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Neoprene Chef

by: Jean-Francois


Soba Noodle Salad

                         &

                     Sweet Chili Glazed Chicken Breast.

Let’s face it, divers get hungry. We have all felt that hunger after a days diving and wished we had something tasty and nutritious to sink our teeth into as soon as our equipment comes off.

We then tend to grab whatever is easiest but not necessarily healthiest.


In this section we will cover some basic nutrition information, both general and specific to divers. We will also provide one or more nutritious, and hopefully delicious, recipes in each edition that divers can prepare ahead of their days diving or when they return home for a post diving “feast”.


Our recipe this time is a Soba noodle salad with sweet chili glazed chicken breast.


Although all the recipes will have detailed ingredients list and preparation methods we want to make sure that all recipes can be prepared easily according to the skill, knowledge and interest of the diver. Always keep in mind that ingredients can be substituted or omitted, seasonings can be adjusted to taste, portions can be changed. For example in our recipe, if you don’t like or have soba noodles then substitute them for any other noodle you like. Same goes for the vegetables. Like it a bit spicier? Then add some chopped chilies. The point is that you should feel free to make it your own, use what you have and like, and not be afraid to experiment.


We will also add notes and suggestions for vegetarian/pescatarian versions of the recipes presented.


Recipe’s Nutritional Overview

A potentially quite useful ingredient in this recipe for divers is ginger. Ginger as been shown to be a very effective remedy to nausea and sea sickness.

The varied vegetables and fruits in this recipe will provide a good balance of vitamins and minerals.

The soya beans (edamame) are an excellent source of protein and antioxidants.

Some Japanese studies have shown them to help reduce the risk of prostate cancer.


About Soba noodles:


Soba noodles are a good source of complex, slow releasing, carbohydrates. They contain about half the calories of equivalent amount of white wheat flour noodles such as spaghetti.


Soba noodles are made of buckwheat and therefore are suitable for people with gluten intolerance (some are made of a mix of flours so do read the label to make sure that no wheat flour is present).


Soba noodles are a good source of manganese. Manganese helps you metabolise cholesterol, amino acids and carbohydrates. It also helps to form bones, according to Harvard Medical School.


Soba noodles also contain thiamin. Thiamin helps your body convert food into energy. It's vital for a healthy brain, muscles, skin and hair.












Preparation Time : 30-35 min, makes 2 portions

Ingredients


Chicken

  1. 2 chicken breast, skin on

  2. 60ml  (1/4 cup) sweet chili sauce

  3. 10ml  (2 tsp) Japanese soy sauce

  Salad

  1. 125g Soba noodles

  2. 15ml  (1 tbsp) orange juice

  3. 5ml (1 tsp) lime juice

  4. 5ml (1 tsp) rice vinegar

  5. 10ml (2 tsp) pure sesame oil

  6. 5ml (1tsp) sunflower oil or other neutral vegetable oil

  7. 25ml (1 1/2 tbsp) chopped ginger

  8. 6 mint leaves, shredded

  9. 60ml (1/4 cup) chopped coriander leaves

  10. 40g or about half a carrot, julienned

  11. 40g or 1 stick of celery, julienned

  12. 40g or about half a yellow capsicum, julienned

  13. 1 green onion, chopped

  14. 75g (1/2 cup) soya beans (shelled edamame), cooked and chilled

  15. 60ml (1/4 cup) mandarin orange segments, about 2 mandarin oranges


Instructions

Chicken

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C (400F).

Mix sweet chili sauce and the Japanese soy sauce.

Coat the chicken in chili sauce mix and marinate for at least one hour.

In a roasting  pan, place the  chicken on the middle to top shelf of the oven and cook   for about twenty minutes or until done.

Brush the top of the chicken regularly with the remaining chili sauce mix.

About half way through the cooking process turn the oven broiler on to caramelise and crisp  the chicken skin.

Watch that is does not burn, a few dark spots are actually quite tasty. The higher sugar content in the sweet chili sauce can burn quite quickly. If it does start to caramelise too quickly the move the chicken to a lower position in the oven,and lower the temperature till the chicken is thoroughly cooked.


Salad

Cook the soba noodles in boiling water for about five ti six minutes or according to the package instructions and then chill them.

In a mixing bowl, combine the orange juice , lime juice, rice vinegar, sesame and vegetable oil, chopped ginger and soy sauce.

Add the vegetables, the noodles, mint, coriander and toss to coat with the vinaigrette.

Add the orange segments and the chopped coriander and toss lightly, the orange segments are delicate.

Serve the soba salad as a side for the chicken or on its own. The chicken can be served hot or chilled.

Pre slice the chicken and take it with you on your next dive excursion. It would easily fit in a small cool box or thermal lunch bag.

This dish is perfectly nutritious even without the chicken. The salad is therefore suitable for vegetarians on its own. Sea food lovers can substitute the chicken by marinating and roasting a fillet of white fish in the same way (shorter time of course) or by quickly sautéing some prawns with the sweet chili sauce.

Notes:

The shelled soya beans can easily be found in the frozen food section.

Feel free to replace any of the vegetables to your liking. Suggestions: sugar snap peas, snow peas, broccoli, daikon, celery root, etc.

Another cooking method for the chicken would be to gently poach it ten to fifteen minutes before marinating then quickly glazing under a very hot broiler four to five minutes.

Soba noodle salad with sweet chili glazed chicken