Living so close to Victoria Street has given me a taste for Vietnamese, lots of mighty flavours and infinite ingredients to experiment with…… if you are nearby, check out ‘Weasels Garden Café’ it’s on Murray St, tucked away, always very quiet, the foods pretty good and the garden is like a slice from a tropical paradise…..
I decided to make the noodle salad this weekend, as I think these flavours suit the warmer weather – the tuna was a recipe I’d found on ‘I am a food blog’ and created as part of a ‘tobasco challenge’ that worked really nicely alongside the salad.
We loved both these recipes and with the leftover herbs from the salad and weekend decided to make a ‘Tagliolini Primavera’ with butter, pine nuts and lots of garlic – also delicious!
I’ll definitely be making the tuna for friends, maybe as an appetiser to the noodles or just as a snack to pass around with drinks. Prawns or shredded chicken would also be a great addition to the salad or you could even swap the tuna for scallops if you want to mix things up a bit. Using rice noodles also makes the salad vegan and gluten free.
I found the recipe on the blog ‘My Darling Lemon Thyme’ a really beautiful blog – all I have changed is the dressing (which I made double of) to suit our tastes. It’s really worth hunting down the extra special ingredients as once you have them, this recipe is pretty easy – just shop for the fresh herbs and veg.
Noodle Salad Ingredients Serves 2 as a main or more as sides
- 2 carrots, peeled and shredded finely (I used a spiraliser)
- 1 Lebanese cucumber, seeds removed and shredded fine
- 125ml rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp brown rice syrup or unrefined sugar
- 150g rice noodles or your favourite noodles
- 1 cup finely shredded cabbage
- ½ cup Thai basil leaves, coriander, mint – all roughly torn
- 2 tbsp finely chopped chives
- 2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
Sesame Soy Dressing
- 2 tbsp tamari or soy
- 2 tbsp Chinese black vinegar
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp Chinese 5-spice
- 1 birdseye red chilli, finely chopped
Place your shredded carrot in 1 bowl (or sieve) and mix in ½ tsp of salt. Repeat with cucumber in separate bowl/sieve and set aside.
Add the rice vinegar and rice syrup to a small pan, bring to a boil then reduce and simmer for about 5 minutes, until the liquid becomessyrupy and is reduced by half. Leave to cool.
Squeeze excess water out of vegetables and mix them both with the cooled vinegar syrup.
Cook noodles according to packet instructions then drain and run under cold water, to stop the cooking process. Add to a large bowl with the rest of the salad ingredients (cabbage, herbs and sesame seeds).
Drain your pickled vegetables and add to the noodle mix (reserve pickling liquid and use on more veg for later use if you like).
Combine dressing ingredients, pour over and mix in with noodles and serve immediately.
Tuna Toasties with Tobasco Tomatoes
- 1 small Ahi tuna steak, at least 1 inch thick (I couldn’t get this so used yellowfin)
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- 12 cherry tomatoes, diced finely
- 2 tbsp roughly chopped coriander
- 3 tsp tobacco
- 12 brioche toasts or thin grilled toasts
Simply mix together your tomatoes, coriander, tobacco and 2 tsp olive oil, refrigerate until required.
Cut your tuna into rectangles about 1-1.5 inch wide. Grind plenty of salt and pepper onto a plate and completely coat the outer edges of your tuna in the seasoning.
Add about 1 tbsp of oil to a cast iron pan over a high heat and sear tuna for almost 1 minute on each side, turning to sear all sides. Remove from heat and stand for 5 minutes before slicing into thin (about 1cm) pieces.
Serve with your spicy tomatoes on toasts and enjoy!