Serves 4 as a light lunch

There are great sweet and sour flavors going on in this dish. Don’t be nervous about pickling your own cucumber -- it’s a cinch, and once you try it, you’ll be hooked. This is a superb summery lunch recipe that tastes great both hot or cold. Nori flakes are available from selected health food stores and Asian food stores.

  • 1 pound 12 ounces uncooked shrimp, heads removed but tails left intact, deveined
  • 6 1/2 oz soba noodles
  • 2 long red chiles, seeded and sliced
  • cilantro, to garnish
  • tamari or light soy sauce, to serve

Soy and ginger marinade

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons tamari or light soy sauce
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons mirin
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon superfine sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon firmly packed finely grated ginger

Pickled cucumber

  • 4 teaspoons superfine sugar
  • 4 teaspoons black sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon nori seaweed flakes 
  • 1 large cucumber, cut into 1/2 in cubes
  • good pinch of sea salt

For the marinade, whisk all the ingredients together in a large shallow glass dish. Add the shrimp and toss to coat, then cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the fridge for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, for the pickle, combine all the ingredients in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. Taste and add more salt or sugar if desired, then set aside.

Heat a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. When hot, add the shrimp and the marinade and cook for 2 minutes, turning halfway through, until the shrimp are cooked and the sauce has reduced. Remove from the heat and leave to cool completely.

Cook the noodles in a saucepan of simmering water for 3 minutes, then drain and rinse well under cold running water.

Place the noodles, shrimp, pickled cucumber and chile in a bowl and toss to combine. Turn out onto a platter, then drizzle with tamari or soy sauce to taste and garnish with cilantro.

Reprinted from What Katie Ate on the Weekend by arrangement with Viking Studio, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright (C) 2015, Katie Quinn Davies.