This unusual and very nutritious salad is based on soba, the Japanese noodles made from buckwheat. They are tossed with bean sprouts, Chinese leaves, fresh coriander and an intensely flavoured dressing, then topped with juicy soy-grilled scallops and mushrooms and a garnish of fine shreds of nori seaweed.
Make a prawn and rice noodle salad with coconut and ginger. For the dressing, mix together 1 tsp finely grated fresh root ginger, the juice of 1 lime, 4 tbsp coconut cream, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp chilli dipping sauce, 1 crushed garlic clove and 1 tsp caster sugar. Replace the soba with rice noodles, cooking them for 4–5 minutes or until just tender. Drain and toss with the dressing, then add 225 g (8 oz) halved cherry tomatoes, ½ cucumber, cut into strips, and 4 shredded spring onions. Grill 350 g (12½ oz) peeled raw tiger prawns until they turn pink, then toss into the salad while still warm, together with a handful of torn fresh basil leaves and 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander.
Buckwheat, native to central Asia, was introduced to Europe at the end of the Middle Ages. It contains useful amounts of vitamin A and vitamins from the B group. It is low in fat and rich in starchy carbohydrate. Although buckwheat itself is gluten-free, buckwheat flour is usually mixed with wheat flour to make noodles such as soba, so this dish is not suitable for people with gluten or wheat intolerance.
B1, B6, B12, C, E, folate, niacin, copper, selenium, zinc * A, B2, iron, potassium