This salad is full of punchy flavour. I like to ensure the vegetable to noodle ratio is about 50/50 so there is lots of fresh crunch. You could make this salad gluten-free by using 100 per cent buckwheat noodles (available from health food stores).
500 grams skinless boneless free-range chicken thighs
sea salt and cracked black pepper
¼ red cabbage, sliced very thinly (preferably using a mandolin)
1 large carrot, julienned or sliced into thin matchsticks
1½ cups shelled edamame beans
1 spring onion, thinly sliced
200 grams soba noodles
3 tablespoons white miso paste
juice 1 lime
1½ teaspoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
1 heaped teaspoon honey or 1 tablespoon raw sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated ginger
extra sliced spring onions, dried red chilli flakes, sesame seeds
The noodle salad itself is served at room temperature with the hot roasted chicken placed on top at the last minute. This means you can assemble the salad component up to an hour beforehand.
Preheat oven to 200°C degrees.
Lay the chicken thighs in a shallow baking dish. Season generously with salt and pepper. Roast for approximately 30 minutes until golden and cooked through. Slice into 2cm wide pieces.
Dressing: Place all the ingredients in a small jug and whisk briskly for a minute.
Salad: Place a large saucepan of water on a high heat. Once boiling, add the soba noodles and cook for approximately 5 minutes until just tender. Even if the packet instructions say to cook for longer, do not let the noodles get mushy. Drain and rinse well with cold water to cool.
Place the cold noodles and vegetables in a large bowl and combine with ⅔ of the dressing. Toss well until evenly coated. Taste and add more dressing if desired. I prefer to start on the lighter side of dressing and add more if taste dictates.
To serve: Divide the noodle salad between four bowls. Add the cooked chicken. Sprinkle over additional spring onions, chilli flakes and sesame seeds.
Cook’s tip: Leftover salad will last up to two days in an airtight container in the fridge. Leftover dressing will last one week in an airtight container in the fridge.