I adore Samphire, that tangy, salty green vegetable that grows on salt marshes and near the ocean. I particularly love how green and crunchy it is, and also how sustainable it is. You can even forage for it yourself if you know where to look. This delicious vegetable particularly lends itself to mixing through noodles, like with this easy Samphire & Soba Noodle Salad.
It has a distinctive fresh sea flavour that works well with light, summery dishes, adding a tang of the ocean & generally looking emeraldy and pretty with it.
When The Gardener arrived home triumphantly with a bag full the other day however I was a little stumped as to what to do with it offhand. But then I remembered that the lovely folks at Clearspring had gifted me a gorgeous box full of Organic Japanese goodies, including some Sesame oil, wasabi powder , delicious snacks....& soba noodles
And I had an idea....
Which became the lovely, fresh out of the sea tasting recipe you'll find below...
Soba noodles are traditionally eaten cold in Japan on hot summer days with a simple dressing made with konbu (seaweed) stock plus sesame seeds and maybe a few crisp vegetables and a sprinkle of spring onions to garnish.
This simple dish is cooling, soothing and surprisingly nutritious, as Soba noodles are made with between 80 -100% buckwheat. Buckwheat isn't actually a wheat- it's a seed, and has an impressive amount of protein (13%) plus has 99% of all the amino acids your body needs. If you make this with 100% buckwheat noodles, you can even make this dish gluten free.
As samphire is so heady with sea flavours, I decided to make a slightly sweeter dressing without konbu, and with mirin & sweet miso, alongside sesame oil, sweet petit pois & some toasted sesame seeds.
The result? An easy, quick, refreshing, yet highly tasty dish that works well on its own, or as an addition or accompaniment to maybe some grilled tofu or spicy mushrooms.
For the Salad
- 1 bunch soba noodles (Soba noodles tend to come with a little pre-packed loop around them, enough for one serve)
- 1 handful samphire (make sure no big woody stems)
- ½ cup peas (frozen or fresh)
For the Dressing
- 2 teaspoon Sweet White Mirin
- 2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 teaspoon mirin (or white wine)
- 2 teaspoon Ume plum seasoning (Or light white wine vinegar)
- 2 teaspoon water
- 2 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
- 1 spring onion, finely chopped
- Boil a saucepan of water to the boil
- Add the noodles & simmer for 1 min
- Add the peas & simmer for 2 mins
- Add the samphire & simmer for barely 1 min
- Drain & rinse to refresh in cold water
- Meanwhile, whisk together all the dressing ingredients, tasting to check the balance. You want it to be a little tangy, a little salty & fairly sweet to balance with the salty samphire.
- To serve, toss the noodles & veggies with the dressing, then top with the spring onion & sesame seeds.
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I was also gifted some of the ingredients in this post by Clearspring to help create this recipe.