Inspired by the Asian flavors we all love, sesame, citrus and spice, this cold noodle salad recipe is both refreshing and satisfying.
By Mariela Alvarez Toro
The star of this salad is the kelp noodle, a crunchy and raw alternative to traditional noodles. Made using seaweed, sodium alginate, and water, kelp noodles are low in calorie (20 calories per serving) and high in nutrients, especially iodine and calcium. I am not going to try to convince you these look or taste like pasta or vermicelli. Kelp noodles are unique. Their best attribute? Kelp noodles absorb dressing like a sponge, and become tastier with time. My advice, make this recipe a day in advance! Let the salad marinate in this delicious sesame dressing, and devour the following day. The noodles will be softer and tastier then.
While the cilantro and mint are detrimental to making the flavors on this salad come alive, feel free to use whatever you have at hand. Avocado adds creaminess, and carrots crunch, but sweet peas, radishes, cashews, peanuts, and sprouts would be magnificent additions.
- Juice ½ lemon
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tbsp. tahini
- 1 tbsp. agave
- Drizzle sesame oil
- Pinch red chili flakes
- Pinch sea salt
- 6 oz. kelp Noodles (about half a bag)
- 2 carrots, shredded
- Handful cilantro, chopped
- Handful mint leaves, chopped
- Half an avocado
- 1 tbsp. Flax or sesame seeds
- Sesame dressing
- Sweet peas
- Place all ingredients in a bowl and whisk together. Set aside.
- Place noodles in a bowl with hot water and 2 tablespoons lemon juice or white wine vinegar. Let sit for an hour.
- Rinse under hot water. Place noodles in bowl with dressing and a large pinch of salt. Add cilantro, mint, and vegetables. Place in refrigerator for at least for 2 hours, but preferably over night.
- When ready to eat, add avocado, and flax or sesame seeds. Devour.
Recently graduated with from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. She has recently completed "People in Food-Space", an ethnographic study on the cultural production of taste in space. She has also examined post-soviet food production systems and housing projects in Havana, Cuba. Originally from Puerto Rico, Mariela has been living in the United States for eight years. She has involved herself in both teaching and practice, while writing on food at tastyplan.com. Her goal as a food writer is to cook creatively, using the best ingredients to find new flavor combinations every day.