If I told you that this was the extent of my vegetable consumption today, you wouldn't judge me right?! Even then, it was a hard-fought negotiation with myself to make something to eat that included the colour green - we finally settled on a pile of creamy, comforting noodles, topped with green things that likely have little-to-no nutrient value but add a very necessary textural element. Yep, some days you've just got to know when to fold 'em.
If you're wanting to make this more of a meal you might consider the addition of crispy tofu, as the original recipe suggests. Otherwise, this recipe comes together in a jiffy, simply chop a few things, boil some noodles, and heat the sauce in a pan before tossing it all together. If you don't have Persian cucumbers (because really who does!?), I think that a standard english cucumber will do just fine if you cut the larger rounds into halves or even quarters.
2 medium Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced into rounds
1 ½" piece ginger, peeled, finely grated
5 Tbsp. unseasoned rice vinegar, divided
¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce (or 3 Tbsp regular soy and 1 Tbsp water)
3 Tbsp. honey
4 oz. dried soba noodles
2 Tbsp. tahini
3 scallions, thinly sliced on a diagonal
Toss cucumbers and a few pinches of salt in a colander. Let sit until salt begins to draw out water from cucumbers, about 5 minutes. Massage cucumbers, gently at first to keep them from breaking, then more vigorously as they start to expel water. Drain and squeeze out excess liquid again. Transfer cucumbers to a small bowl. Add ginger and 1 Tbsp. vinegar and toss to combine. Chill until ready to use.
Whisk soy sauce, honey, and 3 Tbsp. vinegar in a medium bowl.
Heat skillet over medium-high, add soy sauce mixture (reserve medium bowl; you’ll use it again) and heat sauce, reducing heat to medium if needed, until glaze is almost thick enough to coat a spoon, about 4 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook soba noodles according to package directions; drain. Do not rinse noodles, even if the instructions tell you to—you want them to stay warm.
Pour sauce into reserved medium bowl. Whisk in tahini and remaining 1 Tbsp. vinegar. Add noodles and toss until coated with sauce.
Divide noodles among bowls. Top with pickled cucumbers, and scallions.