This post is dedicated to vegetarian Buddhists, vegetarian hippies and hot vegan women, because I love you all. This is not my original recipe. I was reading amateur gourmet and this recipe immediately gave me a boner(lovely huge one). So without the slightest thought I ran down(literally) to the market to buy the ingredients to make this. That was how emotional I felt.
When you mix ginger and scallions, they give you CANTON power. Like in all Cantonese cuisine, the slightly sophisticated combination of ginger and scallions always never fail to impress. In this recipe, there is CANTON power. Also salty aroma from the soy sauce, woody caramel-y creaminess from the roasted cauliflower and tingly ting sensations from pickled cucumbers. CANTON power is basically what westerners will tell you, "Mm! 'tastes like Chinese." If you're living in the US and if you order Chinese takeout, don't be surprised to sense some CANTON power secretly lingering in most dishes.
1. Using a really sharp easy peeler, swipe a medium cucumber into strips. Put them all in a bowl and add 1 tbsp salt, 3 tbsp sugar. Let it pickle for about 15-30mins. Taste occasionally. If it's too salty, rinse it off and add more sugar.
2. Boil a pack of Buckwheat Soba noodles(without the wrapper) for 3 mins. Test for al dente. Drain off in a colander and submerge in ice water to stop cooking. Drain again and set aside.
Tip: To make ice water really cold, add a tbsp of salt.
3. Trim a medium cauliflower. Cut it out into nice pieces. On a hot pan, add grapeseed oil, sear cauliflower for 5 mins a side until well browned. Season and set aside.
4. Finely chop 3 large sprigs of scallions and grate 1 thumb of ginger. Transfer into a bowl. Add 1 tbsp Kikoman, 1 tsp really good sesame oil, 2 tsp chinese black vinegar or sherry vinegar and a touch of white pepper.
5. Toss soba with scallion mixture. Rinse off salt and sugar from cucumber pickles. Serve soba in a bowl, top with pickles and roasted cauliflower.
6. Eat with chopsticks otherwise it won't be good.