Prawn soba noodle salad with yuzu, avocado and grapefruit mint


First published in 2015
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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.






Whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing. Set aside
Bring a large pan of water to the boil and cook the noodles according to packet instructions (usually 3–4 minutes). Drain and rinse well in cold water; set aside
Heat a little oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Add the garlic and chilli and cook for a minute until fragrant, then add the prawns and cook for 2 minutes, or until pink. Turn the heat off
Add the spring onions, cucumber, half of the mint, drained noodles and dressing to the pan and toss well to combine
Divide the noodle mixture between two plates or bowls then divide the avocado between the bowls. Scatter over the remaining mint, pomegranate seeds and sesame seeds, and serve with a sprinkling of yuzu juice with lime wedges on the side to squeeze over
First published in 2015
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