Sunday 5 October 2014

Soba Noodle Salad with broccoli, chicken and toasted nori by Karen Martini.

Oh my goodness it's Sunday already!!??

It's been a beautiful weekend of weather and what more to celebrate summer on it's way than salads!!

I love a good salad. I'd been eye-ing off this recipe for ages but always went past it because of the sauce it used which I could never find in the super market and the fact that it used cooked roast chicken. I don't know how often you have left over roast chicken in your house but I don't have it often so the leftovers are always minimal.

But you know... who's going to stop me from roasting a couple of chicken breasts and shredding them especially for the salad. It's not hard work. Turn the oven on, place 2 chicken breast on a baking tray with some olive oil, salt and pepper and cook for 45 min. Done.

SO with no more excuses I finally made the soba noodle salad with broccoli, chicken and toasted nori from Karen Martini's Feasting cookbook that I'd been wanting to make for ages. Actually there are so many dishes in the book that I want to make but the book is set out as huge feasts and all of the dishes feed alot of people. Yes I know I can cut the down and halve them but it's hard when I'm menu planning for the week to grab a book that has all these beautiful large feasts in it when I'm looking for a quick midweek meal. But I was wrong about this book. I was pleasantly surprised that the recipe I chose was easy and didn't take that long, it was a perfect midweek meal with leftovers for lunch the following day (the nori sheets went a little soft but the flavours were maybe even better).

The recipe calls for ponzu... yeh I didn't know what that was either so I googled it while grocery shopping and it doesn't seem like it would be too hard to find in a well stocked supermarket but the one I go to is being renovated at the moment so is not so great. But here's hoping it gets better! When I couldn't find ponzu on the shelves I googled how to make it and I came across a few recipes that required reduced master stock and other fancy ingredients only available form asian grocery stores and nothing could help me in my supermarket dilema. Then I found a simple version here. What did I have to loose? If it tasted bad then I wouldn't use it and we'd make something else up instead and if it did then I could feel like a ponzu genius.

I felt like a ponzu genius.

The whole salad was super yummy. It impressed me so much how all the flavours worked together and how fresh and delicious it all tasted. YUM. I will definitely do this again soon now that I know how easy and tasty it is. Plus I feel that it's pretty healthy too... correct me if I'm not though.

It felt healthy anyway :)

A great recipe for when you have the girls over because you can have it already to go then add the nori sheets and dress it right before you serve and there is no excess cooking while people are over. And you can fell healthy eating it so the ice cream after doesn't make you feel too guilty :)

Soba Noodle Salad with broccoli, chicken and toasted nori

serves 4
recipe adapted from Karen Martini's cookbook 'Feasting' - find original recipe on here

2 chicken breasts
2 tbsp olive oil
pinch of salt & pepper
(or 400g leftover roast chicken, shredded)

300g dried soba noodles
1 head broccoli, cut into florets
2 tbsp sesame seeds
2 tsp sesame oil
60ml soy sauce
30ml rice wine vinegar
30ml cup lime juice
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 heaped tsp jarred grated ginger
5 spring onions, finely sliced
1 sheet of toasted nori, roughly ripped into shreds

- Preheat your oven to 200 C or 400 F.
- Drizzle olive oil over chicken and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on a baking tray and bake for 30-45 minute or until cooked through. Remove from the oven and cover with foil to keep in the juices.
- Go and do something else fun for a little while so it can cool down a little (or prep everything else so it's all ready to do).

- Combine the sesame seeds, sesame oil, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, lime juice, extra virgin olive oil and ginger in a large bowl (your will eventually put everything in this bowl - the bigger the better).

- Cook the soba noodles according to packet instructions (mine took about 3-4 minutes), drain and refresh under cold water.

- Cook the broccoli for 2 minutes and then drain, rinsing under cold water.

- Shred the chicken breasts with two forks. 

- Place chicken, noodles, broccoli, spring onions into the bowl with all the sauces and top with nori.

- Serve cold or at room temperature.

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