Soba noodles are made with buckwheat and are traditionally served either hot in soups or cold in salads. The salad version is my favourite and you can, of course, use any green salad leaves in this recipe: rocket and young spinach leaves would be very good. This version is with watercress, which combines perfectly with the flavour of the seaweed. If you have prolems tracking down Japanese ingredients, try Clearspring at www.clearspring.co.uk
Serves 2 as a light lunch
This recipe is taken from Delia’s Vegetarian Collection. It has also appeared in Sainsbury's Magazine (Oct 1994).
3 oz (75 g) soba noodles
3 oz (75 g) beansprouts
1 tablespoon wakame (sea vegetable)
¼ oz (5 g) dried seaweed
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon Japanese soy sauce
1 bunch watercress, leaves only
2 spring onions, finely chopped
For the dressing:
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons Japanese soy sauce
3 tablespoons oil
First place the beansprouts in cold salted water for 10 minutes, then drain them in a colander and dry them in a clean tea cloth.
Wakame needs to be covered with cold water and soaked for 5 minutes, then drained and chopped, and the seaweed needs to be soaked in cold water for 15 minutes, then drained.
Now heat the oil in a frying pan, add the soaked seaweed and toss it in the hot oil for about 1 minute.
After that, pour in the soy sauce, then stir it around for another 5 minutes until all the soy has been absorbed.
You'll find the little pieces of seaweed will have reduced in size, but that's quite normal.
Next make up the dressing by shaking the ingredients together in a screw-top jar.
Then, to cook the noodles, place them in boiling water with a little added salt and boil without a lid for 3 minutes exactly. Tip them into a colander and place under cold running water until they are completely cold.
Then give the colander a good shake to get rid of any excess water.
Finally, mix all the salad ingredients together in a large bowl, tossing to coat thoroughly with the dressing.