In River Cottage Light & Easy, Hugh delivers wholesome delights with zero compromise on taste for all occasions - from brilliant breakfasts to goodness on the go, from crunchy salads to simple roasts and hotpots, from nutrient-packed fish dishes to lighter breads, baking and treats (we all need those!). Each recipe is dairy-free and wheat-free, and all are guaranteed to bring a fresh energy and vitality to your everyday cooking and eating. Starting today, and over the next five weeks, you can get 10 exclusive recipes from the book on the River Cottage Food Tube channel, so check in every Monday and Wednesday!
Ingredients Serves 2, or 4 as a side 15g dried wakame seaweed (either strips or flakes) 150g buckwheat (soba) noodles 1 large or 2 medium carrots (about 150g) 1 large or 2 small courgettes (about 100g) 10g toasted sesame seeds
For the dressing 2cm knob of ginger (about 15g), peeled and grated 2 tablespoons mirin (or 1 tablespoon each sweet sherry and water) 1 tablespoons tamari 1 tablespoon Japanese rice vinegar 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
Put the dried wakame seaweed in a bowl of cold water to rehydrate. Follow the packet instructions: it may take anywhere from 2–15 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the noodles according to the packet instructions until tender but with a slight bite (usually in boiling water for 5–6 minutes). Drain and immediately run them under cold water to cool down. Drain thoroughly, then tip the noodles into a large bowl. Peel the carrots and slice into 'spaghetti' or thin matchsticks on a mandoline, or use a food processor, or coarsely grate. Do the same with the (unpeeled) courgettes. Add to the noodles.
When the seaweed has plumped up and become fleshy, drain it well and squeeze out excess water with your hands. Pick through it, discarding any tough stalks if necessary. Chop the seaweed roughly (unless it is in flakes) and add to the noodles and veg. For the dressing, mix together the ginger, mirin, tamari, vinegar and sesame oil. Pour this over the noodles and toss so that everything is coated and the ingredients are evenly distributed. Taste and adjust the flavours as necessary – you may need a little extra vinegar or a touch more mirin. You can serve this at once, or keep it cool for a few hours – in which case toss once more before serving – with toasted sesame seeds sprinkled over.