Monday, August 16, 2010

Soba Noodles with Salmon and Miso

I love fish. It's my favorite protein, and I am always looking for new ways to cook it. I found this recipe in another maddeningly-generically-titled cookbook, "Homestyle Asian." Aside from the salmon itself, all the other ingredients are cheap and will keep for a while, so you don't have to rush to use them before they spoil. Miso paste can live in your fridge for a decent amount of time, and can be used to make soups or add umami flavor to everything from pan sauces and gravies to salad dressings. Soba noodles are another fun thing to keep in your pantry. It's a dried pasta, so, like spaghetti, it will be fine on your shelf until you're ready to use it again. I love its chewy texture and nutty flavor.

The recipe in my cookbook served six, so my version has been pared down to serve two (plus a toddler, if you have one that likes fish and noodles, like I do!) Also, the original recipe called for 1 cup of bean sprouts, which I didn't have, so I substituted 4 heads of baby bok choi (that I picked up at the farmer's market for a dollar.) This recipe was delicious and elegant, with subtle flavors and a clean finish. Definitely a keeper.

Soba Noodles with Salmon and Miso

  • approximately 2 oz. of dried soba noodles (mine came conveniently packaged in five single-serving bundles - gotta love Japanese ingenuity!)
  • 1 heaping teaspoon miso paste
  • 1 ounce honey
  • 4 teaspoons sesame oil, divided
  • 1 pound salmon filet
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 large carrot, cut into matchsticks
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 heads of baby bok choi, cut into individual leaves
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

  1. Cook the soba noodles according to the package directions. Drain, add back to the pot you cooked them in, and toss with a teaspoon of the sesame oil, just so they won't stick together. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350*F.  Whisk together the miso, honey, one teaspoon sesame oil, and one teaspoon water to form a paste. Brush over the salmon , then sear on a hot grill or frying pan for 30 seconds on each side. Brush the salmon with the remaining paste and place on a baking tray. Bake for 6 minutes, then cover and leave to rest in a warm place.
  3. Heat one teaspoon of sesame oil in a wok or frying pan. Add the garlic, ginger, carrot, green onion and bok choi and stir-fry for 1 minute -- the vegetables should not brown, but remain crisp and bright. Add the noodles, rice vinegar, soy sauce and one teaspoon sesame oil and stir-fry quickly to heat through.
  4. Divide the noodles among two plates, top with half the salmon and sprinkle with the sesame seeds.

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