like basil

Cook the soba noodles according to the package. It should be about 8 minutes, if you can’t read it! Drain, cut the noodles into smaller pieces (this makes life a lot easier, but if you insist on not doing this, then be my guest), and put in a large bowl.
Heat a pot over medium-high heat (I used the same kettle). Add the bok choy leaves and sauté, adding water as needed, for about 3 minutes, until wilted. Remove to the bowl.
Heat the pot one more time, and add the peanut oil and tofu, and fry for 15 minutes or so, until the tofu becomes lightly browned and firm. Add to the bowl as well.
Add the carrots, scallions, cabbage, and bean sprouts to the bowl.
In a separate smaller bowl, mix together the rest of the ingredients except the herbs and cashews until the miso is dissolved. Add to the noodle mixture, and stir to coat. Chill (or just leave it out) until ready to serve. Serve at any temperature, topped with herbs and cashews.

Just to say this again, this would probably make a great stir fry too. Just chuck the veggies in a wok!

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