1 piece (approx 10-15g) kombu
15g bonito flakes
2 cloves garlic, sliced
a few slices ginger
2kg mussels, scrubbed, beards removed
4 bundles soba noodles
2 teaspoons sesame oil plus a little extra for drizzling
250g asparagus, sugar snaps or edamame, sliced
4 spring onions, sliced
1 punnet cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

Think of this as a cold salad and an intensely flavoured broth with a few warm components for some contrast. Most of this can be done ahead, just fry the spring onions and cherry tomatoes at the end. If serving a big group, put a smaller amount into smaller bowls.

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2.Steep the kombu in 1 litre of water for a minimum of 2-3 hours or leave overnight.
3.Put into a saucepan and slowly bring up to a simmer, removing the kombu when you see tiny bubbles forming (around 60°C).
4.When the bubbles start to rise (around 80°C) add the bonito flakes and turn off the heat. Leave for 15 minutes.
5.Strain the dashi through a sieve. The dashi can be refrigerated for a few days or frozen and used as required.
6.For this recipe you will only need 500ml dashi.
8.In a wide saucepan, heat ¼ cup water with the garlic and ginger and bring up to a simmer.
9.Add the mussels in batches, cover and cook for 2-3 minutes, removing them as they open.
10.Reserve the cooking liquid, strain through a sieve and set aside.
11.When cool enough to handle, remove the mussels from the shell, take out the tongues if you prefer and cut the meat into bite-sized pieces.
12.Put back into the strained liquid and refrigerate until required.
13.Cook the soba noodles according to the packet directions, drain and plunge into iced water, rubbing to remove excess starch. Drain, then drizzle with a little sesame oil.
14.Blanch the greens in boiling salted water and plunge into iced water. Drain well before using.
15.Heat the sesame oil and quickly fry the spring onions and cherry tomatoes so they soften slightly (1-2 minutes).
16.Divide the soba noodles between bowls.
17.If you prefer a clear broth just use the dashi with the noodles. I added a little of the mussel liquor to the dashi; it does oomph the flavour but it doesn’t have the clarity of the dashi. If not using the mussel liquor, reserve it for another use (it’s brilliant as a base stock for a chowder).
18.Ladle the broth over the noodles (around ½ cup but use more if you prefer), add some mussels and top with the cherry tomato mix and greens.
19.Scatter with sesame seeds and a drizzle of sesame oil.
21.Make a vegan cold-brew version of dashi.
22.Pour 1 litre water over 15g kombu and 15g dried whole shiitake and leave overnight. Strain the dashi and set aside.
23.Thinly shred the kombu and slice the shiitake.
24.Put into a saucepan with1 tablespoon each of soy sauce and mirin.
25.Cook for 10 minutes; the liquid will mostly have evaporated but the vegetables should be tender.
26.Proceed with the recipe, omitting the mussels, garlic and ginger, but adding the kombu and shiitake.
27.Cubes of silken tofu make for a more substantial soup.

Recipes & food styling Ginny Grant / Photography Aaron McLean / Styling Fiona Lascelles