Clean and soba

One of the things that most exercises my brain is the constant struggle to think of things to take to work for lunch. It’s more than a little embarrassing sometimes to sit at a desk piled with cookbooks and food-related press releases eating banana on toast (though I do point out the toast is homemade to anyone who asks). Yesterday though, while digging about in the pantry for some teabags, I had a lunch epiphany that merits sharing.

Miso Soba Salad
This is fast, easy, cheap, good for you and very portable. Think of the noodles as a base to which you can add lightly cooked broccoli or green beans, or grilled chicken, or strips of omelette – or all of those things. I’ve just discovered karengo fronds and am addicted to their salty, seaweedy goodness. If you can’t find them, try snipping up a sheet of nori (the green stuff that sushi gets rolled up in) instead.

180g (two skeins) soba noodles
3 spring onions, finely chopped
2Tbsp sesame seeds
2Tbsp karengo fronds or a strip of nori, cut into little shreds

1Tbsp miso
2Tbsp hot water
juice of half a lemon (about 2 1/2 Tbsp)
1Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2cm piece fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped

Cook the noodles in boiling water for four minutes. Drain immediately and rinse in cold water. Tip them into a bowl and toss through a teaspoon of oil to stop them sticking together. Toss through the spring onions.
Toast the sesame seeds and nori or karengo for a few minutes in a dry pan. Be careful, as the seeds will burn the minute you turn your back. Set aside.
For the dressing, put the miso and hot water in a small jar with a lid. Shake well until the miso dissolves. Add the remaining dressing ingredients and shake again until mixed. Pour this over the noodles and stir well. Sprinkle the toasted seeds and seaweed over the top. Serves two.

What do you take to work for lunch?



  1. November 1, 2011 / 7:29 pm

    It's funny cause there are so many times I look at my lunches and think…why am I not making something more exciting?! This looks fantastic and is the perfect lunch – yum! : )

  2. November 1, 2011 / 7:30 pm

    Saw a documentary on a food channel with Bourdain in Japan.He was in a soba noodle bar where they make soba by hand and it it with very little on side.Seem to be delicacie in itself;)Have to admit haven't tried it yet.Looks good though;)

  3. November 1, 2011 / 10:21 pm

    Leftovers are the lunch of choice round here – depending on whether I've been able to squirrel them away before they turn into second (or third) helpings.
    The next trick is to remember to take them to work, am thinking sadly of the kedgereee left behind this morning.
    Never mind we have a great new cafe downstairs and they make their own raspberry lamingtons! Actually they make their own everything, and sometimes its hard to resist even on the days I have remembered to bring my own …

  4. November 1, 2011 / 10:50 pm

    This looks great. We often make soba noodles with very similar ingredients to yours but instead of dressing we add more water to make it more 'soupy'.

    I'd love to hear about any other ideas you dream up for lunch as my daughter is a big fan of taking a thermos to school with yummy food rather than just a sandwich and she sets the bar fairly high!

  5. November 1, 2011 / 11:05 pm

    I would be extremely impressed if anyone at my work took this out for their lunch!
    I did a post a while back about a prawn noodle thing I took to lunch. That was me trying to be better about lunches and I must say it has been ham sandwiches ever since. Tomorrow I have a shop bought plastic tub of pasta salad – pitiful! I hang my head in shame.

  6. November 2, 2011 / 2:00 am

    Very healthy and tempting! I love miso soba, this makes me wanna grab a bowl from the screen!;)

  7. November 2, 2011 / 9:04 am

    The perfect lunch meal. I hate it if I have nothing exciting to look forward to at lunch and I think tomorrow will be one of those days :0/

  8. November 2, 2011 / 7:59 pm

    That looks great! My lunch is terribly boring – cheese sandwiches, but in my (not very good) defense I make the bread, and that varies it a little. Anyway, I like cheese sandwiches!

  9. November 2, 2011 / 8:50 pm

    Looks like a great lunch. I love it when I find an exciting packed lunch idea – will be trying this!

  10. November 2, 2011 / 9:30 pm

    Love soba noodles. What a great lunch. I am addicted to nori. Yum.

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