Saturday, November 26, 2011

Cold Soba Noodles Salad With Asparagus, Green Beans, Cucumber And Sesame Crusted Tuna

We were once huge fans of the Moonlight Cinema when it first started some 15 years ago. Tummy was living a stone throw away from the venue and many warm summer evenings were spent at the Royal Botanical Garden lawn together with hundreds of other moviegoers.

For us the entertainment started when the crowds (many of them in their pyjamas) arrived with their peculiar looking rugs, pillows, blankets and extra large soft toys... stylish cushions and rugs were quite a rare sight indeed. What followed was a mass picnic with all these strangers while waiting for the film to be screened at sundown.

A picnic of course can't be without good food (and wine) and I was more than happy to take charge of that. The weather here in Melbourne can be quite unforgiving during the height of summer and this is one of the many cold dishes I prepared for one of those enjoyable evening.

Please don't wait until you next picnic to try this out, it is the perfect meal on a warm afternoon or evening with a nicely chilled bottle of  riesling or rose'.

P.S smoked salmon is a wonderful substitute if sashimi fish is hard to come by in your area.

recipe from the tummies' kitchen
serves 3 to 4 as a one dish meal
you'll need;
3 x 200 g of sashimi grade tuna steaks
1 tsp of grated ginger
2 tbs of Japanese soy
wasabi for coating
1/2 cup of toasted sesame seeds
1/2 cup of black sesame seeds
oil for frying

for the salad;
500 g of soba noodles, cook till al dente, refreshed, drained and mixed in a little sesame oil
200 g of green beans, sliced thinly lengthwise, blanched, refreshed and drained well
2 bunches of asparagus, thinly sliced at an angle, blanched, refreshed and drained well
1 continental cucumber, peeled, cut lengthwise and thinly sliced
a small bunch of chives, cut into 3 cm lengths
toasted sesame seeds

for the dressing;
1 tsp of grated ginger
1/2 cup of mirin
1/3 cup of Japanese soy
1/2 cup of water with 2 tbs of instant dashi*
1 tsp of sesame oil
juice of half a lime
* instant dashi comes in granule or powder form, it can be found at all good Asian grocers.

For the dressing, place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

Prepare the vegetables. Blanch both the beans and asparagus briefly and refresh under and running tap, drain well and set aside.

Marinate tuna steak with grated ginger and soy for 10 minutes.

Drain the tuna steaks well and brush on a thin layer of wasabi paste.

Coat tuna with sesame seeds, pressing the seeds tightly as you work one each piece of steak. Pan fry with a little oil until golden on both sides, drain well and cool slightly before slicing.

Just before serving, mix all salad ingredients in a large bowl together with half of the sesame seeds and add in the dressing.

Divide salad onto individual plates and top with the sliced tuna and sprinkles of extra sesame seeds.


  1. I bet you got a lot of attentions eating this at the picnic :) Great meal for hot days indeed!

  2. tak pernah makan menu yang sebegini seumur hidup makcik..boleh cuba tapi salmon sgt mahal:(

  3. Not quite the weather for a cold noodle salad but bookmarked this for a warmer day ;p
    I have to agree the sight of people carrying the pillows and soft toys to the outdoor cinema is quite funny.

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