Spring green & wasabi fritters with soba noodle salad recipe image

Print Spring green & wasabi fritters with soba noodle salad

These fritters are packed with spring greens and a mild hint of heat from the mustard-like wasabi powder. Wasabi is made from the stems of a Japanese plant. It comes from the same family as horseradish and cabbage. As well as being used as a traditional condiment to Japanese dishes, wasabi powder can be used in batters as here, or mixed into mayonnaise or mash to give it a little warmth.

Ingredients

  • 1 garlic clove
  • 50g piece ginger, split between the fritters & the salad
  • 200g spring greens
  • ¾ pack soba noodles
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 30g fresh coriander
  • 1 large or 2 smaller carrots
  • 1 cucumber
  • 2 large spring onions
  • 1 tbsp brown rice vinegar
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp wasabi powder
  • 25g chickpea flour
  • 50g rice flour
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt

Method

  1. Put 2 decent sized pans of water on to boil. Peel and finely chop or crush 1 garlic clove. Peel and finely grate the ginger. Wash the spring greens and cut out the central tough ribs in a thin ‘v’ shape. Lay the leaves on top of each other, roll them into a cigar shape. Finely shred them into half cm thick strips.
  2. Once the pans of water come to the boil, add the spring greens to one pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until softened. Get a bowl of cold water ready. Drain the greens, refresh in the bowl of cold water to cool them, then drain again and keep to one side.
  3. Add the soba noodles to the other pan (if you have a smaller appetite, just use half the pack). Cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly for the first 1 minute to stop them sticking. When cooked, drain and transfer to cool in a bowl of cold water.
  4. Stir the sesame seeds in a dry frying pan for 1-2 minutes to lightly toast them. Transfer to a cup or small bowl. Wash the coriander, shake dry or pat with kitchen paper and roughly chop the leaves.
  5. Peel the carrot(s). Create strips by holding the carrot at the thicker end. Use a good veg peeler to peel thin strips off. Work round until you’re left with the carrot top, and a little middle bit that’s too fiddly to peel. If you find all this tricky, coarsely grate the carrot instead. Cut the cucumber in half, then make strips as you did the carrot. Leave the softer seedy middle part.
  6. Trim and finely slice 2 large or 3 small spring onions, at an angle. Mix all the veg with the drained noodles, remaining ginger, rice vinegar, juice from quarter of the lemon, sesame oil, sesame seeds and most of the coriander.
  7. Put your oven on a low heat (150˚C/Gas Mark 3) for the fritters, in case you need to cook in batches. Make your batter: In a bowl. mix the wasabi with just enough water (1-2 tablespoons) to make a paste. Add the chickpea, rice and corn flours, garlic, remaining ginger and a pinch of salt.
  8. Crack in the eggs and beat together. Mix in the blanched spring greens. Heat a thin layer of oil in a frying pan. Add the batter mix in dollops, making 6-8 in total, flattening them down a little with a spatula. If they don’t all fit in your pan in one go, cook in 2 batches and keep the first lot warm in the oven.
  9. Cook until golden, about 2-3 minutes each side. Drain onto kitchen paper and serve with the noodle salad, sprinkled with the remaining coriander leaves.

Cooks notes

Soba noodles are great for salads, warm or cold. This salad make a good lunchbox too, if you have any leftover. Stir them for the first minute as they cook, then rinse under cold water; both help prevent them from sticking.
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