>Udon noodles with rocket salad and smoked salmon

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You must have guessed by now that I am very fond of Japanese cuisine, despite having never been to Japan! I do enjoy the clean and fresh taste of Japanese food and the care that goes in the presentation of each dish. I first discovered it at the Japan Centre in Paris when I was a student and I always go back to it whenever I feel like healthy, lean, recipes that taste good and look good.

Ingredients list:
1 thick filet of smoked salmon cut up in cubes
2 handfuls of rocket salad
1/2 cucumber cut up in julienne (ie. thin sticks pushed through a mandoline)
12 cherry tomatoes in half
Udon noodles for 5 (about three little bundles)
Dress with: soya sauce, oyster sauce, olive oil and sundried tomatoes

Wash and cut the vegetables. Boil the noodles for 6 min in salted water and rinse quickly under the tap. Toss the drained noodles in a large shallow dish and chuck the vegetables on top. Dress with a sauce made of one part soya sauce, one part olive oil, a dash of oyster sauce or fish sauce and some chopped sundried tomatoes.

This is not very typically japanese at all but inspired by many similar salads that are served around in London. I like it because it looks good and the ingredients are very easily available in the “West” without having to go all the way to Regents street or Chinatown- though I do love making the trip when I can! Udon noodles are thin wheat noodles similar in shape to Soba noodles but of a lighter colour.

NB: Utensils are crucial and having the right ones is certainly paramount in order to succeed with Japanese recipes: I use a steel mandoline to cut up my vegetables and I recommend purchasing one before attempting anything! Once hooked you’ll be using it for all your veg and salads…

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