Friday, August 5, 2011


Soba Noodle Salad 2 bis
"The man who has begun to live more seriously within begins to live more simply without."
- Ernest Hemingway
When you are neither rich nor possess many earthly belongings, you tend to direct your attention toward the little things in life, what is not materialistic nor can be quantified in money terms. You learn not to have greedy expectations or to take things for granted, to be satisfied with not much, to have a more spiritual insight into things and to become increasingly open to the outside world and that which surrounds us...

Due to that my life is very restricted. I cannot go on holiday (the last time I travelled abroad was 13 years ago when I last saw my English grandparents), buy what I want (let alone what I need), visit restaurants and coffee shops nor have many activities. Nonetheless, I try to make the best of what I have, positivize and find beauty in everything, even (or especially) where people don't. My situation has made me clear-sighted as I am not blinded by pecuniary matters or encumbered by avarice.
“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness.
If you are attentive, you will see it.”

- Thich Nhat Hanh

"Be Content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you."
- Lao Tzu

"Don't seek, don't search, don't ask, don't knock, don't demand - relax. If you relax, it comes. If you relax, it is there. If you relax, you start vibrating with it."

- Osho
Thanks to my "misfortune", I am a keen lover of Nature. It never fails to surprise me and I cannot get enough of admiring it and incessantly being flabbergasted by its unlimited wonders. I am capable of sitting on my balcony for hours looking at the sky and the way clouds evolve. The dreamlike and elegant flight of the buzzards fascinates me. I cherish the welcoming morning chant of the birds and that of the perky rooster living in the garden opposite my building block. The imposing solemness of the Salève mountain that towers over my village like a monolithic monster bedazzles me. My kitty Maruschka is a real bundle of joy and brings a charming feline touch to my day. The flutter of leaves in the evening wind brings me peace of mind. The croacking of frogs makes me smile. The sudden appearence of a fiery and fluffy fox during my Saturday walks delights me. A warm summer breeze wraps me in a shroud of pure bliss. The rumbling river nearby comforts me. An afternoon spent foraging for exceptionally fragrant wild blackberries excites me to the highest point. Listening to the electric sounding songs of the cicadas which have colonized the area lately just fills my heart with joy. The shape of a fruit or the color of a vegetable sends me into a state of meditation. The sheer variety of food astounds me and makes me feel so thankful...
Soba Noodles 3 bis
"Two novice Zen monks are arguing about whose master is more evolved and accomplished. So the first monk boasts, 'My master is so powerful, he can stand on one side of the river and write his name in the mud on the opposite side'. 'That’s nothing' said the other one. 'When my master is hungry, he eats and when he is tired he sleeps'."
- Anonymous
Somehow, I have the attitude of a Zen (or Taoist) monk who sees magnificence everywhere he looks and doesn't burden his soul with negativity. Genius lies in simplicity, naturalness and harmony. Being able to stay humble brings you inner strenghth as it is when humans are left with the strict minimum that they are forced to face themselves and dig deep into their inner being in order to "survive" the lack of artificiality in their existence.

"The modern mind has lost all capacity to wonder. It has lost all capacity to look into the mysterious, into the miraculous - because of knowledge, because it thinks it knows."

- Osho
With food, the same can be said. There is no need to complicate things, spend considerable amounts on luxury ingredients or be frivolous. A well-balanced and uncomplex dish can have even more impact that one that is ultra-complicated, pompous and extravagant. Sometimes, it is the most elementary and frugal meal that leaves the greatest as well as long-lasting memories
"Preparing food is not about yourself and others. It is about everything!"
- Shunryu Suzuki
It is for that reason, that the recipe I am presenting today is not pretentious and is of Nippon inspiration. Like all things Japanese, it is subtly refined in both looks and taste, and shines in its purity, sobriety, equilibrium and apparent rusticity.

This exquisite "Cold Soba Noodle Salad" is easily prepared, ravishingly summery and perfect for hot weather as the cool pasta play off the heat marvelously. It is a dish that has strong earthy and warm aromas of wasabi, sesame oil/seeds, soy sauce and buckwheat noodles, but thanks to the heady and fresh flavors of ginger, rice vinegar, cucumber and carrots, the symmetry is absolute.

Soba Noodle Salad 4 bis
~ Cold Soba Noodle Salad ~
Recipe by Rosa Mayland, August 2011.

Serves 2.

Ingredients For The "Soba Noodles":
2x 80g Dry soba/buckwheat noodle bundles
Ingredients For The "Vinaigrette":
4 Tbs Sweet Japanese soy sauce (Kikkoman)
3 Tbs Sesame oil
2 1/2 Tbs Rice vinegar
1 1/2 Tsp Wasabi paste
3 Tsps Chopped fresh ginger
2 1/2 Tbs sesame seeds (black or white), roasted
Ingredients For The "Topping":
2 Medium carrots, cut into thin matchtsicks
1/3 Cucumber, cut into thin matchsticks

Method For The "Soba Noodles":
1. Bring a large pot of unsalted water to the boil.
2. Add the
noodles, sprinkling them strand by strand into the water.
3. Gently stir to immerse them completely.
4. Simmer over low heat for about 4 minutes, or following the package directions.
5. Drain and rinse with cold water.
6. Place in a bowl and set aside.

Soba Noodle Salad Eggs 1 1 bis
Method For The "Vinaigrette":
7. Mix all the ingredients together.
8. Pour over the salad and mix together thoroughly before adding the sesame seeds and tossing again.
9. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes, so that the flavors develop.
Method For The "Garnishes":
10. Add the carrot and the cucumber, mix.
11. Serve.

You can replace the rice vinegar by white balsamic vinegar or malt vinegar.
While the soba noodles are cooking, stir occasionally to prevent from sticking.
If you want, you can also top your noodles with chopped scallions.

Serving suggestions:
Serve cold and accompany dish with eggs (omelet, fried eggs, hard boiled eggs or poached eggs) or fish (steamed or fried).


Soba Noodle Salad 5 bis
~ Salade Froide De Nouilles Soba ~
Recette par Rosa Mayland, août 2011.

Pour 2 personnes.

Ingrédients Pour Les "Nouilles Soba":
2x 80g de Nouilles soba sèches (2 bottes)
Ingrédients Pour La "Vinaigrette":
4 CS de Sauce soya légère (Kikkoman)
2 1/2 CS de Vinaigre de riz
3 CS d'Huile de sésame
1 1/2 CC de Pâte de wasabi
3 CC de Gingembre frais, haché finement
2 1/2 CS de Graines de sésame (noir ou blanches), torréfiées
Ingrédients Pour La "Garniture":
2 Carottes (moyennes), coupées en fines allumettes
1/3 de Concombre, coupé en fines allumettes

Méthode pour Les "Nouilles Soba":
1. Remplir une grande casserole d'eau (sans ajout de sel) et porter à ébullition.
2. Ajouter les nouilles, en les faisant tomber une à une
(en pluie).
3. Mélanger délicatement afin d'immerger les nouilles.
4. Faire cuire à feu dou pendant environ 4 minutes, ou selon les instructions sur l'emballage.
5. Egoutter et rinser à l'eau froide.
6. Mettre dans un bol et mettre de côté.

Soba Noodle Boat 1 4 bis
Méthode Pour La "Vinaigrette":
7. Mélanger tous les ingrédients ensemble.
8. Verser sur les nouilles et bien mélanger avant d'ajouter les graines de sésame.
9. Entreposer au frigo pendant 30 minutes, de sorte que les arômes se développent.
Méthode Pour La "Garniture":
10. Ajouter la carotte et le concombre, mélanger.
11. Servir.

Le vinaigre de riz peut être remplacer par du vinaigre balsamique blanc ou du vinaigre de malte.
Pendant que les nouilles cuisent, mélanger occasionellement afin qu'elles ne collent pas ensemble.
Si vous le désirez, vous pouvez aussi garnir cette salade avec des oignons verts coupés en rondelles.

Idées de présentation:
Servir cette salade froide et accompagnée d'oeufs (omelette, oeufs à la poêle, oeufs cuits dur ou oeufs pochés) ou de poisson (grillé ou à la vapeur).

Soba Noodle Salad 1 bis


  1. I read the recipe for "gallette du pont" ... I'd like to try but I don't know what are CC and CS about the quantity of ingredients... thanks:-)

  2. NOAKE: Thanks for the comment and for your interest in my blog! In French, CC means Tsp (teaspoon) and CS means Tbs (tablespoon). If you follow the link to The Rambling Epicure article, you'll find the English version of this recipe.... ;-)

  3. oh thanks...but i prefer read your blog in french version...because is very similar to italian...:-)

  4. NOAKE: You are welcome! No problem... ;-P

  5. Totally agree with "Be Content with what you have...."!
    Good healthy dish of yours as usual Rosa.

  6. I totally believe in doing the very best with what you have. In doing so, you will live a peaceful and happy life.

    Great salad Rosa. Perfect for our summertime heat.

  7. Simple et délicieux, donc efficace! Parfait!

  8. avec cette petite sauce, j'aime !

  9. Looks delicious..great dish for hot summer days! :)

  10. Simplicity is often taken for granted. Especially with cooking! I over do it way too often. Sometimes food should just be food. :p

    This recipe sounds great. I have loads of Asian noodles stashed in my pantry, I always do peanut noodles. This sounds like a great change of pace, I love the wasabi! Yum!

  11. Your post is timely and inspirational, as I find myself in a similar place in my life. I have followed your blog for a long time, initially through WCB. You create beauty through your photographs, cooking and words. I look forward to trying your latest recipe and reflecting further on your words and quotations.

  12. Great post and photos as always. The more you have the more you want and the more likely that you will compromise ethics etc to have more.

    The name "Maruschka" rings bells. Either I met someone by that name or there is some association, now I will spend the rest of the afternoon thinking...:) Have a great weekend.

  13. You are one of the most positive people I know, Rosa. And, your ability to find beauty in the simplest things is inspiring. Love this salad! There is something about a big bowl of noodles that always gives me comfort. :)

  14. Cold soba is very comforting for a hot summer weather. Have you tried the green tea soba?

  15. What a lovely, well-written post. It truly made me feel better about my day...something which I desperately needed. :)

    Thank you, Rosa.
    Oh, and your soba noodle salad is making my stomach roar with hunger. It looks so fresh and light that I want to grab some chopsticks and grab some through the screen.

  16. Simple et délicieuse salade. J'avais été surprise lors de mon voyage au Japon de voir cette sorte de salade servie froide (j'avais choisi sur photo ne parlant pas le japonais!), finalement c'est délicieux! Merci pour le partage... Bises!

  17. Jolie et délicieuse cette salade colorée et savoureuse!

  18. A marvellous post Rosa! You write such inspirational words!

  19. Baby Marc is dancing along the music when I arrive your post, so funny, he is shaking his feet. Lovely post. I have a lot of soba noodle and want to do sth different, thanks for the idea.

  20. Je découvre les nouilles Soba par cette recette que je trouve bien savoureuse !
    Très bonne journée en ce vendredi,
    Bisous, Doria

  21. Mmmm I love soba! Good stuff here Rosa. I am so making this.

  22. I am totally with you about preparing food: simplicity!
    The cold soba salad looks so tasty!

  23. I wish that you do have the chance to go on a holiday... I love your words of wisdom and the outlook you have on life. I love your zen habits and your zenful salad that makes everything just better. Beautiful photos. Wishing you a happy day.

  24. I too find nature always as amazing! I never get tired of discovering its wonders :-)

    Cold soba salad is one of my favourites. I love the flavours you've used in this! Sounds like the perfect summer meal!

  25. an admirable attitude, which will pay off one day... no, every day.
    Liebe Grüsse

  26. Whouah c'est un plat magnifique et qui donne très envie!

  27. "Don't seek, don't search, don't ask, don't knock, don't demand - relax. If you relax, it comes. If you relax, it is there. If you relax, you start vibrating with it."

    -------omg, I wish I could live like that every. single. day.
    I loooooooved this post.
    the music! The food! The insight!
    It makes me want to sit zen & inhale.......exhale..........inhale........exhale.

  28. les photos sont MAGNIFIQUES et la recette sublime ! merci Rosa, bises et bon weekend, nous ferons cette recette ! sûr !!!

  29. wonderfully written rosa, the cold osba noodles seem to jump right out of the bowl..wonderful pics..have a great weekend!

  30. Won't you be my neighbor? :)

    You know, the more I read your blog, the more I feel we lead parallel lives.
    I could spend hours (and I have) taking in the sounds, the smells, and the beauty that emanates from the woods behind our house. It is all very soul renewing to me.

    In any case, your Soba Noodle Salad looks so good and refreshing, and would be perfect on a sweltering day like today.

  31. As always great recipe and fantastic photos. I admire your positive attitude.

  32. ჱܓ
    Um prato é muito bonito e colorido.
    Com certeza muito saboroso.

    Bom fim de semana! ჱܓ

    °º✿ Brasil.
    º° ✿✿♥ ° ·.

  33. I love this! Really really love your cold soba !

  34. Beautiful post, both the writing and the recipe! You also did a wonderful job styling the soba noodles. I just wish a bowl of this salad was on a table in front of me right now.

  35. Soba noodles are some of my favourite noodles..I adore their taste! Great job on the salad Rosa!

  36. Beauty, wonder and amazement need not be found far from home. This was a beautiful post. Your cold soba noodles proof that simple is best.

    Thanks for the gentle reminder to stop and smell the flowers-life should not be so complicated and hectic.

  37. Simple is always best! This soba noodle salad is gorgeous, a perfect summer meal!

  38. valuable lesson I've learned from this post. I wanna try this by myself at home. Soba noodle salad looks good and yummy.

    Cassy from Best Way To Learn Guitar

  39. This is such a beautiful and serene post. You are a truly amazing person and a very talented writer and photographer.
    Soba noodles look delicious!
    Wishing you a lovely week-end.

  40. Aish, this post makes me feel like summer all over!

  41. So often we forget to appreciate the little things, and that's truly unfortunate! This salad looks delicious. Simple and yet completely wonderful.

  42. No doubt that the more luxuries one gets, the greedier man gets, goes away from Nature & other things that truly matter in the end..The way you put your every day, calming & such serene life into words is splendid Rosa!!!! Would love to have a taste of it some day ;)
    Prathima Rao
    Prats Corner

  43. Lovely post, Rosa. As I've gotten older, I have more time to look about me. But I've always been appreciative of nature and its awesome beauty.
    (So enjoyed the music today too!)

    Your salad is a delight! Pretty to the eyes, healthy and full of flavors!

  44. Refreshing is the first word that comes to mind Rosa.

  45. J'adore cette parfaite salade d'été! J'ai bien aimé ton introduction. Il est vrai que nous avons tendance à beaucoup trop être matérialistes et qu'il vaut mieux apprendre à apprécier les petits plaisirs de la vie!

  46. Truly a remarkable post,'s honest and raw and really speaks to me. The salad looks fantastic too, really perfect for summer.

  47. Si j'arrive à mettre la main sur des nouilles soba sans gluten, je ferai ta recette car elle me plaît énormément!

  48. congrats,rosa,for another awesome and delicious post!

  49. What a lovely post, Rosa, filled with such perfect sentiments that I so understand. We rarely go on holiday or travel, don't spend our money on cars, boats, fancy things... we have never been rich and both come from very humble families. And we have come to appreciate and revel in the simple... and nature is really the most stunning, surprising thing. And I love this salad. Will go find some soba noodles - this is the perfect lunch. xo

  50. Beautiful post and a lovely recipe. We lived in Rolle and Tranchepied (VD) for many years and still consider it home. Your impressions bring back fond memories and essential perspective.

  51. That meal is as exquisite as your words and images, Rosa.

    Thank you so much for sharing...

  52. Rosa, look absolutely delicious and yummm! and the pictures awesome! gloria

  53. i haven't had soba noodle in ages.
    what great idea. it's just so humid here to make long meals; i just want something quick and tasty but light.

    I want this! lol Happy weekend Rosa!

  54. Noodle porn! ;)
    Gorgeous pics of one of my fave summer-time eats.

  55. I really believe some of the most frugal ingredients make the best meals. Simple is so often completely delicious. The fresh vegetables and zing from wasabi sound great here!

  56. I love noodle salads like this one!!

  57. You always offer very nice pictures, but those are really nice; well I could say "sexy"! I couldn't resist to write you a word. Thanks!!

  58. Oooh...You are a woman after my own heart, Rosa! Agree totally. In simplicity there is beauty-Wonderful thoughts!!! LOVE IT-LOVE IT :)

    Hugs <3


  59. BTW Loving the noodle salad- Looks deliciously gooooood!

  60. I totally agree with you Rosa and I am so happy that I am now following your blog. This was such a peaceful post....thanks.

  61. Rosa, your post was a treat to read. Beautiful :)

  62. What a great summer dish. My husband is always quoting Sheryl Crow to my boys: It's not having what you want
    It's wanting what you've got.

  63. Oh Rosa I love this post on so many levels! Those quotes are spot on, just the way I like to live my life ....simply and mindful. This soba is beautiful & fun seeing you go all savory.

  64. Rosa what a beautiful read- loved the Zen monks little story and so agree with all your thoughts ! ans the salad indeed looks serene and earthy !

  65. Beautiful Pics Rosa, so real, so refreshing, just like how Soba should be, I'm huge fan and this bowl is indeed irresistible.

  66. You write so beautifully..we really forget the little things in life and keep on running after numerous others! The quotes are so well placed in your writing!
    Love this salad- so flavorful & perfect for summers!

  67. Good and very inspiring words you have chosen and written to accompany this tasteful soba salad, Rosa !

  68. This is one of my favourite Summer salads! And it's wonderful to appreciate the simple things in life.

  69. I just love soba noodles and even have everything I need to make this salad for my lunch today. Thanks so much Rosa! I'm lucky to live in a fairly cheap city like Berlin but cannot afford to do everything I want and go mainly to England for a holiday because I can stay with relatives but somehow this makes me appreciate the little things and also nature. Wonderful quotes you found and I'm glad you get so much out of life.

  70. The salad looks so yum, Your pictures sure add beauty to the recipe. Keep clicking!!

  71. LOVE it! Your photos are just sensational too. I so rarely use soba noodles. Must definitely revisit them.

  72. It's the small things in life that matter most. Love the way you put it into perspective Rosa...and the dish? Beautiful in every way! Summery, light, refreshing ... captivating!

  73. I love soba noofles :) great pictures Rosa

  74. Oh my goodness! We were channeling the same 'asian' ideas the last week...I with I would've seen your post sooner or I would've thought to add some noodels to my salad as well...and maybe cucumber for that cool kick! Lovely!

  75. Encore une belle recette et de magnifiques photos♥

  76. Dear Rosa, This is both healthy and delicious, a perfect combination. Blessings, Catherine

  77. i want to make this on the weekend thanks!

  78. This is gorgeous and lite on hot summer days... yummm :D

  79. I love zarusoba, it's one of my favorites, I especially crave it with lots of wasabi! It reminds me of when I lived in Tokyo, there's nothing like the appreciative sound of a Japanese person lustily slurping up the slippery noodles...

  80. I love this simple pasta, very refined and pure in taste; agree totally with your outlook and philosophy of life.

  81. Mmm - this looks perfect to enjoy during what is left of the Summer! There are still some hot days ahead, and cold noodles are so refreshing. I love it!! Thanks for the recipe :)


  82. What a gorgeous noodle salad!! Your pictures are amazing and this looks so delicious! So glad I found your blog, new follower! xoxo

  83. OMG, Rosa, those soba noodles and the photos are are phenomenal! I now have a hankering to make some again :)

  84. "Preparing food is not about yourself and others. It is about everything!"

    love that line, i'll be keeping that in mind when i cook. lovely lovely photos! the soba looks delicious!

  85. That noodle salad looks incredible! We where just talking bout making a noodle salad, and by chance I stumbled upon yours. I love that you made thin sticks of the carrots and cucumber, it mixes so well with the noodles.

  86. you know i have never had soba noodles :( the sesame oil, ginger and the wasabi are ALL the things that I truly heart and I am sure this wld make keeper summer meal for me!! i am going to soon use these flavors in something :)

  87. It really is the little things that make life special. I am so happy to stay at home and enjoy that which is around me. I often wonder what the big hoopla of travel is all about. Unless I can travel in such a way that I really experience a country, not just race through it, I have no desire to go.

    I also have never had soba noodles but I need to rectify that soon.

  88. Oh dear, I think I lost my comment ... too quick to push the buttons!

    Anyway, I said something to the effect that the simple things in life truly are the best.

    I also have never had soba noodles and need to try them soon.

  89. Il grandit bien et de façon de plus en plus gourmande ton blog. Bel anniversaire à lui.

  90. Happy belated 6th anniversary for your blog! What a great milestone that is!

    I loved this post so much, it is simply perfect!

    and will be making this soba salad this weekend

    thank you for composing such a nice article... really nice!

  91. Cold soba noodles are perfect for the hot summer days.

  92. La cuisine en elle-meme est une meditation. Si tu continues comme ca tu vas parvenir a l'illumination :)

  93. i never tried sobo noodles, after see this picture definitely i will ;) thanks for sharing

  94. Hello! Do you have the nutrition information for the soba noodle salad?