As someone who likes to cook often and whenever possible (for others and myself), it is such a treat to be cooked for. My friend, Allie, recently cooked an absolutely delicious meal of tea poached salmon, roasted broccoli, and soba noodles from Sprouted Kitchen's cookbook. The meal was so delicious, I was eager to re-create it SOON, only with ingredients from my own pantry and a few substitutions.This is the medley of textures and flavors I am constantly seeking out: savory & sweet, crunchy & tender, earthy & fresh. As with most Asian-inspired recipes, there are some ingredients that you will need to go out and buy (Whole foods, Trader Joe's, or any super market with an Asian section should carry everything) but it is well worth it. The noodles themselves would make a great lunch for packing, and the original recipe calls for flaking the salmon over the noodles, which would stretch out each portion more. As with every recipe I post, adjust the veggies and style to your liking.
For the noodles (makes about 3-4 portions):
- 4 servings soba noodles, cooked according to the package.
- 1 cucumber, sliced into shreds on the mandolin or food processor
- 1 scallion, sliced
- 2 tbsp black/white sesame seeds
- crushed toasted peanuts (optional)
- 2 tablespoons of almond butter (Sara uses tahini but I prefer the nuttier taste of almond, esp since there is already sesame oil)
- 2 tablespoons of honey or agave (I used agave)
- juice of 1 lime
- 3 tablespoons of soy sauce
- 1 tsp finely grated ginger (I usually just peel this and grate it on the microplane)
First, cook your soba noodles according to the package directions. I found that mine cooked much faster than regular pasta does, so keep an eye on it and take it off the heat as soon as it's close to al dente. Drain and rinse profusely with cold water so that it stops the cooking. Set aside in a colander.
Next, make your dressing. In a large bowl, whisk together the almond butter, agave, lime juice, soy sauce, and ginger. Shred your cucumber into long thin strands. Toss the cucumber, noodles, and 2/3 of the chopped scallions together. Drain this from the excess dressing so it doesn't become soggy.
Next, poach your salmon. You will need:
- A 4 oz. portion for each person, skin on
- couple stalks scallion greens
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 2 tbsp red or white miso paste
Add the above ingredients into a sauce pan with approximately 2 cups water. Since I was cooking a small portion, I used a narrow saucepan, but adjust accordingly for larger portions. If cooking for a lot of people, trim the salmon into 3 inch portions so that it cooks evenly.Bring the mixture to a boil, making sure all of the miso paste is dissolved. When it starts to boil, turn off the burner and slip the salmon, skin side down, into the liquid. Put the lid on the pot and leave, covered, for 10 minutes.
After 1 minutes, check the doneness of the salmon by poking the center with a fork. If it starts to flake easily, take the salmon out. If it's still squishy and dark pink in the middle, turn on the burner to low and let it cook for another minute. The salmon should be tender and evenly cooked throughout. When it's done, slip it out of the broth and either flake it on top of the noodles, or eat as is. Garnish the whole thing with the leftover scallions and crushed peanuts. Enjoy!