One of my favourite places to eat when we were back in Melbourne was Vegie Bar; so much so, it was our first stop on our way home from Rainbow Serpent for a recovery meal after a long weekend of ingesting warm VB. Everything I’ve eaten there has been delicious, but the dish that’ll keep me going back there time after time is the soba salad.
The generous heap of fibre and protein-rich soba noodles make it seriously filling, and they’re dressed in the creamiest sesame dressing, with chunks of avocado, mixed leaves and plenty of crisp seaweed. So much fork-twirling goodness.
You see, my issue now is that we’re living out in the country and Deliveroo will selfishly no longer deliver this to my door. In my time of need, I had to take matters into my own hands, and so I tried to create something similar to tide me over until we go back. No, it’s not quite Vegie Bar, but it’s pretty tasty if I may say so myself.
To go with the salad, I sliced some avocado (because everything needs avo, obviously) and grilled some sweet chilli drizzled zucchini. The combination was light and fresh, and felt super summery; a win for my internal body clock which seems determined that it’s spring/summer, despite having spent seven months in the opposite hemisphere.
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1 pack soba noodles
- 2 tbsp tahini
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 120ml sesame oil
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- juice of half a lime
- 1 tsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 zucchini, sliced into sticks
- 1 sheet dried nori
- 1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
- 1 avocado, thinly sliced to serve
- Using a small frying pan over a high heat, start by toasting the sesame seeds. They should start to release their natural oil and become golden - be sure to shake them frequently so they don't burn. Once they are toasted, set them aside to cool for later.
- Cook the soba noodles according to the directions on the pack.
- While the noodles cook, make the sauce by combining the tahini, soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar, lime juice and rice vinegar. Mix well and check the taste - you may want more lime or sugar, depending on your taste preference.
- Once the noodles are cooked, drain and rinse them in cold water, before the stirring in the sauce and 1 tbsp of the toasted sesame seeds.
- To grill the zucchini, lightly brush a grill pan with olive oil and place over a high heat. Once the pan is hot and almost smoking, grill the zucchini sticks for 2-3 minutes on each side until the inside is soft and the outside has golden grill marks.
- While the zucchini cooks, chop the nori into small squares and set aside with the toasted sesame seeds.
- Once the zucchini is almost cooked, drizzle on the sweet chilli sauce and let caramelise for a minute before removing from the pan.
- To serve, place the soba noodles into two bowls with half of the sliced avocado and the grilled zucchini in each, then sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds and chopped nori.