Friday, July 21, 2017

Salmon Soba Noodle Buddha Bowls with Ginger Sesame Dressing #FishFridayFoodies


Pan-fried salmon soba noodle Buddha bowls with ginger sesame dressing are easy, tasty and healthy too. They can be made ahead of time and chilled, if you like cold salmon like we do, or assembled when you are ready to eat with warm salmon on top.  Either way, you are going to love the flavors of this dish!

Food Lust People Love: Salmon Soba Noodle Buddha Bowls with Ginger Sesame Dressing are light, delicious and filling. Perfect for a summer dinner or packed lunch.

Years ago my father was living in Southeast Asia. Every time I went to visit him, I flew on the Japanese national carrier, JAL. Their menu never seemed to vary, at least in Economy. You had the choice of a Western meal, invariably a small hockey puck-sized filet mignon steak, overcooked, grey and flavorless. Or the Japanese meal, a small bowl of delicately flavored miso soup with slivers of seaweed and cold soba noodles with a delightfully salty savory dipping sauce. There were other parts to the meal to accompany the noodles, but those were the highlight for me. A revelation of tender chewiness unlike any noodle I had met before. And their dipping sauce was heaven. I guess you know which meal I would choose.

Ever since, I’ve been a fan of soba noodles. And, frankly, Japanese food in general. When was the last time you’ve ever heard that airplane food was a positive convincer for a whole country’s cuisine? I owe JAL a debt of gratitude.

You might think the star of this recipe is the salmon, sitting there on center stage on top of the Buddha bowl. And it is lovely, especially seasoned with the shichimi togarashi. But I’ve got to tell you that what makes this dish special is the homemade ginger sesame dressing. It’s so easy to make – and it keeps well in the refrigerator. It’s also what adds the most flavor to this cold soba noodle salad.

Food Lust People Love: Salmon Soba Noodle Buddha Bowls with Ginger Sesame Dressing are light, delicious and filling. Perfect for a summer dinner or packed lunch.

You’ll have ginger sesame dressing leftovers with this recipe so try it on a fresh baby spinach salad with oranges and maybe some toasted almonds. Another of our favorites.


Salmon Soba Noodle Buddha Bowls with Ginger Sesame Dressing


Ingredients
For the ginger sesame dressing:
1/2 cup or 120ml extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup or 60ml apple cider vinegar
2 in or 5cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons soy sauce (I like Kikkoman’s.)
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon tahini paste
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

For 2 salmon soba noodle bowls:
2 salmon fillets, skin on (about 4 3/4 oz or 135g each)
Fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Shichimi togarashi – Read more about it here. http://www.seriouseats.com/2012/01/spice-hunting-seven-spice-powder-shichimi-togarashi-japanese-condiment.html
7 oz or 200g soba (buckwheat) noodles
7 oz or 200g snow peas (mangetout)
1 medium carrot, grated
3-4 small crunchy radishes, sliced
1/2 cup or 120ml ginger sesame dressing, plus a couple of tablespoons
2 teaspoons black sesame seeds
Small bunch green onions, chopped

Method
First, make the ginger sesame dressing: Combine all the ingredients in a blender or in an appropriate vessel with a hand blender. Process until smooth and emulsified.

Refrigerate the dressing as you prepare the rest of the ingredients. It will keep well in the refrigerator for at least two weeks.

Season the salmon fillets by sprinkling salt, black pepper and shichimi togarashi on both sides. Cook them skin side down in a hot pan just until you see the color lighten inside the skin. Remove the salmon from the pan and place on a plate skin side up. Use a thin blade to gently remove the skin and put it back in the pan.


Cook till crispy. Set aside to drain on a paper towel.

Season the skinless side with the salt, pepper and shichimi togarashi. Return the salmon fillets to the hot pan and cook to your desired doneness. I know some people like salmon a bit rare inside, but we like ours cooked through. (Unless we are eating sushi or sashimi, in which case, we love it complete raw. It’s all of nothing with us.)



Meanwhile, put a large pot of water on the stove to boil. Once it comes to a boil, add in the soba noodles a few at a time and give them a bit of a stir so they don’t stick together.


Bring water back up to a boil and then immediate reduce the heat to simmer. Cook for about 6-7 minutes for thin noodles, 7-8 minutes for thicker ones, or according to the package instructions.

In the last 2 minutes of cooking time, add in the snow peas.

Fill a large bowl with cold water and add some ice cubes.

Drain the noodles and snow peas in a colander and rinse with cool water, washing them till the water runs clear.


Soba noodles are quite starchy and washing them is essential so do not skip this step. Now put them in the ice water until completely chilled. Drain well in a colander until dry.

Pick the snow peas out of the chilled soba noodles and set aside.

Pour the dressing over the noodles and toss them gently to coat. Add the sesame seeds and toss again to distribute them well. You can cover and refrigerate the noodles now and assemble your salmon soba noodle bowls later, if need be.


To assemble the noodle bowls, start with the dressed noodles, then top with the snow peas, grated carrots and sliced radishes. Add in the salmon. Drizzle on a little more of the dressing and sprinkle the bowl with the green onions. Don’t forget to add the crispy salmon skin! This is our favorite part anytime we cook salmon.

Food Lust People Love: Salmon Soba Noodle Buddha Bowls with Ginger Sesame Dressing are light, delicious and filling. Perfect for a summer dinner or packed lunch.

Enjoy!

This month my Fish Friday Foodie group is sharing Buddha bowls for your dining pleasure. Fresh and healthy Buddha bowls are apparently all the rage right now, with their starches or grains, protein and fresh vegetables. Many thanks to our host Sue from Palatable Pastime for pushing me to make my very first Buddha bowl! Check out the other seafood Buddha bowls right here.


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Food Lust People Love: Salmon Soba Noodle Buddha Bowls with Ginger Sesame Dressing are light, delicious and filling. Perfect for a summer dinner or packed lunch.
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