Lime and double ginger weeknight soba
This recipe uses lime – sometimes i blitz a whole fruit, but would recommend starting with the zest only the first time you make this. There is an amazing zing, backed up by a double hit of ginger and coriander. I like these noodles with tofu, but any quickly sauteed vegetables or toasted peanuts or cashews would do. I use chive flowers to add colour, but some normal chopped chives will do just as well.
For the sauce
1 unwaxed lime
4 spring onions, roughly chopped
A large thumb of ginger, roughly chopped
A small bunch of coriander, washed
1 tsp honey
1 tbsp soy sauce, plus 1 tsp
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
300g extra-firm tofu
300g dried soba noodles
A handful of radishes, cut into matchsticks
100g mixed seeds (eg black and white sesame, sunflower and pumpkin)
A small bunch of chives, finely chopped (or garlic chives/chive flowers)
2 tbsp pickled sushi ginger
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, make the sauce: zest your lime. Add the spring onions, ginger, coriander (stalks and all), honey, soy and oil and blitz to a thin, bright-green paste.
Drain the tofu, pat it dry, and cut it into matchsticks or 1cm cubes. Heat a little oil in a frying pan and fry the tofu, along with a pinch or two of salt, over a medium-high heat for a few minutes, until browned on one side. Add a tiny splash more oil if needed, to prevent sticking. Toss gently once or twice, then continue cooking for another minute or so, until the tofu is firm and golden. Add the remaining teaspoon of soy, take the pan off the heat, toss the tofu in the oil and soy, then transfer it to another bowl.
Boil the soba noodles according to the packet instructions. Meanwhile, fill and boil the kettle. Once the noodles are cooked, drain in a sieve, then quickly rinse them with the boiling water from the kettle to stop them sticking. Put the noodles back into the pan, add the lime and green ginger paste, and toss to coat.
Pile the noodles into a bowl and top with the tofu, radish, seeds, chives and pickled ginger. These noodles are also great eaten cold.
IMAGE: Matt Russell