All about the Sides! - New Canaan & Darien Moms

Everybody loves a backyard BBQ – cold drinks, grilled meat and most importantly, some yummy side dishes.  Unlike when you eat inside and the main dish takes center stage, at a BBQ, everyone is always excited to see what you’re serving to compliment the grill.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a great hamburger, perfectly charred hot dog and juicy kebabs, but, its what you round out the meal with that matters in the great outdoors.
Here is my recipe for Veggie Soba Noodle Salad.  It is a true crowd pleaser and I serve it at my annual summer party.  It’s a fantastic blend of Asian flavors, barely cooked veggies and crunchy peanuts over soba.
I will warn you, it’s a bit of chopping, blanching and boiling but once you take a bite, you’ll forget all the grunt work and dig in.
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10 oz soba noodles

5 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

1 tablespoon canola oil

3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon hoisin sauce

2 teaspoons Sriracha or more to taste

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 tablespoons ponzu

5 tablespooons cilantro, roughly chopped

red chilis (optional)

1 red pepper, thinly sliced

1 yellow pepper, thinly sliced

1 carrot, thinly sliced

four leaves bok choy, thinly sliced

5 scallions, thinly sliced on a bias, white and green

sesame seeds for garnish

handful of roasted peanuts, chopped

Boil water in a medium pot, drop all the chopped veggies in and let boil for 2 to three minutes.  Drain and place in a large bowl.  Drizzle a little sesame oil and some salt, stir to combine.  Set aside.
Boil another medium pot of water and drop in soba noodles.  Allow to cook for three minutes, until noodle is tender and drain.  Place noodles on top of veggies.
Mix oils, vinegar, hoisin sauce, Siracha, soy sauce, ponzu, cilantro and chilis (optional).
Drizzle about half of the mixture over the hot noodles and mix to combine.  Before serving, drizzle remaining sauce over the noodles, garnish with sesame seeds, peanuts and cilantro.
Buon Appetito!


Anna Francese Gass


Anna is working on a cookbook featuring recipes from around the world. She cooks with immigrants to translate their favorite and best recipes to paper for generations to come. If you have a Nonna who would be interested in cooking with Anna, please reach out via email: [email protected]

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