Soba Noodle Salad

Ingredients
270 g buckwheat soba noodles
2 cups shredded red cabbage
1 medium zucchini, julienned (see note)
⅓ cup store-bought roasted sesame kewpie dressing (see note)
2 tbsp black sesame seeds
2 tbsp white sesame seeds
2 large avocados, cut into wedges
200 g hot smoked trout
½ Lebanese cucumber, thinly sliced
¼ cup pickled ginger
Baby sprouts, to serve
2 tbsp shredded nori

Method
Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Add the noodles and cook for 5-6 minutes or until cooked. Drain and run under cold water. Drain well. Place in a large bowl with half the sesame dressing and toss gently to coat.
Place both sesame seeds on a small plate and mix together. Press one side of each wedge of avocado into the sesame.
Divide the noodles, cabbage and zucchini between bowls. Top with avocado, trout, cucumber and ginger. Drizzle with remaining dressing and scatter with the nori.

Notes:
You can use a julienne vegetable peeler, available at Asian supermarkets, or alternatively simply cut the zucchini into matchsticks using a sharp knife
Available in the Asian aisle at most supermarkets and also at Asian supermarkets.

The Avo Love Is Real – But Are We Doing It All Wrong?

Australians eat more avocados per capita than any other English-speaking nation but when it comes to choosing one, are we loving them too much?

With green-skinned Shepard avocados officially in season across the country this week, avocado growers are sharing the simple trick to choosing a perfect Shepard every time: stop squeezing them.

"Shepard avocados have a beautiful green skin, but unlike the Hass avocado, the skin doesn't change colour as it ripens," says Australian avocado grower, Kylie Collins.

"To tell if a Shepard avocado is ripe you need to feel the fruit, but sometimes people get a little too handsy and squeeze the avocado all over. Many people don't realise the 'firm-fingered' approach can actually bruise the fruit and turn the flesh under the skin black.

"To tell if an avocado is ripe, all you need to do is gently press near the top rather than squeezing all over. If it gives a little, it is ready to eat. If it feels hard, it will need 1-3 days on the kitchen bench to ripen."

Kylie, who grows Shepard and Hass avocados on her farm in Dimbulah, west of Cairns, says the ripeness trick is even more important during Shepard season, when the avocado skins are always green.

Shepard avocados are grown in Far North and Central Queensland and are in season from late February until early May, when Hass avocados will start returning to stores.

Prolonged rain and flooding in Far North Queensland has meant a late start to this year's Shepard season but the industry is still expecting to harvest about 14 million kilograms of Shepards this year.

"Letting the avocados mature a little longer on the trees could potentially produce the best crop we've seen since 2011," said Kylie.

Shepard avocados have a nuttier flavour and a firmer, more yellow flesh than the Hass variety, making them an attractive addition to salads, or sliced on toast. Their flesh also maintains its bright yellow-green and doesn't brown after being cut.

"Smashing an avo on toast is my favourite breakfast. I also add them to salads, morning smoothies, pasta – avocados make everything better," said Kylie.

Avocados are an all-round health star. Their unique combination of vitamins and minerals can help keep your immune system fighting fit, boost energy, enhance brain power, build bone, aid gut health, support healthy skin and can even put you in a better mood.

A good source of folate, they also help support a healthy pregnancy and their smooth, creamy texture makes them an ideal first food for babies.

For more information about Australian Avocados, please visit www.australianavocados.com.au or @australianavocados.



 






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