With a bit of planning, salads can be a delicious, well-balanced, satisfying meal rather than a boring old side dish that gets scoffed down first just to get it out of the way (you know the ones).
So, I have been creating and experimenting with lots of different combinations this summer and for the next few weeks, I will be sharing my top creations with you. Stay tuned!
Number 1 – Sesame Soba Noodle Salad
‘Soba’ is the Japanese word for buckwheat (a gluten-free grain that originates from Asia). Although some versions of soba noodles contain wheat, you can find soba noodles made with just buckwheat flour for a great gluten free option. They are also higher in fibre than your average spaghetti, have nearly 8 grams of protein per serve and are high in phosphorus and B vitamins. They are delicious with Asian style cooking and you can find them in the international section of your supermarket. Here is my favourite way to have them…
Ingredients: serves 2 large eaters i.e. my partner and I + leftovers for us to paper, scissors, rock for the next day.
1/3 cup sesame seeds
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 red onion, finely sliced
300g-400g free range chicken breast, diced
1 packet Soba noodles (200g)
Handful of snow peas, sliced on an angle
1 red capsicum, seeds removed and finely sliced
2 carrots, peeled into long strips
1 cup edamame beans, shelled and defrosted
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons mirin
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar (I used red wine vinegar as I had none)
Juice and zest of 1 lime (can use lemon if you have no lime)
1 teaspoon of maple syrup (or brown sugar)
2 teaspoons of sriracha chilli sauce (less if you don’t like spice)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
Combine the dressing ingredients in a jar and shake well to combine. Set aside. Boil the jug and cook the Soba noodles following the instructions on the packet. Drain and rinse in warm water.
Meanwhile, heat a large frying pan on a high heat. Add the sesame seeds and toast, tossing regularly until they are a light golden brown (2-3 minutes). Put the seeds on a plate, set aside and put the frying pan back on the heat. Add sesame oil, onion and chicken. Fry for 2-3 minutes, add 1/3 of the dressing and cook for a further 2-3 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the juices run clear. Add the edamame beans and combine well with the chicken.
Put the chopped vegetables, soba noodles and chicken in a large bowl with the rest of the dressing and toss well. Top with toasted sesame seeds (and coriander if you have some).