Soba Noodle Salad

I have no idea where this recipe came from, but from where I stand it came from my mum.

It became a staple in our house one summer, and has been a favourite ever since. It's healthy, easy, and most importantly, delicious. It does require a quick trip to the Asian food shop if you don't have the ingredients on hand, but they are very common Japanese ingredients that can be found in any standard shop that sells Asian food. It's worth it, I promise.

First, you put on a big pot of water to boil while you chop up the veg.

You can use any vegetables you like, but I tend to use cucumber, mooli and celery most of the time. I julienne them quite thin so that it blends in well with the noodles.

You also need a bit of protein. I like to use egg and tuna, but you can also use thinly sliced ham or something similar.

The tuna is pretty self-explanatory - drain and empty the contents into the big bowl you're going to use for the salad. For the eggs, I do a kind of eggs-only frittata, cooked with a little sesame oil.

As for the sesame oil, you can get it quite easily at the supermarket - just make sure you get the pure kind, not the diluted.

It's time to boil the noodles. Follow the instructions on the packet, usually just a few minutes to cook, then drain and rinse well with cold water.

You want to mix in a spoonful of sesame oil with the noodles immediately, to stop them from sticking and stretching. It also adds a lovely flavour to the salad.

The "dressing" is what the trip to the Asian food shop is for - the "tsuyu" for soba noodles. Toss all the ingredients together with a generous amount of tsuyu to taste, sprinkle with roasted sesame seeds, and serve.

It is so refreshing in the warmer months, but just as good in autumn and winter (especially followed by hot green tea). It would probably make a good packed lunch as well!