Soba Noodle & Five-Spice Pork Salad

Soba is Japanese noodles made of buckwheat flour. There are 2 ways of serving soba, it’s either chilled with dipping sauce, or in dashi broth as noodle soup. I think I particularly like cold shoba that is served with dipping sauce known as soba tsuyu on the side. Tsuyu is made of a mixture of dashi, sweetened soya sauce and mirin.

I made soba noodle salad & five-spice pork salad for my lunchbox. I never find making lunch for the next day is a big responsibility. Unless, I am dead tired and don’t feel like I want to do anything. If not, it just makes sense for me to prepare easy and healthy food for lunch. I once made bulgur wheat salad, which is a great lunchbox idea!

Time is bad now – people are careful in their spending. Every now and then I see restaurants put up their special ‘credit crunch’ lunch menu that costs £10 included drinks. But, I have yet seen some quick eateries – those that people go on a daily basis and grab their lunches! It does make me wonder how much less I spend on lunch if I make them at home. After some careful calculations, it really is cheaper to bring food from home. Ok, for soba noodle & five-spice pork salad, I spent less than £6 ($9, €7) on the main ingredients!

I don’t know about you but I can’t survive on sandwiches and crisps on a daily basis – that’s what most people at work for lunch. It’s probably I love food and cooking. But, I just think that it’s important to eat well.  Don’t give anymore excuses to go to the kitchen (for e.g. my favourite program is on the telly tonight; too lazy; no time; …etc), try this out for your first or next lunchbox!


Soba Noodle & Five-Spice Pork Salad



200g pork tenderloin, thinly sliced
100g mange tout
1 carrot, cut into matchsticks
200g soba
2 tbsp sunflower oil
some toasted sesame seeds
1 spring onion, chopped

1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp five spice powder
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp soya sauce
1 tbsp sugar
a pinch of white pepper
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1-2cm ginger, peeled and crushed
1 red chilli, crushed

Sesame dressings:
3-4 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp soya sauce
a pinch of white pepper


1. Put all the ingredients for the marinate in a bowl and add the pork. Marinate for 1-2 hours.

2. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil, blanch mange tout for 2-3 minutes, refresh in cold water and set aside. Repeat the same for the carrot.

3. Bring another saucepan of water to the boil. Cook the soba noodles according to the packet. Refresh in cold water, drain and set aside.

4. Heat a pan, add the sunflower oil. Add the pork and cook for 8-10 minutes or until each side is golden brown or caramalised.

5. In a bowl, mix the soba noodle, mange tout, and carrots. Add the sesame dressings and mix well. Then, top a few pieces of five-spice pork to serve. Sprinkle some sesame seeds and spring onions.

6. Alternatively, you can make a simple teriyaki sauce – (1 tbsp sake, 4 tbsp soya sauce, 3 tbsp mirin, 2 tbsp sugar) and drizzle over the salad.