Monday, June 19, 2017

Have You Tried Kelp Noodles?

Sea Tangle brand Kelp Noodles
In my search for grain free products, I recently discovered 'Kelp Noodles'.

Kelp Noodles are a raw noodle made from kelp (a sea vegetable), sodium alginate (sodium salt extracted from brown seaweed) and water. They have a clear, glassy look and out of the package have a crunchy texture. Kelp Noodles are very low in carbohydrates and calories, are fat free and gluten free. They have a neutral taste and can be used in salads, stir fries, hot broths and casseroles. They are a tasty alternative to pasta and rice noodles and when softened retain a unique texture. Best of all, no cooking is required! Just rinse and soak in warm water with an acid... lemon juice or apple cider vinegar and salt to soften them. If they are used in a salad, the acid in the dressing will soften the noodles while they take on the flavor of what ever you add to them. To soften Kelp Noodles; rinse, soak in warm water with 1 tablespoon lemon juice or apple cider vinegar and salt for 30-45 minutes then rinse again. In the salad recipe below, just rinse the noodles, then add the dressing and marinate overnight until softened before adding the vegetables. 

Kelp Noodles can be purchased at Asian Markets and Health Food Stores, in the refrigerated area. Once opened, the unused portion should be kept in water, stored in the fridge.

THAI KELP NOODLE SALAD                   Yield: 6-8 servings
Rice noodles can be used as a substitute... see directions in the *Chef's Note below. 

300 grams kelp noodles - tear or cut into 3-6" lengths
½ English cucumber - cut into 2” long, thin strips
1 medium carrot - coarsely grated
Thai Kelp Noodle Salad
4 green onions - sliced on the diagonal
¼ cup fresh cilantro - chopped coarse
½ cup salted peanuts - chopped coarse
     -for garnish

¼ cup fish sauce
¼ cup rice vinegar
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
2 fresh cloves garlic, minced
1½ Tbsp. fresh squeezed lime juice
1½ Tbsp. light soy sauce
2 tsp. grated fresh ginger root
¼ tsp. Asian chili paste
2½ Tbsp. sesame oil
2 Tbsp. grape seed oil

Rinse the kelp noodles, tear or cut them into 3-6" pieces, place in a large bowl and set aside. 
To make the dressing, whisk together all ingredients, pour over the noodles, cover and refrigerate overnight. Toss and press into the sauce several times so they soften before adding the vegetables. Combine cucumber, carrot, green onion and cilantro in a medium sized bowl. Add vegetable mixture to softened noodles. Toss to coat evenly and marinate for 2 hours. Just prior to serving, garnish with chopped peanuts.

*CHEF'S NOTE: Alternately use 250 grams of rice stick noodles and break in half.
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Add rice noodles and cook 1 minute or until tender. Drain well, rinse with cold water and cool completely. Add cooled noodles to vegetable mixture and pour dressing over salad. Toss to coat evenly and marinate for 2 hours.

Till next time... Bon App├ętit!

Recipe by Sally Rae
Photos by Sally Rae