Super simple sesame-shiitake kelp noodles covered in creamy, homemade peanut sauce and topped with warm sesame shiitake mushrooms.
This kelp noodle salad combines chilled noodles in a creamy peanut dressing with hot-off-the-stove sesame mushrooms. The combination of flavors and textures is so nice, and it only takes about 20 minutes to make!
What are kelp noodles made from?
If you're new to kelp noodles, prepare to become obsessed. They're made from seaweed, so you might be wondering what they taste like. Don't worry! There is no fishy flavor to them at all. They taste totally neutral.
The kelp noodles that I usually buy contain water, kelp, and sodium alginate. Sodium alginate is a thickener derived from seaweed.
These noodles have a somewhat firmer texture than grain-based pasta, with a pleasant "snap" when you bite into them.
How to prepare them
You can use kelp noodles straight out of the package. They have a delightful, firm texture this way.
To soften kelp noodles, you can soak them in hot water for 10-15 minutes before preparing them, like you do with rice noodles. Whether you do that or not in this recipe is totally up to your personal preferences.
Since you don't have to cook them, kelp noodles are much faster to make than other noodles. No boiling or straining. Just drain the liquid from the bag, cut them up, and toss together a meal in a flash.
According to the nutritional information on the package I bought, a four-ounce serving has:
- 6 calories (That isn't a typo.)
- 15 percent of your daily calcium
- 4 percent of your iron for the day
- 4 percent of your daily fiber requirement
Where to Buy Kelp Noodles
You can find kelp noodles at some grocery stores. I've seen them at Whole Foods, for example.
For this salad, I ordered my kelp noodles online. They're can be a bit pricey, but they're handy to have on-hand for busy days when you just don't have time to cook. If you're on a tight budget, think of them as a sometimes convenience food.
Y'all, this salad could not be easier to make.
Start by cutting your bundle of noodles in half. These noodles tend to be super long, so cutting in half makes them easier to wrangle while you're eating them.
Toss the cut noodles into a bowl with shredded carrots and green onions. You can save time here by purchasing pre-shredded carrots rather than shredding by hand. The prep time assumes that you did this.
Now, it's time to make my easy, blender peanut dressing! Put all of the sauce ingredients into the blender, puree, and pour it over the noodle-veggie mixture. Toss it to coat, and stick the noodles in the fridge to chill.
While the noodles chill in the fridge, saute sliced shiitake mushrooms in in toasted sesame oil with a sprinkling of sea salt.
When the mushrooms finish cooking, it's time to serve! Divide the chilled noodles between four bowls. Top each bowl with the warm mushrooms and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.
Sesame Shiitake Kelp Noodles Recipe
For the salad
- 1 12 ounce package kelp noodles - cut in half
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 2 green onions - chopped (green parts only)
For the peanut dressing
For the sesame mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 3 cups shiitake mushrooms - sliced
- pinch of sea salt
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- Toss the noodles, carrots, and green onions together in a large bowl, separating the noodles as much as you can.
- Combine the peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar, lemon juice, water, hot sauce, and ginger in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Taste and add extra Sriracha, if you feel like it’s not hot enough for your taste.
- Toss the noodles in the dressing and set them in the fridge to chill until you’re ready to serve.
- Heat the sesame oil in a large pan on medium heat. Add the mushrooms and salt, and cook, stirring frequently, until they soften, about 5-7 minutes. You may need to add a little bit of extra oil by the teaspoon, if things get dry. Transfer to a plate with a clean dish towel or napkin on it, so any extra oil can drain off.
- Divide the noodle/sauce mixture between 4 bowls. Top the whole thing with the mushrooms, sprinkle on the sesame seeds, and serve.