If everyone at your house has different likes and dislikes, this salad might just be your new favourite 15-minute meal! Not only is it incredibly delicious with all the ingredients, but you can assemble individual serves with the ingredients each child likes … and then tumble the rest together for the less picky eaters.
This salad is also perfect the next day, so you can pack it for school lunches if your kids have stay-cool lunch boxes. Or for work lunches even?!
Here’s how to make it …
Pick-and-mix soba salad recipe
Pick-and-mix soba salad recipe ingredients
- 1 270 g packet of soba noodles
(boiled for 4 minutes until tender, rinsed under a cold tap until cool, then drained well)
- 1 210 ml bottle of Kewpie roasted sesame dressing*
- 100g of baby spinach
- 1 punnet of cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters
- 1 tin of corn, drained
- 1 avocado, diced (do this last so it doesn’t brown!)
- 1 Lebanese cucumber chopped roughly
- 1 bunch of broccolini
(chopped and cooked for 3 minutes with 1/2 cup of water in microwave, rinsed under cold tap until cool and then drained)
- 200g of fried tofu or bbq chicken, diced
- 1 lime, cut into segments
- a handful of golden fried shallots*
Note – if you keen to make this salad for dinner and then pack it for school lunches, buy extra noodles and dressing.
* from Asian food section at the supermarket or Asian grocer
- Step 1. Put all your ingredients on a platter or in individual bowls.
- Step 2. Assemble picky eaters first. Pop the cold, drained noodles in a bowl and add their chosen toppings and sesame dressing, if desired.
- Step 3. In a large bowl, mix remaining noodles with the entire bottle of roasted sesame dressing and all other ingredients except avocado, lime and shallots. If your kids are hungry types, you can keep a few ingredients aside for them in case they want seconds … or encourage them to to try the grown-up’s version! (NB: This is also the time to pack extra picky eater salads into containers for school lunches if your kids are keen to take them.)
- Step 4. Carefully add the diced avocado, season with salt and pepper and garnish with golden shallots and lime. Now gobble it all up!
Left: parent dinner
Right: picky kids’ dinners
Variations – There are so many variations! You can add cooked whole prawns to this salad instead of the tofu/chicken. Add some chilli and/or coriander. Switch out the sesame dressing for a sesame, soy and ginger dressing (scroll down for that recipe!). Try this with udon noodles instead. Add some pickled ginger. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. You can also simplify and just use a few ingredients, but I always think this is a great opportunity to throw in lots of vegetables!
Alternative sesame, ginger and soy dressing for soba noodle salad
In a jar mix the following ingredients: 1 tablespoon of sesame oil, 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, 2 tablespoons of light soy sauce, 2 teaspoons of sugar, juice of one lime, juice of one lemon, 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or rice wine vinegar, 1 clove of crushed garlic, 1/2 tablespoon of grated fresh ginger.
Coloured plastic bowls and striped nautical chopsticks from Daiso
Llama paper napkins from BigW
Vinyl tablecloth from Kmart
Red salad servers from Harris Scarfe