Soba noodles with pickled carrot and cucumber and sesame ginger sauce recipe

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Soba noodles are so handy to have in the pantry. They taste great, cook quickly and can be served warm or at room temperature with these quick pickled veggies, or they can be cooked in advance and used as part of a cold salad. In this recipe the tofu and cashews make it a delicious light meal, but without those the noodles and pickled veggies would make a lovely accompaniment to miso-coated grilled salmon.

  • Yield: 6 Servings

Ingredients

  • 3 bundles (270 g) soba (buckwheat) noodles
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 300 g silken tofu
  • Sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
  • 120 g chopped toasted cashews
  • 20 g (1 cup) mint leaves or very young shiso leaves, very thinly sliced
  • 20 g (1 cup) Thai basil leaves, torn
  • Soy sauce or tamari, to serve
Pickles
  • 70 ml rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ telegraph cucumber, peeled lengthways with a peeler into thin ribbons
  • 2 carrots, scrubbed, then peeled lengthways into thin ribbons
Sesame Ginger Sauce
  • 50 g unhulled tahini
  • 3 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
  • 1 heaped tablespoon unpasteurised white (shiro) miso
  • 3 teaspoons soy sauce or tamari
  • 3 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
How to Make It
  1. To make the pickles, combine the vinegar, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Add the vegetable ribbons, toss to combine and stand for 20 minutes, turning occasionally.
  2. Meanwhile, to make the sesame ginger sauce, place all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until combined. Gradually whisk in up to ½ cup (125 ml) cold water until you reach a thick coating consistency.
  3. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and cook the soba noodles according to the packet instructions until al dente (don’t overcook them!). Drain and immediately lay out on a tray lined with baking paper to impede any more cooking. Drizzle with a little olive oil and cover with plastic film until needed.
  4. Drain the tofu and gently pat dry on a clean tea towel. Cut into 1.5 cm cubes. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over high heat. When the oil is hot, add the tofu and cook, gently shaking the pan once or twice, until the tofu is golden. Season to taste, then gently pour into a sieve placed over a bowl to drain.
  5. Place the soba noodles in a large bowl and toss with the sesame ginger sauce (depending on how saucy you like your noodles, you may have some sauce left over). Add the drained pickles, cashews and herbs and toss to combine well. Place on a large serving plate, top with the tofu and a drizzle of soy sauce or tamari and serve immediately.
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