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Asian Noodle Salad with Sesame-Crusted Salmon

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Sesame–crusted salmon, slow-roasted to perfection, pairs beautifully with this Asian noodle salad. Coating the salmon with a mixture of black and white sesame seeds adds a dramatic flair to the presentation. Look for black sesame seeds in the bulk-foods section of natural foods stores or Asian markets. Store sesame seeds in the freezer to keep them from going rancid.

Yield: SERVES 4


  • 3 packages (2 ounces each) rice vermicelli (bean threads)
  • 4 salmon fillets (about 5 ounces each), skin and pin bones removed (see Notes)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • 4 teaspoons white sesame seeds
  • 4 teaspoons black sesame seeds
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons Asian sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons peeled and minced fresh ginger
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and julienned
  • 1 large stalk celery, julienned
  • 2 green onions, including green tops, cut into matchsticks
  • ½ cup packed fresh cilantro leaves


Preheat the oven to 250°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Soak the rice vermicelli in a large bowl of warm water until softened, about 20 minutes. Drain well in a colander, shaking the colander a few times to make sure all the water is removed.

Rub each salmon fillet with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt. On a small plate, combine the white and black sesame seeds. Dip the top side of each salmon fillet in the sesame seeds and place on the prepared baking sheet, seed side up. Bake the salmon until the fat between the layers begins to turn whitish and opaque and the fish flakes slightly, or an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers between 125° and 130°F, about 20 minutes.

WHILE THE SALMON IS BAKING, MAKE THE SALAD: In a large bowl, combine the soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, and ginger. Add the rice vermicelli and toss until the noodles are well coated with the dressing. Add the carrot, celery, green onions, and cilantro. Toss to combine.

When the salmon is done, divide the noodle mixture among 4 entrée plates. Place a salmon fillet in the center, on top of the noodles, and serve immediately.


Removing Pin Bones

Run your fingertips along the flesh side of the fillet until you feel the pin bones. Using either clean needle-nose pliers (I keep a pair in the kitchen precisely for this use) or fish tweezers, grasp the end of each bone and pull it straight out and away from the flesh to remove it. If you try to pull them upwards or backwards it tends to tear the fleshSuggested wine: riesling; sauvignon blanc

© 2005 Diane Morgan

Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

Nutritional information is based on 1/8 teaspoon of added salt per serving.

586kcal (29%)
99mg (10%)
9mg (15%)
161mcg RAE (5%)
78mg (26%)
1459mg (61%)
7g (34%)
36g (55%)
2mg (12%)

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