You never know when inspiration will strike. I seem to like the absurd challenge of figuring out what to make for dinner when I get home and root through the fridge and freezer.
This time, the carrots, carrot greens and a summer cabbage made me think “stir fry”, and the salmon made me think “crispy skin”. Sweet potato noodles that I’d picked up in a past life at a Korean supermarket finished it off. Though since my go-to Korean supermarket has been demolished thanks to the addition of a new train line in London, I’m not sure where to go to replace them. (Any suggestions out there? …Bueller?)
If you haven’t tried sweet potato noodles (in Korean: dang myun), they’re like glass noodles but thicker. They’re chewier and slipperier than wheat noodles, and are really light in flavor so you can enhance them with whatever you want – plus they’re gluten free!
I’ve half-heartedly tried meal planning before, but it just doesn’t seem to work. Sometimes plans come up, or Main Ingredient is missing or has gone off…
But maybe that’s how it should be. I don’t think I would’ve thought of this in front of a google doc spreadsheet. I needed to see to be inspired. Thank you, wizened carrots of the crisper drawer.
On the Counter
320 g (12 oz) salmon, scaled (80 g/3 oz piece per serving)
1 tbsp neutral oil, such as peanut, rapeseed or sunflower
2 large carrots (about 300 g or 2 cups)
2 big handfuls of leafy green vegetables, your choice
1 medium onion (about 110 g or 1 cup)
2 cloves garlic
200 g (7 oz) Korean sweet potato noodles
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp red chili flakes
1 tbsp naturally-brewed soy sauce (Kikkoman is my preferred)
What to Do
Combine the sesame oil, chili flakes and soy sauce, and set it aside.
Slice the carrots into matchstick sized pieces, and chop the onion. Chop or tear the greens into bite-sized pieces.
Pat the salmon filets dry and lightly salt them on each side. Make sure it’s been scaled or you definitely won’t want to eat the skin.
Heat the oil in a flat, cast iron or non-stick pan on medium heat until shimmering and hot enough to make a drop of water jump out.
Place the salmon in, skin-side down. Don’t touch it for at least 4 or 5 minutes. You’ll need patience. When it’s ready, you won’t have to put in any effort to get the salmon and its skin out of pan. If it’s not easy to pick up with a spatula, leave it alone. That’s how you get the best crispy skin.
Once your skin is crispy, flip it over and cook for another 2 minutes. Set it aside, covered, or in a low-heat oven.
Cook the noodles in boiling water for 5-6 minutes, until they’re a texture you’re happy with. Immediately rinse them in cool water to stop the cooking process.
While the noodles are cooking, stir fry the vegetables in the pan you used for the salmon. It should take about the same amount of time to cook as the noodles. At the very end, add in most of the spicy soy dressing, and combine it with the vegetables. Save the rest to drizzle on top of the salmon.
Once everything is done, you can mix the noodles into the saucy stir fry, and give your crispy skin salmon a place of pride on top.