Saturday, October 05, 2019

Soba noodles with lime, cardamom & avocado

September 12, 2019

We've been a bit remiss with Simple - we bought it hoping to use it in our mix of speedy school night meals, but with some added Ottolenghi flair. We turned to it again as we settled back into real life after a week of eating ridiculously well in Vietnam. This noodle dish was the perfect return to the kitchen: fresh, tasty and - yes - surprisingly simple.

I had to laugh when a so-called 'simple' recipe starts with scraping out cardamom seeds and grinding them to a powder, but once that step was out of the way there was nothing to it. It just about stretches to two dinners and two leftover lunches too - a perfect option for our regular rotation.

Soba noodles with lime, cardamom & avocado
(slightly adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi's Simple)

200g soba noodles
12 green cardamom pods
small bunch of basil leaves, roughly chopped
small bunch of coriander leaves, roughly chopped
2 limes, zest and juice
70g pistachios, roughly chopped
1/4 cup peanut oil
1 green chilli, seeded and finely sliced
2 ripe avocados, sliced
chilli flakes and an extra lime to serve

Crush the cardamom pods to extract the seeds and then grind them up in a mortar and pestle to get a half teaspoon of powder.

Cook the noodles as per their instructions, refresh under cold water. Stir everything through with the noodles. 

Serve, topped with a sprinkle of chilli flakes and with a lime quarter on the side.


  1. Scraping out cardamom pods gives simple recipes a bad name but I guess that is the do it ahead part of the recipe (or when you just turn to your ground cardomom seeds) sounds like an interesting meal.

    1. Hi Johanna! Completely agree, seems kind of hilarious when ground cardamom is such a simple, easily accessible alternative. :)

  2. I'd love to try this, though C hates nuts in salad (despite pistachios being his favourite!) My best super easy soba noodle salad combination involves: spring onions, avocado, cherry tomatoes, snow peas, Japanese tofu (I'm lazy and use the supermarket variety), toasted sesame seeds, soy sauce and sesame oil. I adapted it from a long-ago Vegie Bar version after they ditched it from their menu, and every time I ask NR what she wants for dinner, she demands this. (But I have to leave the spring onions out for her, v disappointing.)

    1. Hi Fiona! I'm with NR on this one, I'm not big on uncooked onion things. I love everything else about your version though - fresh veges, easy tasty protein, sesame oil. Gonna bookmark this comment for the future, thank you!