Father's Day is June 16

There are ingredients that I always keep in stock in my kitchen; they are my daikoubutsu (favorite foods). Without them I feel like I have no fall-back option when sipping on sake or wine. Two of these ingredients are avocado and nuts. I regularly incorporate both into sauces, dips, and salads. They are really handy when I want to add more volume, umami, and texture to any meal.

This summer, I've been making a lot of soba. I usually just have zaru soba. It's a simple classic, but it leaves me really hungry an hour later. So I decided to experiment by combining my favorite ingredients with soba, creating a salad that's easy to make with ingredients that are readily available at any grocery store. I call this the Avocado Walnut Soba Salad.

Avocado Walnut Soba Salad

Makes 1 serving


1 bunch of soba
1/2 avocado
3 tbsp walnuts
1/2 cup soba tsuyu
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp wasabi
3 shiso leaves (optional)



1. Boil soba noodles according to the instructions on the package.


2. Meanwhile, toast the walnuts. I love my spice toaster.


3. Chop the walnuts.


4. Peel and chop avocados into bite-sized pieces.

5. Combine walnuts, avocado, sesame oil, soba tsuyu, and wasabi into a bowl and let sit for a few minutes.


6. When the noodles are done boiling, strain and immediately put the noodles in an ice bath for at least 5 minutes.


7. Meanwhile, chop the shiso leaves.


8. Combine the tsuyu mixture from the bowl with the soba in a mixing bowl. Coat the noodles well.


9. Plate the noodles and garnish with shiso leaves.


For many reasons, this year has been the Year of "Me." It's the year of the monkey and it's the first year in as long as I can remember that I've asked myself, "What do I really want?" Combining all of my daikoubutsu into this dish is one of several things that answers this question as I continue living in the "Year of Me."