Yes, I’m still on a noodle kick. This time I’ve created a recipe using oat flour noodles. The nice thing about gluten-free noodles is that they’re lighter than wheat noodles, but like wheat noodles, they can be used in a variety of ways.
For some reason, these noodles are sold in packages with the odd weight of 13.4 ounces. I don’t know how or why they came up with that number, but it makes it awkward to create a recipe. (They probably started with 380 grams and it just happens to convert to 13.4 ounces, but why 380?) Well, I used approximately 10 ounces, which is three of the bundles that come in the package in the photo.
In this recipe, I’ve paired oat noodles with string beans and Japanese yams (although, if you can’t find Japanese yams, you can use sweet potatoes). The noodles and yams will soak up the dressing very efficiently, so if the salad is too dry for your tastes, you can add a little more olive oil, but the salad will not be oily in the slightest.
For the dressing, I used an umeboshi plum. Umbeboshi plums, a Japanese specialty, are ume plums (but more closely related to apricots) that have been salted and fermented. In the world of natural healing, umeboshi plums are considered miracle workers. If you divide foods into acidic, alkaline, and neutral, umeboshis are alkaline and can adjust imbalances in your body. It’s been used in Asia, particularly, Japan, China, and Korea, for centuries for a variety of ailments, including fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, colds, indigestion, headaches, and hangovers, among other things. Samurai soldiers were given umboshi as part of their field rations. They not used the plums to help them battle fatigue, they also used them to flavor foods such as rice and vegetables. Umeboshis also acted as a water and food purifier.
Umeboshi’s have a pit, which you can either remove before you put it in the processor, or you can let the processor do it for you and you can just pluck it out. You can find umeboshi plums in Japanese markets and online, but natural food and health stores are now beginning to carry them.
Look for oat flour noodles at Asian markets and give this a try. It’s tasty, healthy, and gluten free. Enjoy!
Oat Noodle Salad with Umeboshi Plum Dressing
1 pound string beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
¾ pound Japanese yams or sweet potatoes
10 ounces oat noodles
1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
1 umeboshi plum
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon lime juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Steam the string beans.
Cut the yams in half or quarters and cook them, either by steaming or roasting. Peel the chunks, then cut into half-moons or other bite-sized pieces. Combine the string beans, yams, and red onion in a medium bowl.
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil; add the noodles and cook, stirring occasionally, until the noodles are tender but still firm, about 7 or 8 minutes. Drain in a colander.
Meanwhile, make the dressing. Place the umeboshi plum in a food processor with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and process until pureed.
Add the remaining 3 tablespoons oil, honey, lime juice, and pepper. Process until well blended. The plum will separate from the rest of the mixture, but that’s okay—you’ll mix it back in when you add it to the salad.
When the noodles are ready, add them to the string beans and yams, then add the dressing. Mix everything together gently but thoroughly with tongs. Taste and add salt and additional pepper to taste. If the noodles look dry, add more olive oil and mix well. Serve at room temperature.