This is an addictive dish: the moreish bite of the soft, tangled noodles soaked in a tongue-tingling dressing combining sour tamarind, tangy lime juice, fragrant galangal and zesty yuzu juice is given extra richness by cubes of ripe, creamy avocado and sweet prawns sautéed in crushed garlic and chilli. It’s vaguely Japanese in inspiration, but its real secret is the addition of grapefruit mint. You can buy this delightful variation of mint in garden centres; its thick, soft leaves emit the unmistakable tang of grapefruit and will instantly enliven any dish you choose to scatter them over. Here, they work perfectly with the zippy yuzu and lime dressing; the whole thing is light, refreshing and a complex medley of textures, from the soft noodles to the crunchy cucumber and buttery avocado.
Grapefruit mint can be easily grown in a pot in the garden, placed in a sunny spot – harvest regularly for a plentiful crop of bushy leaves that will add an addictive astringent, citrus note to your cooking. If you can’t find it, use normal mint, or a combination of mint, coriander and basil leaves. Bottled yuzu juice is available in major supermarkets – it has an amazing sharp flavour somewhere between lime and mandarin, and is dangerously addictive. You could use crab meat or salmon fillets instead of the prawns, and experiment with your favourite noodle variety – I like buckwheat noodles for their interesting colour and nutty flavour, but rice noodles or glass noodles also work well.