Savoury

Seared Watermelon, Tofu and Soba Noodle Salad

This recipe is perfect for a sunny, summer day.  It may be surprising that something with such a high water content as watermelon can get hot enough to brown, but believe it or not, get the pan hot enough and apply moderate, even pressure with a spatula and it will caramalise – I suspect due to the amount of natural sugar present. The result is a taste that is sweet and slightly char-grilled. Accompanied with lightly seared tofu, crunchy green beans, edamame, and a silky nest of soba noodles this is a dish that will leave you feeling positively virtuous.


*I have also tried this dish with a subtle white miso, mirin and soy broth. Worked well. Give it a try!
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 4x4cm seedless square of watermelon
4 small cubes of seedless watermelon
Green beans
Edamame (available in Asian Grocery Stores – if in pods simply thaw and de-pod)
Micro-Thai basil leaves (for garnishing)
Soba noodles
1 4x4cm square of firm tofu
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp black sesame seeds
Miso broth
1 tbsp white miso paste
1 tsp mirin
2 tsp tamari (or light soy sauce)
1 tsp rice wine vinegar

Cook soba noodles according to packet instructions. Set aside.

Prepare edamame (if frozen, thaw and then set aside).

Blanch green beans in boiling water until just cooked (but still crunchy). Set aside

Heat a non-stick pan over very high heat. Add the olive oil, and when it is very hot, add the watermelon. Be careful, there will be some spattering when the wet melon meets the oil! Cook, pressing occasionally with spatula to compress, until the melon is well-seared on one side, this will take about 3 minutes. Flip and repeat on the other side.

Remove the watermelon. Pour excess oil out of the pan. Add the sesame oil and heat. Add the tofu and sear until golden brown. Flip and repeat.

Serve the seared tofu and watermelon in a stack on top of a nest of soba noodles. Garnish the plate with green beans, edamame and cubes of watermelon. Sprinkle with black sesame seeds and micro herbs.

If adding the broth, simply drizzle around the noodles.

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