Photo by: Jonathan Lovekin

Soba noodles with wakame

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2 large cucumbers (skin on)
2 tsp salt
300g soba noodles
60g wakame
70g toasted sesame seeds
30g coriander leaves, roughly chopped
50g mint leaves, roughly chopped
50g radish sprouts, plus extra to garnish

2 tbsp rice vinegar
grated zest of 2 limes
60ml lime juice
1 tbsp grated fresh root ginger
2 fresh red chillies, finely chopped (or less if you don’t like it too hot)
1 tbsp palm sugar
2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
2 tbsp groundnut oil
1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
1 garlic clove, crushed
¾ tsp salt

In 2009 I travelled to Tokyo with the sole purpose of eating. I have always liked Japanese food but this time I was blown away, completely taken over by food and by the fact that the Japanese, like no other culture that I know of, are all foodies. It was fantastic being in the company of so many who, just like me, are willing to queue for ever for the best sponge cake in the world, the finest slice of raw fish or the greatest soba noodles. The latter I tasted, along with dozens of businessmen in fancy suits, at Yabusoba, an unassuming restaurant in the old neighbourhood of Kanda.
Soba noodles, made of buckwheat, are often served cold with a flavoursome dipping sauce. Wakame is a sea vegetable with a mild salty flavour and a slurpy texture. Other varieties of seaweed can be used as substitutes here. Or, if ocean flavour is not your thing, replace with thinly sliced radishes.

Serves 4–6

(p 188, Plenty)


The method for this recipe is available in the book Plenty, available to buy here.
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Perfect with

  1. Wakame

    a tender green wakame seaweed for everyday cooking



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