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Lime soba rainbow noodles


This lightning-fast stir-fry uses Japanese buckwheat noodles with a rainbow of crunchy veges and a lip-smacking lime-soy sauce.

Leave out the meat (or substitute tofu or mushrooms) and it makes a great vegetarian meal. Throw in whatever veges you have to hand - bean sprouts, green beans, aubergine, sugar snaps. Add beaten egg for extra protein and chilli for those who like heat.

And you could make up a big batch of the sauce and freeze it in single size servings while limes are plentiful.

Lime soba rainbow noodles

Ingredients

1 packet soba noodles (boil for three minutes and rinse in cold water)
300g diced chicken or beef strips (sirloin or rump steak) – tossed with garlic powder, salt and sesame oil
Red/purple cabbage (shredded – 2 cups)
1 bunch spring onions (sliced)
1 head broccoli (chopped into small florets then blanch in boiling water for 2 minutes before rinsing under cold water)
4T sesame seeds (white or black or a mixture)
3 carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks or julienned
1 red capsicum (sliced)

~Sauce~
2t cornflour
zest of 2 limes (save juice to squeeze on at the end)
1/2t garlic powder
4cm piece of ginger, grated
4T rice wine vinegar
1t sesame oil
3t sugar
1/4c soy sauce

Directions

1.  Whisk the sauce ingredients in a small bowl or shake together in a jar.

2.  Season the beef or chicken with 1/2t garlic powder, 1/2t salt and 1t sesame oil.

3.  Heat 2T oil in a wok or large frying pan until it shimmers. Add the beef or chicken, tossing occasionally, until golden brown and just cooked through.

4.  Add the veges and toss for a couple of minutes before adding the noodles, then the sauce, stirring for a minute and mixing through.

5.  Finish with the sesame seeds and a few squeezes of lime juice.

GISBORNE LIMES

Limes are valued both for the acidity of their juice and the floral aroma of their zest. Our limes are the Bearss variety (also known as Tahitian or Persian), which are famed for their size and juiciness.

Limes really pack a punch in the flavour and nutrition stakes and are a key ingredient in Mexican, Vietnamese and Thai dishes. (The Mexican lime - also known as the Key lime - is smaller than the Bearss variety and is rarely seen in New Zealand.)

Limes are also used extensively in drinks to add unparalleled flavour – from a wedge in the neck of your Corona to a chunky muddle in your mojito, once you’ve had the real thing, no substitute will do.

Limes store well at room temperature out of direct sunlight for at least a week (and become juicier during this time), but will store much longer in the fridge where their vitamin content is undiminished. They can also be frozen whole, or juiced into ice-cube trays.

Packed with vitamin C, limes are harvested when dark to pale green. A yellow lime signifies full maturity and maximum juice content.

Available between March and September.

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