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Recipe

Warm soba noodle salad with crispy sesame chicken

This satisfying meal of crunchy, sesame-fried chicken, peanutty noodles and tangy salad will hit the spot on a chilly evening. Recipe and styling by Fiona Hugues. Photography by Jani Shepherd, Gatherum Collectif

By Fiona Hugues
  • 30 mins cooking
  • 2 hrs marinating
  • Serves 4
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Ingredients

Chicken
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 3 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 1/4 cup tamari soy sauce (or soy sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 500 gram chicken thigh fillets, cut into rough 1.5cm-wide strips
  • 1 tablespoon each black and white sesame seeds, toasted in dry pan over medium heat until just starting to colour or smell fragrant – plus a few extra toasted seeds for serving if desired
  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • vegetable oil, for frying
Noodles
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 1/4 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoon tamari soy sauce (or soy sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped red chilli
  • 1/4 cup liquid honey
  • 2 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/4 cup boiling water (or more if needed)
  • 2 x 180g packets soft soba noodles
Salad
  • 12 centimetre piece cucumber, cut into ribbons
  • 1/2 cup frozen edamame beans, blanched in boiling water for about 1 minute, refreshed and drained
  • 3-4 sliced radishes
  • 1/3 cup coriander leaves, plus extra to garnish
  • 1/2 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 x 10cm lengths spring onion, finely chopped
  • juice 2 small limes
  • 1-2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • micro greens, to garnish
To serve
  • roasted peanuts (optional)
  • kewpie mayonnaise (optional)

Method

  • 1
    In a small bowl, mix together the ginger, garlic, mirin, soy sauce, sesame oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Pour over chicken, cover and marinate in fridge for 2 hours or overnight.
  • 2
    Place the sesame seeds and flour in a small food processor and blitz to break up the sesame seeds for around 20 seconds; you should have some whole sesame seeds and some broken pieces. Dip drained chicken pieces into seed flour mixture and toss to coat.
  • 3
    Heat a 5cm depth of oil over medium heat to 170°C, or when a small piece of bread dropped in the oil turns brown in 30 seconds. Fry chicken pieces in batches for 3-4 minutes or until juices run clear when pierced with a sharp knife. Drain on paper towels and keep warm.
  • 4
    For the noodles, warm a frying pan over medium heat, add the sesame oil and cook the garlic and ginger until fragrant but not browned.
  • 5
    In a blender or food processor, add the garlic and ginger mixture to all the other ingredients except noodles. Mix until smooth, loosening mixture with the boiling water and adding a little more if you want a thinner noodle dressing. Cook noodles as per packet instructions then stir peanut sauce through hot noodles to thoroughly coat. Keep warm.
  • 6
    In a bowl, toss together the cucumber, beans, radish, coriander, chilli and spring onion with the lime juice, oil and a pinch of salt. Serve chicken pieces on top of a bowl of noodles with a handful of salad. Sprinkle with additional coriander leaves and micro greens.
  • 7
    If you wish, serve with roasted peanuts on the side and a little dish of Kewpie mayo sprinkled with toasted black and white sesame seeds for dipping.

Notes

  • Wither Hills Sauvignon Blanc, with its ripe citrus notes, lush greens and hints of tropical guava, is a perfect match for this warm, crunchy chicken and noodle dish. The complex character, juicy fruit and chalky finish of this elegant wine cuts through the peanutty richness and complements the fresh, sharp flavours of the salad.

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