Crispy Kale, Salmon & Kelp Noodle Salad

Crispy Kale, Salmon & Kelp Noodle Salad

I have noticed kelp noodles popping up in recipes and on café menus over the last few months, so thought it would be a good idea to check out what these noodles are all about.  I must admit I was a little skeptical at first about a noodle made from seaweed, however was very pleasantly surprised once I gave them a go.

Kelp noodles are not your typical noodle.  They are made from the sea plant kelp, salt and water.  They have a lovely crunchy texture and a very mild taste, so are best teamed with bold flavours.  They are very low in carbohydrates and calories, are sugar-free, gluten-free and fat-free, making them a fantastic alternative to a wheat noodle if you have intolerances or are keeping an eye on the kg’s.  Kelp, along with other seaweeds, is high in iodine which help your metabolism and function of the thyroid.

Kelp noodles don’t need to be cooked, they just need to be heated through by soaking them in boiling water.  This is music to my ears as it makes them really easy to prepare.  This salmon noodle salad is great for a mid week dinner, it all goes in one pan and can be made in about 20 minutes- now that’s what I like to hear!  So it’s easy to make, delicious AND is packed full of everything good for you.  You can find kelp noodles in health food stores, I have also seen them for sale online.  So for this warm salmon salad you will need-

INGREDIENTS
1 packet kelp noodles (250g)
250g salmon fillet, cut in half lengthways
6 stalks of kale, stalks removed
1 tbs sesame seeds, toasted

For the pickled cucumbers-
1 Lebanese cucumber
1 tbs red wine vinegar
Pinch sea salt

For the dressing-
1 tbs ginger, finely grated
1 small green chili, finely sliced
2 shallots, finely sliced
2 tbs soy sauce
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tbs sesame oil
1 tsp red wine vinegar
Juice ½ lemon

HOW IT’S DONE
Begin by rinsing the kelp noodles in cold water.  Place the noodles in a bowl and cover with boiling water for 10 minutes to soften.

While the noodles are soaking, I like to make a quick cucumber pickle to serve on top.  This is optional, however I feel it gives the dish a lovely freshness and extra zing.  Slice the cucumber with a knife as thinly as you can, place in a bowl with the vinegar and salt.  Set aside to let the cucumber preserve a little.

To make the dressing whisk together the soy, maple syrup, sesame oil, vinegar and lemon.  Add the grated ginger, chilli and shallots and set aside.

Heat a large fry pan on medium heat, place the salmon pieces in the pan with a little splash of olive oil and fry for 2 minutes.  Turn the salmon, and add the kale to the pan.  Cook for 2 minutes, then cover the pan with a lid or a piece of foil and cook for a further 2 minutes.  The salmon should be crispy on the outside and a little pink in the center.  The kale will wilt and also crisp up on the bottom of the pan.  If you like your salmon a little more pink, reduce the cooking time on either side, however make sure you still cover at the end for a further 2 minutes so the kale cooks through.

Drain the noodles from the water and cut them up a little, they are very long and this will make them much more manageable to eat!  Place the noodles on a serving platter and flake the salmon on top.  Add the kale and dressing and scatter with toasted sesame seeds.  Serve with the pickled cucumbers.
This recipe will feed two.  It is really great the next day for lunch too!

Photography by Andy Stavert

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