Thai Noodle Salad with Glazed Salmon
Remember when I shared this seared sockeye salmon with green chile adobo sauce (one of my most favorite recipes to date)? Well, I’m back to share an equally tasty, completely different salmon recipe.
As I mentioned in that post, I’m thrilled to be partnering with Copper River salmon this year to talk all things sustainable, wild Alaskan salmon. It is a topic that I feel incredibly passionate about, and one that I’m honored to be able to share on this platform.
Exactly one month from today, I’ll be starting the long journey to Cordova, Alaska to meet small fisherman families represented by Copper River, explore the wilderness of Alaska, and harvest wild sockeye salmon straight from the source. I can hardly wait.
I have a strong inkling it will be one of those life-changing trips and I cannot wait to share the experience with you! In the meantime, let’s chat all things Thai noodle salad and glazed salmon.
Salmon’s rich and robust flavor profile stands up so well to Asian flavors and ingredients, and I couldn’t help but go in that direction with today’s recipe.
This recipe was prepared with Prince William Sound sockeye salmon, which is harvested during the months of June and July from glacial fed waters. It is stunningly deep red in color (see picture below!), has a firm texture, and offers high levels of healthy omega-3 oils.
The salmon is brushed with a simple glaze comprising of roasted red chili paste. This paste, which is made from fried garlic, shallots, chilies, dried shrimp, and many other ingredients, is traditionally known as nahm prik pow.
You’d be able to find a more authentic version in any Asian super market or specialty store, but in a pinch, this Thai kitchen brand works well (and is what I used to create and test this recipe – so be mindful if using a different brand, as they may vary in intensity and strength!)
It is not a flavor that can be easily or equally duplicated by a substitute, so I don’t recommend leaving it out or substituting it with anything else! Despite the name, it is actually relatively mild in heat, so don’t be intimidated by the quantities shown in the recipe.
When diluted, it makes for a wonderful, EASY glaze for salmon fillets, as it’s slightly sweet flavor (palm sugar is a traditional ingredient of it) makes for great caramelization when pan-seared.
I chose to pair the glazed salmon with a Thai noodle salad made with dry rice noodles. The salad is flavored with all my favorite trifectas of Thai cooking: fish sauce (a must!), freshly squeezed lime juice, cilantro, basil (Thai is best), mint leaves, scallions, and chopped peanuts.
Many of the same ingredients that flavor my all-time favorite Thai dish, green papaya salad, but I digress.
My biggest tip: don’t be scared of fish sauce! It is salty and funky, and I love it. The more, the better in my humble opinion.
Thai Noodle Salad with Glazed Salmon
Thai Noodle Salad:
- 8 ounces stir-fry rice noodles
- 1½ tablespoons roasted red chili paste
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce plus more for serving
- ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon grapeseed or other neutral oil
- 1 large shallot thinly sliced
- 4 large garlic cloves minced
- 1 cup chopped baby bok choy leaves roughly 2 heads
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) freshly squeezed lime juice plus wedges for serving
- 3 scallions, green parts only thinly sliced
- large handful fresh cilantro leaves roughly chopped
- large handful fresh basil leaves, preferably Thai torn
- small handful fresh mint leaves torn
- ⅓ cup chopped dry roasted, unsalted peanuts
- 1 tablespoon roasted red chili paste
- 1 teaspoon grapeseed or other neutral oil plus more for cooking
- 4 (4-5 ounce) wild Alaskan sockeye salmon fillets, skin-on
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- Prepare the noodles: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the noodles, stir, and cook until just al dente. Drain well, rinse under cold water until cool, and set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the chili paste, fish sauce, sugar, and two tablespoons cold water. Set aside. In a large non-stick skillet or wok, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Sauté the shallots for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds or so, or until fragrant. Add the bok choy leaves to the pan, and stir until just beginning to wilt. Add the cooled noodles, and the chili paste mixture. Avoid stirring; allow the noodles to caramelize slightly in the pan before stirring gently. Add one tablespoon of lime juice. Transfer the noodles to a large serving platter or bowl, gently stir in the remaining lime juice, scallions, cilantro leaves, basil, mint, and peanuts. Season to taste, adding more fish sauce and lime juice as desired. Set aside to cool slightly while you prepare the salmon.
- Prepare the salmon: In a small bowl, whisk together the red chili paste, oil, and 1 teaspoon cold water until mostly smooth. Brush the tops of the salmon fillets liberally with the paste mixture. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
- Heat roughly one tablespoon neutral cooking oil over medium-high heat in a large (12-inch) non-stick skillet. Add the salmon fillets, skin-side down, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes (time will vary depending on the thickness of your salmon fillets – my filets were about 1-inch thick). Flip the fillets and continue cooking until the flesh is slightly opaque in the center and the the salmon is caramelized, about 1 to 2 minutes. Distribute the Thai noodle salad, top with a piece of glazed salmon, and serve. Garnish with lime wedges for squeezing.
Tips for Success:
- An instant thermometer inserted in center of fillets should read between 120ºF – 130ºF. Sockeye salmon dries out more easily than other varieties of wild salmon, and is best served medium-rare.
20 Comments on “Thai Noodle Salad with Glazed Salmon”
Thank you !! I included this recipe on my December Menu Plan Recipe Roundup!! It’s so tasty!
I was recently diagnosed with a lot of food allergies, and must now eat a gluten-free diet. This recipe caught my eye because of the use of rice noodles. I am looking forward to trying it, but I am also allergic to peanuts. They have such a distinct flavor, so I was not sure which nut I should substitute. I was thinking hazelnuts or almonds, but would love to know what you might recommend. Thanks! and I will let you know how it comes out.
I think that it could be good with cashews!
Just a question, step 2 starts with mixing fishsauce, chilipaste, limejuice, sugar and water. But i cant find where to use this mixture for (as IT is not the mixture used die the salmon). I think it could be used as dressing….. But am i right?
Yikes! So sorry. That was an error and I appreciate you catching it and letting me know! It should be added to the pan with the cold noodles (not as a dressing). Hope this helps and clears things up! Thanks for the feedback Marjolein.
That’s exactly what we ended up doing! We just had it for dinner and both really loved the flavours. The chilli paste gives a beautiful deep and warm flavour! Definitely going to be add new pantry staple!
I just fixed the recipe as well, so it is clear!
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salmon 🙂 i really like that fish so much! your recipe make me so hunger. I must have to try this recipe coming weekend, can’t wait. Nice share thanks.
Look at that caramelized crust! It looks amazing! Have fun in Alaska, it sounds like it will be an incredible trip!!!
Gorgeous photos and wonderful recipe. Can’t wait to try it! The prince William Sound Sockeye Salmon looks delicious and I am sure it is super healthy! Love the Thai flavors! Yum!
That trip is going to be SO much fun and that salmon looks absolutely gorgeous!! There’s nothing I love more than a fresh and wild bright orange piece of salmon 🙂
I’m so excited! Thanks so much Sues!
What a gorgeous piece of fish! I love salmon, so I eat it often. With a family, I can’t always get the best quality filet with the rate we eat fish, but I like to spring for some every so often. This is definitely the perfect recipe for those moments. I can’t wait to hear about your trip!
Yeah, I understand what you mean! I basically have decided to cut down how often I eat it, simply because I love the good stuff so much. That’s my attitude when it comes to meat too, and it helps keep the grocery bills better 🙂 Thanks Amanda!
You’re always my go-to for salmon recipes. My wife doesn’t eat fish, so consequently I don’t eat too much fish. Usually when I do, it’s out at a restaurant. However, every now and then I spring for a beautiful salmon (although nothing ever quite as beautiful as the one in this post). I feel an inkling that this will be happening very soon 🙂
The Alaska trip sounds like so much fun, and I can’t wait to see the photos!!
Thank you so much Todd! That means so much to me. Yeah, I totally know what you mean – I’m not sure if I Would make ___ if my husband didn’t like it, so it makes perfect sense to me. Thankfully, most restaurants carry great quality fish these days too, and I’ve been seeing Copper River salmon on a lot of menus this summer!
I can’t wait to go there, and I’m sure I will annoy everyone with an exorbitant amount of photos, haha! Per usual.
Please annoy away!! Picking up ingredients for this today 🙂
This looks really good!