Japanese soba salad

    serves 4

    Japanese soba noodles are hearty yet delicate noodles made from buckwheat. They are available in Asian markets and natural food stores.
    1 (10-ounce) package soba (buckwheat)


    ¼ cup toasted sesame oil

    1 red bell pepper, cut into julienne strips

    4 napa cabbage leaves, finely sliced

    3 scallions, minced

    2 tablespoons rice vinegar

    1 teaspoon fresh or bottled minced ginger

    ¼ teaspoon sugar

    Salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Cook the noodles in a large pot of boiling water until just tender, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain and rinse the noodles under cold water, then place them in a large bowl with 1 teaspoon of the sesame oil. Add the bell pepper, napa cabbage, and scallions, and set aside.
    In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, ginger, sugar, and salt and pepper to taste. Whisk in the remaining oil until blended. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.