It’s been rather an unusual weekend. For starters, Brisbane has been in the midst of a crazy heatwave (it is still 36°c and it is 7:30pm in the evening as I write this). Our lovely Queenslander house atop the hill usually stays pretty cool, but on a weekend like this, with not much of a breeze to speak of, it is like living in a sauna. Plus being seven months pregnant doesn’t help the situation at all. So basically it has been too hot to go out, and too hot to stay in.
The second thing that made the weekend unusual was the fact that Brisbane is hosting the G20 summit. We live only a few minutes walk from where all the action is going down, and between the police presence, the near-constant helicopters, and the road blockages, going out was a bit of a saga. S did have to head into the city on Saturday morning and alas, a trip that shouldn’t have taken more than an hour ended up taking almost three as Obama was driving through to the summit centre right at that very moment, and S got caught in the street shutdown.
I had planned to take W down to the protests on Saturday arvo – see a little live music in the park, march in solidarity. But it was just too hot to be dragging an 18-month old and a pregnant belly all around town, so we stayed at home instead. Big ups to those who did make it though, despite the heat. By all accounts the protesting was peaceful, and almost certainly a better show for the world than the one our Prime Minister put on.
In the end, on Saturday while W was napping, I made this rather delicious Soba Noodle Salad for lunch. Now that the weather has kicked into high gear here, you’ll be seeing a lot of salads from me as it is what I virtually live on in the summer (that and icecream). I do try to mix it up though by using different grains and flavours. This salad is one of my all-time favourites. I’m a big fan of soba noodles, and when paired with fresh veges and the sour-sweet tang of the sauce, it is a really refreshing yet filling meal. And delicious – did I mention that?!
Soba Noodle Salad
90 grams soba noodles
10 – 12 snowpeas
¼ red capsicum
¼ small purple cabbage
Small handful mint leaves
¼ cup sesame seeds
Approx. 2cm fresh ginger
½ a red birds eye chilli
1 tbsp tamari
1 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp sesame oil
Juice of ½ a lime
1 tsp brown rice syrup (or honey)
Start off by dry toasting the sesame seeds over a medium heat until they start to brown (3 – 4 minutes), tossing continually. Remove from the hot pan and set aside.
Prepare the sauce by finely grating the ginger and dicing the chilli (use more or less chilli, depending on how hot you like it!). In a small bowl or jar combine the tamari, mirin, sesame oil, lime juice and brown rice syrup. Add the ginger and chilli and mix.
Bring a pot of water to the boil and cook the soba noodles as per the packet instructions. Rinse under cool running water and drain.
In the meantime, prepare the vegetables. Using a mandoline, slice the capsicum and zucchini into thin strips. Finely chop the cabbage and slice the snowpeas lengthways. Roughly chop (or tear) the mint leaves.
In a large bowl add the noodles, vegetables, sesame seeds and the sauce. Toss to combine, making sure everything is thoroughly coated in the sauce. Eat immediately.
Serves 1 – 2.