Black sesame noodle bowl
I first made this noodle bowl for a picnic and it’s been made many times since. The dressing is a favourite for summer noodles; I finish it with lots of shredded greens and some final crunch from cashews and black sesame seeds (regular sesame seeds, well toasted, would work just as well), which elevates this from a one-textured noodle salad to something much more interesting. I use brown rice noodles here, as I prefer their depth of flavour and find them more filling and satisfying, but use what you can get your hands on. Swiss chard, kale or spinach will all work here. The salad is great served just warm or cold.
200g rice noodles (I use brown rice noodles)
100g unsalted cashews
4 tablespoons black sesame seeds
4 tablespoons unsweetened desiccated coconut
a small bunch of coriander, leaves picked, stalks finely chopped
a small bunch of mint, leaves picked
a few large handfuls of mixed greens
2 spring onions, very finely sliced
1⁄2 a red chilli, finely sliced
150g sugar snaps, sliced in half lengthways
FOR THE DRESSING
3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons runny honey
2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
the zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lime
1 small clove of garlic, grated
a thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and grated
Preheat the oven to 220oC/200oC fan/gas 7. Cook the noodles in a medium saucepan according to the packet instructions, breaking them up with chopsticks or a fork from time to time to ensure they don’t stick together. Drain and refresh under cold water, then transfer to a large bowl.
Put the cashews on a baking tray in the oven for 4 minutes, then, once they have toasted for 4 minutes, add the sesame seeds and the coconut. Cook for another 4–5 minutes, or until golden.
Meanwhile, whisk the dressing ingredients together. Pour half the dressing over the noodles and toss well to coat, then stir through the chopped coriander stalks.
Finely chop the coriander leaves and mint leaves and set aside.
Wash the greens, then spin them dry. Remove any tough stalks, stack the leaves, roll up and slice into thin ribbons, then add to the noodles with the spring onions and the chilli.
Once the nuts, seeds and coconut are golden, allow them to cool and roughly chop the cashew nuts.
Toss the herbs, sugar snaps and the toasted mixture through your noodles and serve with the rest of the dressing for spooning over.