Redclaw & Soba Noodle Salad
Soba, a thin Japanese buckwheat noodle often served chilled with a dipping sauce, is the base for this simple salad with a restrained appearance and flavour. You could make double the dressing and dip the noodles into the extra as you eat them.
Serves 6 as an entrée
18 x 75g live redclaws (see notes)
400g dried soba noodles
100g baby corn, quartered lengthways
100g enoki mushrooms, trimmed
1 bunch green asparagus, thinly sliced diagonally (see notes)
6 green onions, thinly sliced diagonally
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted (see notes)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon mirin (see notes)
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon grape seed oil
3 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Make Soba Dressing: combine all ingredients in a screw-top jar and shake to mix well. Set aside.
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add the redclaws (see notes) and boil for 3-4 minutes, until the shells turn orange. Drain and set-aside until just cool enough to handle. Twist off the claws and crack open to remove the meat. Twist off and discard the head. Insert kitchen scissors into the base of the tail and cut along the centre of the underside of the shell. Carefully prise open the shell and remove the tail meat. Discard shells. Slice the tail meat in half lengthways and devein.
Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil. Boil the soba noodles for 6-8 minutes, until just tender. Drain, refresh under cold running water and drain well.
Bring more water to the boil and blanch corn for 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a bowl of ice water. Blanch mushrooms for 30 seconds, remove with a slotted spoon to the ice water. Blanch asparagus for 1 minute and remove with a slotted spoon to the ice water.
Drain corn, mushrooms and asparagus and dry on paper towel. Place in a large bowl with noodles, green onions, sesame seeds and dressing and toss to combine. Divide between bowls and top with redclaw meat.
The easiest and most humane way to kill any crustacean is to chill them in the freezer for about 30 minutes until they become insensible (but not long enough to freeze them). Once chilled, they should be killed promptly by splitting in half or dropping into rapidly boiling water. See www.rspca.org.au for more details. If asparagus is thick and woody, discard the woody bottom section and peel the spears with a potato peeler. Hijiki seaweed is available from specialty Asian stores. Toast sesame seeds in a dry frying pan for a couple of minutes, tossing gently to prevent them burning, or under a griller (but watch them closely). Mirin is a sweet Japanese fortified rice wine used for cooking. True mirin (labelled ‘hon mirin’) contains alcohol, so what is available in supermarkets and Asian grocery stores, and normally used, is non-alcoholic ‘mirin seasoning’.
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