The strong nutty flavour of these buckwheat noodles speak for themselves, so I favour simple ingredients and a light dressing whenever I’m making a soba dish. As soba noodles are eaten cool, don’t be silly and make just a single portion; I always double the batch for next day’s lunchbox. This dressed soba recipe is incredibly versatile and works with any of your favourite vegetables. I often go for whatever crisp raw vegetables I have, so there is hardly any cooking involved beyond blanching the noodles, stirring sauces together and chopping up some vegetables. This time round, as I’ve actually got the luxury of a leisurely lunch at home, I grilled the courgettes for a wonderful warm contrast to the cold salad. Along with smoked mackerel and the sweet mirin dressing, this makes for a perfect balance of salty, sweet, nutty and smoky flavours.