Cold Ramen Salad & Grilled Teriyaki Salmon
Anybody who has ever had a great bowl of ramen knows how addictive it can be. In most of the western world ramen is nothing more than cheap dry noodles and a packet of sodium rich flavoring. Nowhere in the vicinity of true Japanese ramen. So for anyone keeping track, yes this is my second post in a week for Japanese food, and specifically ramen, because quite frankly, I’m an addict.
Ramen and soup are usually the go-to pair, but cold ramen noodles actually make an amazing salad. Of course with the nice weather on the way, many barbeques have been dusted off and cleaned, and what goes better with a grilled piece of, well anything, than a cool refreshing salad. My summer salads are typically pasta, potato, quinoa, or caesar, but since I’ve been plagued by this ramen bug, I though it only fitting to keep the salad complimentary of the protein.
Salmon is my first choice for teriyaki, though oddly enough I’m generally not a big fan of salmon. I suppose living in Norway, and having grown up in eastern Canada, salmon has just always been available and gets boring very quickly. However, after marinading the salmon in a teriyaki marinade for several hours, then rolling it in sesame seeds, and finally grilling it on the barbeque, it takes on a whole new life. However, chicken, beef, or pork are all very suitable substitutions for salmon.
Just like most Asian foods, striking the perfect balance of sweet, salty, sour, and occasionally spicy is absolute key. Teriyaki tends to be on the sweeter side of the scales, but that’s also what makes it the perfect grilling sauce/marinade. That sugar is scorched and caramelized adding a pleasant bitterness to the mix. Below are the recipes for both the cold ramen salad and teriyaki salmon.
Cold Ramen Salad
- 3 Packages of instant ramen noodles (for fresh ramen, see note below)
- ½ head Chinese cabbage, shredded
- Small head of broccoli, florets only
- 1 small carrots, julienned
- 1 stalk of celery, julienned
- 3 scallions, thinly sliced
- 12-15 snow peas, halved
- ½ cup cilantro, chopped
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
For the dressing:
- ½ cup water
- 1/4 cup soya sauce
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 3 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 kafir lime leaves, crushed
*Note: If you prefer to use fresh ramen, you can find the recipe here. Use 1 batch for this cold ramen salad.
1. Boil the fresh or instant noodles for 1 minute. Drain and run under cold water until noodles are completely cool. Let drain while prepping the salad and making the dressing.
2. To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a medium size bowl and mix well.
3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the noodles, veggies, cilantro, sesame seeds, and dressing. Toss well.
Serve cold with lime wedges.
Grilled Teriyaki Salmon
For the Marinade:
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup soy sauce
- 5 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp mirin
- 1 tbsp chopped ginger
- 1 tbsp chopped garlic, optional
- 1 scallion chopped, optional
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- ½ cup sesame seeds
- ½ cup black sesame seeds
1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil over med-high heat. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
2. Place salmon in a plastic zipper bag and pour teriyaki sauce over. Zip the bag and shake. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, turning the bag at least once. Marinade longer if possible.
3. On a plate, spread the sesame seeds so both are well mixed. Take each portion of salmon and roll it in the seeds. Put on a clean plate and grill.
4. To grill, preheat BBQ to 400°F/205°C, high heat. Brush oil on the grates. Reduce heat to medium and place the salmon on the grill. Cook for 4 minutes per side. Serve warm.