a perfect light meal for the gals....

I bought some real fresh Chinese spinach yesterday and because of this steaming heat outside, I honestly don't feel like having anything too heavy.  If Marco was here, I would throw in a piece of grilled fish and maybe a couple of onigiri(rice ball) with mentaiko(marinated roe) to fill him up.  Since it was just for myself, I'll stick with my favorite summer veggies. :)  I think these ingredients are definitely accessible anywhere and they shouldn't cost you a fortune.  The cooking time is really just cooking the soba and spinach which only takes about 5 minutes.  The rest are just chopping and marinating.  So cooling and so healthy!  

I love the variety of dishes that Asian meals offer.  It makes me feel like I am having a feast even if I am eating alone.  :) 

cucumber n carrot salad

3 baby cucumbers, shaved and discard the middle seeds part

1 small carrot, shaved

1 tsp sesame seeds

2-3 tbsp rice vinegar

a pinch brown sugar

Instructions: Mix well in a bowl and refrigerate for about 15-30 minutes before serving.  Remove excess water (before serving) if you want.  

sesame spinach salad 

1lb spinach

2 tbsp sesame oil

1-2 tbsp sesame seeds

1 tbsp brown sugar

2-3 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp mirin

Instructions: 

1) Cook the spinach in a pot of boiling water for less than 30 seconds.  

2) Drain the spinach and run it in cold water; dry with a kitchen towel to absorb all the liquid.

3) Chop the spinach and transfer to a small bowl. 

4) Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.  

5) Refrigerate for at least 10-15 minutes before serving.  

cold soba and sauce

100g soba, cooked according to the package label

1 tbsp chopped spring onion

1 tsp grated ginger

1/2 tsp wasabi

1/4 (3 tbsp) small bowl soy sauce

1/4 (3 tbsp) small bowl mirin

1 tbsp rice vinegar

1 tsp brown sugar

1/2 small bowl water

Instructions: 

1) Run cold water to the cooked soba, drain well.  Transfer a serving dish. 

2) Get a small bowl, add mirin, soy sauce, rice vinegar, water and a little bit of grated ginger and ginger juice.

3) Get a small soy sauce dish, place wasabi, grated ginger, and chopped spring onion as a side dish for the cold soba.*

* People normally pair cold soba with a quail egg but I don't have any plus I'm not a huge fan of quail egg so that's all I'm serving here.