Soba noodle sushi rolls
Almonds boast quality protein, beneficial mono-saturated fats and not a jot of cholesterol. When compared to other nuts, almonds win: born with a host of micronutrients, especially calcium and quality fibre - which you've probably worked out as it gets stuck between your teeth.
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- ½ packet soba noodles
- 1/3 cup almond butter (note: I like to make my own almond butter, but it is also available at supermarkets and health-food stores)
- 1 tbsp orange juice
- 1 tbsp rice syrup or maple syrup
- 4 sheets toasted nori seaweed
- ½ an avocado, cut into long strips
- 1 carrot, sliced into long strips and blanched
- 4 asparagus spears, blanched and kept whole
- 1 small cucumber, halved, seeds removed and cut into ½ cm strips
- 5 spring onions, blanched for a minute
- ½ cup pickled ginger or dill pickles
- ¼ cup fresh mint leaves, washed and left whole
To cook noodles: remove from the packet and tie them into 3 small bundles with cotton string at one end, about 2cm from the end of the bundle.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, drop in noodles and tie the string to the pot handle. Cook noodle bundles until "al dente", making sure they separate while cooking. Gently drain and rinse under cold water. Drain and lay out over a dry cotton towel. With a sharp knife, trim away the tied ends and discard (they will be claggy and unpalatable).
Combine the almond butter with the orange juice and rice syrup, and stir until it becomes creamy. Set aside.
Lay a sheet of nori (shiny side down) onto a bamboo sushi mat, place noodles flat against the nori, leaving 2cm of nori exposed on the side away from you. Spread a thin line of almond butter along the noodles. Then add the avocado, carrot, asparagus, cucumber, spring onions, pickled ginger and fresh mint leaves.
Using the sushi mat as a guide, roll the nori around the noodles and filling, gently pressing as you roll. Seal with a few drops of water.
With a sharp knife, slice the nori roll into 4 pieces and arrange on a serving platter. Serve at room temperature.