This here salad was my contribution to our Melbourne Cup day festivities. This and a jolly bottle of bubbles! I know that it may look pretty healthy and therefore you may think….not so tasty but I can assure you that it has everything going for it. This soba noodle salad is good looking, good for you and it is wonderfully delicious. The only downside is two out of our three children won’t eat it but I am working on that!
I understand that most people might not believe me when I say this, but it doesn’t make it any less true: I don’t eat food because it’s good for me, I eat it because I love it and this soba noodle salad might just be one of the most delicious salads I feel that I make right now. Unlike some pasta dishes, it won’t leave you feeling a little sleepy & sluggish. It’s a versatile little number; you can enjoy it for lunch or dinner, serve hot or cold; it is perfectly portable and will leave you feeling invigorated. To risk sounding like a complete dork, I pack this salad most times that I fly. My husband rolled his eyes the first time I did this but one flight was all it took and now he tosses his foil tray and plastic cutlery away with wild abandon as after admitting he was a little hasty with his eye rolling, he has been deemed worthy of an on-flight smuggled plastic container of soba noodle salad too. Lucky we love each other so; two dorks together in row 23 – it’s enough to put anyone off their bland curry and a stale white dinner roll!
Soba noodle salad
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 tablespoon honey
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
A small pinch of dried chilli flakes
¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon Juice
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/3 cup tamari (wheat-free soy Sauce)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
A drizzle of sesame oil (please don’t overdo it)
270g dried Soba noodles (3 stacks of soba noodles) Even though soba noodles are genuinely gluten-free, always check the ingredients list! There can be some variation between brands, and you also want to make sure they weren’t processed in a facility that processes wheat
240g extra firm tofu (you can also substitute chicken or prawns for the tofu if your dining companion doesn’t not fancy tofu)
1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander
3 spring onions, thinly sliced
½ cucumber, peeled, cut in half lengthwise, seeded (I scrape a teaspoon down the centre to do this) and thinly sliced
½ red capsicum, de-seeded, membrane removed and cut into small-ish cubes
4 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds for garnishing
1 small handful of coriander sprigs to garnish
Make the dressing by combining the zest, ginger, honey, cayenne, and salt in a bowl and whisk to combine. Add the lemon juice, rice vinegar, and tamari and whisk again. Slowly drizzle in the oils whilst whisking all the time with the other hand.
Cook the soba in plenty of rapidly boiling salted water just until tender, then drain and rinse under cold running water.
While the noodles are cooking, drain the tofu, pat it dry, and cut it into rectangles roughly the size of your thumb (½ inch thick and 1 inch long). Cook the tofu in a dry nonstick (or well-seasoned) pan over medium-high heat for a few minutes until the pieces are browned on one side. Toss gently once or twice and then continue cooking for another minute or so until the tofu is firm, golden and bouncy.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the soba, the ¼ cup coriander, the spring onions, the cucumber, and the dressing. Toss until well combined. Add the tofu and toss again gently. Serve on a platter, garnished with coriander sprigs and toasted sesame seeds.