Saturday, March 22, 2014

Kelp Noodle Salad with Spicy Curry Dressing

I remember watching a cooking demonstration at a grocery store once and the demonstrator added fresh kelp noodles to a stir-fry and I almost screamed out...NOOOOO!  How can you take something so fresh, crunchy and full of interest and turn in into a flat, soggy mess?  Well they I grabbed my bag of kelp noodles and went home to create this fresh, and vibrant dish with lots of flavor and texture.

I used Sea Tangle Kelp Noodles brand and yes, even on the back of their package they recommend you can also use them for a stir-fry, in addition to salads.  Folks, I wouldn't recommend it.  I don't even dress this salad prior to serving and always serve the dressing on the side.  It makes a big difference.  Unlike other sea vegetables such as wakame, arame, dulse, nori, and kombu, kelp noodles have a very neutral flavor and do not taste like the ocean.  So you can pretty much pair them with any sauce.  The best part, all sea vegetables are full of trace minerals, especially iodine, which is an important mineral you should incorporate into your diet if you are vegan.

When you remove the kelp from the bag, give it a good rinse under cold water and drain well.  I then cut the noodles in half just because it's easier to toss with the veggies, but you can leave them long.  For the veggies I used:  thinly sliced carrots, red bell pepper, cucumber, cabbage, green onion and cilantro.  I also added diced baked tofu for protein and raw chopped almonds for crunch.  Bok choy would be a great addition to this salad, as well as diced mango.   

For the dressing, I really didn't measure the ingredients--just threw everything in the blender, except for the oil and then added the oil slowly until emulsified. 

Spicy Curry Dressing
1/2 tsp minced ginger
1-2 tsp Sambal Oelek (depending of how much heat you like)
1-2 tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp agave or maple syrup
2 tbsp almond butter  
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce (for a raw version use Nama Shoyu)
1/4 cup coconut milk
Juice of 1 small lime
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup safflower oil


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