Cooking Cold Noodles

By Amanda Moses

Garden Educator, Jacqui Roytman is cooking up fun with students in the Starrett Judo Club online and their parents! Every Tuesday from 4 pm to 5 pm, Roytman joins Sensei Legros and the Starrett Judo Club online to provide an in-depth view of nutritional cooking, along with planting and growing food to support healthy lifestyles.

The judokas (judo students) recently learned how to make a simple, traditional Asian dish of cold noodles with mixed vegetables. Since Judo is a Japanese-based martial art, the students have been studying the Japanese culture and language, and now they are learning about some foods that are part of the Asian culture. 

Roytman decided to teach the class about two forms of Asian noodles that are very popular in Japan, somen (thin noodles made of wheat flour) and soba (thin noodles made of buckwheat flour). She then explained two key cooking vocabulary words that they would be focusing on: sauté and julienne.

To sauté something is to use a pan with either light oil or butter over high heat. This process allows the ingredients to soak in the flavor and to soften/brown. 

To julienne food is to slice food into short, thin strips. This is a French-based form of preparing food and it is called julienne after a Parisian soup, potage julienne. 

Prior to the lesson, the children and their families were given a list of ingredients and measuring directions.  

Cold Noodle Dish (can serve between 12 and 16 people) 

  • 1lb Asian noodles (instant whole grain vermicelli, somen, soba) 
  • Assorted Vegetables that must be julienned and sautéed: spinach, mushrooms, yellow squash, and carrots and radishes.
  • Cucumbers (thinly sliced)
  • Asian pears (thinly sliced)
  • 2-4 tbsp sesame seeds for sprinkling

While the judokas and their parents prepare their ingredients, Roytman asked them to boil water and wait until it bubbles.  As they waited for the water to boil, she then told the students to add a sauté mix together, which consisted of:

  • ¼ cup of sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce 
  • 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar 
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 2 minced cloves of garlic

 After combining all of the ingredients and cutting up their vegetables, the water began to boil. It was time to add the noodles and wait about 5 to 10 minutes for them to cook.

“Drain and rinse under cold water until they cool, sauté any vegetables that need to be cooked,” Roytman said once their noodles were finished.

After the noodles and vegetables were cooked, Roytman told the students to garnish their cold noodles with toppings and vegetables of their choice, and sprinkle sesame seeds (and chili flakes for a little spice).  Add a small amount of soy sauce and mix together.

When it came time to trying the food, the students were amazed with their meal. It was simple and a healthy serving of fresh fruit and vegetables.