Traditionally, tamari is made as a by-product of miso. Tamari has a darker colour and deeper flavour than Chinese soy sauce and is a little less salty. While similar to soy sauce in that it is also made from fermenting soy beans, the difference between the two is the presence of wheat.
Buckwheat is also a grain substitute that, despite its name, is naturally gluten-free. Soba noodles, made from whole buckwheat flour, is lighter and earthier in taste than pasta or other wheat-based noodles, but is full of fibre that keeps you full longer. Therefore, using tamari and buckwheat soba in this recipe makes it a delicious gluten-free option for those who are intolerant to wheat.
Upping the nutrition quotient are two kinds of seaweed, dulse and wakame, which are chock-full of chlorophyll, minerals, iodine, and dietary fibre, adding texture and umami to the dish.
Recipe from 'The Pleasures of Eating Well: Nourishing Favourites from the COMO Shambhala Kitchen' by Christina Ong (Clearview, 2016). Reproduced with permission.
For the Japanese dressing:
1 small onion, finely chopped
Sea salt to taste
60ml raw apple cider vinegar
60ml Tamari soy sauce
1 tsp red chili flakes
1 tsp dry Japanese mustard powder, or hot English mustard powder
2 tbsp agave nectar
60ml sunflower oil
1 tbsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1. Place the onion in a bowl and season with sea salt. Leave to stand for 30 mins, then rinse and drain.
2. In another bowl, combine the drained onion, vinegar, tamari, chili flakes and mustard. Whisk in the agave nectar, followed by the oils and black pepper. Set aside.
For the raw tuna salad:
100g peeled daikon
30g frozen edamame beans
240g sashimi-grade tuna, diced
45g soaked wakame seaweed
4 spring onions (scallions), sliced
1 Lebanese or English cucumber, seeded and julienned
6 small Chinese cabbage leaves, cut in half lengthwise and trimmed into points
2cm young ginger, peeled and julienned
1/2 avocado, cut into quarters, peeled then cut into eighths
1. Using a turning slicer, cut the daikon into spaghetti.
2. Combine the diced tuna, drained seaweed, spring onions, cucumber, cabbage, edamame and ginger in a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of the Japanese dressing and toss to combine.
Soba noodles, cooked to packet instructions and chilled
7g micro Shiso sprouts
1 tsp dulse flakes (or seaweed flakes)
2 tsp black sesame seeds
1. Top the chilled soba with tossed tuna salad.
2. Sprinkle over with garnishing and serve.