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This soba noodle dish is fresh and light, but packed with toasty, nutty flavours and a nice kick from the chilli flakes and spring onion. You may gain new appreciation for the simple cucumber after this one!

You will need

Serves 2

  • 1 packet soba noodles
  • 3 spring onions, finely sliced, whites cut into 2 or 3-inch pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted white sesame seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted black sesame seeds
  • Salt

Cucumber herb salad

  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted white sesame seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted black sesame seeds
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 1 tablespoon golden syrup
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 bunch mint
  • 1/2 bunch coriander


  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon golden syrup
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes

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10 mins to prep

15 mins to cook

  1. Step 1

    Fill a pot with water and bring to the boil.

  2. Step 2

    Pick and wash the mint and coriander. Roughly chop the cucumber into small but odd shapes, place in a mortar and pestle and lightly smash to break them down a bit and remove some water. Then cover with 1 tablespoon of sesame oil and half the toasted sesame seeds along with salt, chilli flakes, and golden syrup. Add the juice of half a lemon, mint and coriander.

  3. Step 3

    Turn a burner on a low flame and cover with a heatproof wire wrack. Season the whites of the spring onion with a pinch of salt and a drizzle of sesame oil. Place them on the wire rack and cook for a few minutes, turning occasionally, until they begin to colour.

  4. Step 4

    For the dressing, mix the soy, golden syrup, 3 tablespoons sesame oil, 1 tablespoon water and chilli flakes in a bowl and add most of the chopped spring onions, reserving some for garnish.

  5. Step 5

    When the water starts boiling, pour in 1 tablespoon salt and place the soba noodles in, giving a gentle stir so they are all immersed in the water and not sticking together. After 3 minutes or when they are cooked through, remove from the water and rinse with cold water to cool them down.

  6. Step 6

    Transfer your noodles to a serving bowl. Top with the cucumber and herb salad, finish with the rest of the sesame seeds and spring onions, and drizzle over the dressing.

Recipe: Simon Toohey

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