Cold Sesame Soba Noodles

With the weather finally warming up (this winter felt way too long, especially with the last minute snowstorms that ruined late March and early April) I'm looking for some fresh, bright recipes for summer. Growing up, whenever it was too hot to slave over a stove, my mom always made some kind of cold noodle dish. Usually it was bibim guksu or jaengban guksu. But sometimes, she took the super easy route and just tossed soba noodles in sesame oil.

This is a riff on that recipe, except I've jazzed it up a bit more because I had tahini that I wanted to try and use for more than just Mediterranean recipes. The result was a flavor that reminded me of my childhood but in a richer, creamier presentation that I'm sure I will be enjoying consistently this summer, especially since it takes maybe 15 minutes to prepare, if that.
Ingredients [serves 4]:
4 bundles soba noodles
3 tablespoons tahini
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 baby cucumbers, julienned
1 scallion, chopped
sesame seeds
+ soft boiled egg

Start by bringing water to a boil and cook the soba noodles until just tender. Drain and rinse in cold water.
Prep the vegetables and garnishes. I decided to add sliced Korean hot peppers to my noodles, but this is optional.
In a large bowl, combine the tahini, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, and minced garlic and stir until combined. If it seems too thick, loosen with a little water.
Add the noodles to the dressing and toss to coat completely. Add in a few of the julienned cucumbers and toss some more.
Portion the noodles into bowls and garnish with the remaining cucumbers and scallions (and peppers, if you're using them) and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Top with a soft boiled egg, if you like. Serve immediately.
We enjoyed our noodles with blistered shishito peppers, bok choy kimchi, and some Korean spice-rubbed wings that were done up on the grill.
These noodles are delicious nutty from the sesame, creamy because of the tahini (which is technically also sesame), bright and crunchy thanks to the cucumbers, and it's a cool, crisp meal perfect for a warm day.
Here's the recipe page:

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