Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Smoked Trout, Edamame and Udon Salad

I'd be the last person, usually, to order that ubiquitous 'Asian' salad found just about anywhere these days. Heavy noodles, over or undercooked vegetables and defrosted prawns just isn't my thing. But after my successful frozen pudding experiment last night (where I proved that frozen gingerbread pudding from Christmas could be thawed, sliced and fried in a little butter and served with custard) - we felt like something a little lighter for lunch.

With half a smoked trout in the fridge, I knew it had to be salad. And then my 2009 promise to actually use all those things in the pantry yielded a packet of organic udon noodles. Something came over me; I suddenly felt that a delicious noodle salad was actually possible and that there was nothing I wanted to eat more. So I came up with this. It made me remember that throwing things together without planning and recipes often yields the best and most surprising dishes.

This is very, very simple, but fresh, cool and light for a hot summer's day (and the Lord knows that we've been enduring very hot days). The noodles are cooked until al dente (can you say that for a noodle?) and combined with some thawed edamame (soy beans), cold, crisp cucumber and the flaked smoked trout. Add chopped mint and coriander, then the whole lot is tossed with a dressing of soy, mirin and fresh ginger and served cold. Very refreshing. This makes a good lunch for two, but can be adjusted very easily to make more or less.

Smoked Trout, Edamame and Udon Salad

2 bundles (or 1 per person) of dried Japanese udon noodles
2 handfuls frozen, cooked edamame (Japanese soy beans in pod), thawed and de-poded
1 larger Lebanese cucumber, halved and sliced
About half a whole smoked trout, skin removed, flesh flaked
Handful each of coriander and mint, roughly chopped

For dressing:
2 tsp Japanese soy
2 tsp mirin (cooking wine)
a tiny dash of sesame oil
1 tsp sweet chilli sauce
3 tsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1 knob of freshly grated ginger (more or less to taste)

Cook noodles according to packet directions. Drain and refresh with cold water. Add to bowl with all other ingredients.

For dressing, combine and whisk all ingredients with fork. Pour over salad and toss gently.

Serve at room temperature, or cold from the fridge.

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