it’s Sunday and after a week of traveling i’m back in my beautiful, deep~blue sky Dallas! After traveling, I love coming home and making this colorful and clean Vietnamese noodle salad after days of eating out. it takes a little extra time to prepare the broth, cut the veggies and sauté the tempeh, but so worth knowing you’re doing something right for you and your family’s health! While away from home we tend to rely on restaurant food and take out, which, even in the healthiest of realms is still usually full of salt and unhealthy fats. After a few days you might feel sluggish, this is a sign your body is out of balance. Coming home and cooking clean, nourishing homemade foods is the best way to reset your digestive system and create more balance.
For this meal, I simply blanched the vegetables for two minutes each, crisped up some tempeh and topped with a beautiful asian dressing. so fresh, so clean, and so good! I used rice noodles in this dish but you could swap for brown rice, soba noodles or any spiralized veg noodle (daikon would be amazing!) i used tempeh and cashew as my protein but poached salmon or other protein will work beautifully as well (see below the recipe for some hints on poaching salmon) cheers to you keeping your goals, dreams and drive in balance with your health!
Fresh Noodle Salad
7-10 oz rice or soba noodles or 2 cups cooked rice (brown or white)
1 package or tempeh sliced 1/8 thick
1 tablespoon coconut or other high-heat oil
1 teaspoon shoyu, tamari or soy sauce
1 teaspoon mirin
1/4 cup filtered water
1 cup carrots cut into matchsticks (purchase pre-cut to save time)
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
1 cup broccoli or asparagus cut into small pieces
1 cup napa cabbage sliced thin
1 cup red cabbage sliced thin
1 cup seedless cucumber, cut into matchstick
1/2 cup radish, sliced
1 cup chopped toasted cashews
1 tablespoon black or white toasted sesame seeds
Optional: any vegetable can be used or swapped, keep in mind to use local, seasonal items that provide a rainbow of color on your plate.
Asian style dressing
3 Tablespoons shoyu, tamari or soy sauce
3 Tablespoons mirin (look for brands that do not add sugar)
2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar or rice vinegar
1 Tablespoon chopped garlic
1 Teaspoon sesame oil
1 cup hot water
Optional: instead of hot water you can use a dashi stock, to make this boil water then add to to 1 dried shiitake mushroom, 1” kombu strip, 1” chopped fresh ginger. Let sit for 15 minutes or more, strain then follow recipe
- Make your noodles. Rinse well and drain until not sticky
- Make your dressing. Boil 1 cup of filtered water. Pour over 1 dried shiitake mushroom, kombu and ginger. Let sit for at least 15 minutes. Strain and add the water to a small sauce pan with the shoyu, mirin, rice vinegar and garlic. Warm the water/shoyu mixture for 5 minutes (do not boil) then let cool slightly. Once cooled whisk in the sesame oil.
- For the tempeh: Heat a non-stick pan on medium high heat. Add coconut oil. Once hot, add sliced tempeh, cook minutes or until browned on both sides. Take off heat and add 1 teaspoon shoyu, mirin and water. Gently stir and set aside
- For the vegetables. Heat a small pot of hot water to a boil. Add a pinch of salt. One at a time for 2 minutes each, blanch the carrots, white cabbage, yellow bell, broccoli, red cabbage. Let cool slightly.
- To serve. In individual bowl add 1 cup noodles. Top in a circle with the carrots, broccoli, yellow bell, red cabbage, tempeh, fresh sliced radish, cucumber, white cabbage. Spoon on the sauce. Garnish with cashews and black sesame seeds
How to poach salmon! Here is a little secret for poaching the perfect salmon. You will want to triple the initial dashi stock we created in the beginning. Here is what you do. In a pan Add 1 quart of water with 3 dried shiitake mushrooms and 2″ kombu and 2″ chunk of ginger and 1-2 garlic cloves. Bring to a soft boil, cover and let sit 20 minutes. Strain (keep the water, discard the other elements.) Remove the 1 cup water for the dressing. Place the remaining water into a shallow pan and add your salmon, trout or other fish. Bring to a soft simmer, cover and cook for approximately 6-8 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish. Remove the fish from the pan as soon as it’s done. Use in place of the tempeh.