Cold noodles make me think of pasta salad. And just the idea of pasta salad makes me think, “Ick.”
Why? I’m not sure, but I think I’ve been wandering around looking for a good cold noodle salad in all the wrong places. I’ve wandered the salad bars, but came up with nothing. Just mushy, limp, lame spirals of noodle and diced vegetables of undetermined origin.
“Is that a tomato or a sweet pepper?” I’ve wondered. “I don’t know. It’s doused in so much dressing, it’s hard to tell.” Ugh, it’s like dating, isn’t it? “Is that guy in the baseball cap truly a decent human being? Hard to say just by looking.”
I have bad news for the single ladies and gentlemen out there. Finding the man or woman you’re meant to be with is never the end of The Search. Life is a hunt for the perfect relationships. Whether they’re about finding the right life partner, business partner, “mom friend” or – in the case of this post – cold noodle salad.
One place I’ve found remarkable friendships is via Twitter. Especially since I had kids, Twitter has been a lifeline to My Former Life and The Real World. (More on that some other time.)
I met Jenna on the social media platform about five or six years(!) ago. We share an intense love of food. Jenna often (is “often” an understatement?) posts photos of the delectable dishes she devours from D.C. to Paris to San Francisco and many locations in between. More than once I’ve found inspiration in my own kitchen from the meals she shares on Twitter and Instagram.
Most recently, she posted a picture of a simple salad she got from Galley, and it changed the way I feel about cold noodle dishes forever. For. EVER. I modified the original dish, and now I share it with you.
Cold Soba Noodles with Salmon, Kale & Avocado
- soba noodles
- salmon fillets
- kale or spinach
- teriyaki sauce
- rice vinegar
- sesame oil
- canola or olive oil
- soy sauce
- slivered almonds
|Boil soba noodles according to package directions. Drain and cool.|
|While water and noodles boil, bake salmon with a good drizzle of teriyaki sauce on top in a 400-degree oven for about 10 minutes for every inch of thickness. (You can also marinate the salmon in teriyaki beforehand if you prefer.) Most center-cut salmon fillets will cook in about 12 to 14 minutes. If the fish flakes easily with a fork, it’s ready. Break the salmon into pieces and allow to cool.|
|In the same pan you cooked your salmon, wilt a bunch of kale or spinach and set aside.|
|In a separate bowl, whisk together rice vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, lime juice, and a bit more teriyaki sauce. Taste the mixture as you go until you’re satisfied with the balance of flavors.|
|Add the soba noodles, salmon, and kale to the bowl with diced avocado and slivered almonds. Combine well. Taste again and adjust flavors as needed. Store covered in refrigerator and enjoy within a couple of days.|
There are so many ways you can modify this cold noodle dish. Switch out the soba for other kinds of wheat noodles. Add cooked asparagus or broccoli. Use walnuts or peanuts instead of almonds. Add sesame seeds.
It’s full of omega-3 fatty acids and other healthy fats, protein, carbohydrates, and more nutrients that make it a uniquely filling meal.
Are you #TeamColdNoodle? Did this dish change your mind about pasta salads or just validate what you’ve known all along?