This one definitely feels like an indulgent salad. The creamy tahini dressing coats the buckwheat noodles and carries a tangy citrus flavour from the lime throughout the dish. There are so many aspects of this salad that I love. Firstly that its basically raw apart from the cooked buckwheat noodles. The chilli and ginger pickling of the cucumber and onion is vital here, as it cuts through the heaviness of the tahini resulting in a satisfying yet not overly heavy salad.
I also love keeping the diced ginger to a small dice and not minced, biting down on little pieces of fiery ginger gives tantalising bursts of heat and texture. The mint, coriander and lemon basil also add a wonderful freshness to the salad. I love the subtle lemon flavour in the coriander and that paired with the lemon basil really elevates this dish.
1 HOUR 30 MINUTES. SERVES 4
200g buckwheat noodles
2 red onions
thumb size piece of ginger
1 tbs chilli flakes
4 tbs caster sugar
1 tsp salt
300ml apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 red cabbage
2 spring onions
handful of radishes
handful of spinach
handful of mint
handful of coriander
handful of lemon basil (basil will work well if you have it)
2 1/2 limes, juiced
1 garlic clove crushed
2 tbs soy sauce
2 tbs tahini
2 tbs mirin
2 tbs toasted sesame oil
1 tbs toasted sesame seeds
1 tbs black sesame seeds
water to loosen
Firstly start with the pickling the red onion and cucumber. Thinly slice the red onions. Half the cucumber lengthways and slice thinly also. Place the red onion and cucumber in separate jars or bowls.
Make the pickling liquid. Remove the skin from the ginger and dice finely. Add the sugar, salt, lemon juice and vinegar to a pouring jug. Mix well. Divide this liquid between the red onion and the cucumber. Fill the bowl or jugs with enough water to just cover the cucumber and onion. Add in 1/2 tbs of chilli flakes to each. Seal with lid and shake, or give a good stir and leave to sit for at least one hour.
Now prepare the noodles. Cook per packet instructions, drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
Peel and julienne the carrot. Finely slice the red cabbage (a mandolin would be best). Finely slice the spring onions and radishes. Pick the leaves from the stems of the herbs and rough chop. Reserve some herbs to scatter on top of salads.
Prepare the dressing. Add all of the ingredients into a jar and give a good shake. Add water to loosen so that it is not so thick.
To assemble the salad add all the ingredients excepted for the pickled vegetables into a large mixing bowl, do not forget the spinach. Add in all the dressing and toss everything with your hands to coat evenly.
Using your hands take a large handful of the salad and place it in the centre of each plate. Place the pickled cucumber and red onion around the plate and on top of the salad. Scatter some black sesame and herbs on top if you like.
Serve with a wedge of lime and some more spring onions.