I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Millennial Central for Kirin. I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.
It's no secret I love beer, so you can imagine how excited I was to be selected to try Kirin beers and pair them alongside an Asian-inspired dish.
Kirin has partnered with celebrity chef, Candice Kumai, to bring Japanese-style beer to the
growing Asian cuisine movement. You can check out Candice's work with Kirin on their facebook page!
I decided to try both Kirin Light and Kirin Ichiban before choosing a dish to make. I wanted to get a feel for the beer, so I would have something to work off of when thinking of endless ideas for Asian recipes. And let's be honest, I just couldn't wait to try new beer! I had never tried the Kirin brand before -- it's well-known in Japan and all over the world as beer at its purest because of its first-press
brewing process and clean taste.
Both of the beers are so, so refreshing. They are very crisp and easy to drink, so I understood why they pair so well with strong flavors found in Asian recipes. Kirin Ichiban is a 100-percent malt, first-press beer - very smooth with a clean aftertaste. Kirin Light only has 95 calories (but is still flavorful!), which is a great healthier alternative when you want to enjoy a beer. I realized that these are the types of beer that would pair well with just about anything. I love that since I love all kinds of foods!
Because we have been enjoying glorious weather in San Francisco as of late, I knew a cold dish of some sort would be the perfect match. Cold meal, cold beer...a good combo in my book!
Enter: Cold Soba Noodle Salad.
Fact: this was my first time trying soba noodles! Evan and I eat a lot of Asian-inspired foods (edamame, fried rice, pho, pot stickers, the-more-soy-sauce-the-better, etc.) but soba noodles had never made an appearance. They cook the same way as other pasta and have great texture and flavor.
After choosing soba noodles as the base, I started thinking of some of my favorite veggies and salad add-ins. I, for one, cannot get enough of water chestnuts, so I knew they'd be great in this salad. Also throw in some edamame and shredded carrots and you have a colorful, healthy salad!
The sauce uses very basic Asian flavors: soy sauce, rice vinegar and sesame oil. I added in some minced garlic, lime zest and juice, and a decent amount of red pepper flakes to add some spice. Because the Kirin beers are so cool and crisp, I knew something spicy would be a great balance. Take a spicy bite, then cool off with a sip of Kirin!
This salad is extremely easy to make, and since the flavors really meld together the more time it sits, it makes great leftovers. I'm such a fan of easy, healthy recipes that provide many meals!
Oh, and both beers pair quite nicely with this salad -- so you can't go wrong!
Cold Soba Noodle Salad
1 - 8.8 oz. package of soba noodles
12 oz. frozen & shelled edamame, thawed
1 - 8 oz. can sliced water chestnuts
2 medium carrots, shredded
1 T. sesame oil
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/3 cup soy sauce
zest + juice from one lime
1 T. light brown sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 t. red pepper flakes
chopped peanuts, for garnish
Cook soba noodles according to package directions. Once drained, rinse with cold water then place in a large bowl. Add edamame, water chestnuts and shredded carrots. Stir to evenly distribute veggies.
In a small bowl, whisk together the sesame oil through the red pepper flakes. Pour over top of noodle mixture and stir to fully coat.
Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving to allow flavors to meld together. Serve cold or at room temperature with chopped peanuts on top.
Adapted from All Recipes