25 August 2010

Pasta of the Sea

Have you tried sea tangle noodles yet?  Seeing packages of translucent bundles of what looked like rice noodles piqued my curiosity during a recent trip to a Korean market near my sister's house.  These incredibly low-calorie strands are composed of kelp, so they are much more nutrient-dense than wheat or rice pasta.  Despite being sea vegetable-based, the noodles have a neutral flavor, making them ideal for pairing with any number of sauces or dressings.  Left raw, the noodles are fairly crunchy; boiling them briefly softens them a bit, leaving them with a slight bite.  I simply rinsed them under warm water to loosen the bundle, then served them with a warm sauce.
Because the sea tangle noodles were purchased rather spontaneously--a bargain at 99 cents for a 10-serving bag--I hadn't yet devised a plan for how I would prepare them.  My generous hosts for the week (my sister and her boyfriend) are always willing to share whatever contents of their kitchen I can and want to eat, so before heading back out to gather ingredients to dress the noodles, I rummaged through the refrigerator and pantry of my loved ones' home  for sauce components.  Fortunately, a combination of a few on hand ingredients produced a tasty dressing, negating any last-minute shopping excursions.  The following amounts are approximated, based upon the haphazard process by which I threw together this quick and easy dish.
Nutty Sea Tangle Noodles (printable recipe)
Yields one serving

Handful of sea tangle (kelp) noodles, rinsed with warm water and drained
1 T peanut butter, extra crunchy (creamy is fine)
1/2 tsp black bean garlic sauce
1 T mirin
Generous squeeze sriracha, or to taste
3 T to 1/4 c almond milk
Handful of baby spinach, rinsed and spun dry

In a small, microwaveable bowl or saucepan, combine the peanut butter, black bean garlic sauce, mirin, and sriracha, stirring until well-combined.  Stir in almond milk a tablespoon at a time, until the mixture is thick and comparable in consistency to a cream sauce.  Microwave the sauce on high for 45 seconds or heat in saucepan over until it is just warmed through.  Stir the sauce once more, toss with the noodles, and serve over baby spinach.  Enjoy!

9 comments:

  1. great idea - we had kelp noodles in a peanut butter-based sauce last night too!

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  2. I've never tried sea tangle noodles, but they look so interesting- definitely something I'd love to try! :)

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  3. Hi Tiffany,
    I have never heard of these, but they seem like a healthier alternative to the rice or bean thread ones. I will look for these when I get a chance to shop in Portland, OR.
    Thanks for sharing:)Aimee

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  4. I've heard of kelp noodles and have seen them on restaurant menus but have never tried them. I'll look for them on our next excursion to the Asian market. Thanks for writing about them.

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  5. wow they sound great! Never heard of them. And what is black bean garlic sauce???

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  6. Thanks, everyone! I love hearing from you.

    Carissa,
    Black bean garlic sauce is available in most grocery stores, usually jarred. I usually buy the Lee Kum Kee brand, which is most widely available around here. It's an Asian-style fermented black bean-based sauce that is very flavorful, so a little goes a long way.

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  7. Thanks, everyone! I love hearing from you.

    Carissa,
    Black bean garlic sauce is available in most grocery stores, usually jarred. I usually buy the Lee Kum Kee brand, which is most widely available around here. It's an Asian-style fermented black bean-based sauce that is very flavorful, so a little goes a long way.

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  8. I've heard of kelp noodles and have seen them on restaurant menus but have never tried them. I'll look for them on our next excursion to the Asian market. Thanks for writing about them.

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  9. great idea - we had kelp noodles in a peanut butter-based sauce last night too!

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Thanks for reading! Your comments are always welcome and appreciated. :)