Peanutty Salmon Lettuce Wraps
Why we love it:
- 11⁄4 Tablespoons Kosher Salt (divided)
- 8 ounces Rice Noodles
- 2 teaspoons Vegetable Oil (divided, or other mild oil, avocado, coconut, etc.)
- 11⁄4 pounds Salmon (filets)
- 1⁄2 cup Peanut Butter
- 1⁄3 cup Soy Sauce (or tamari)
- 1⁄3 cup Sesame Oil
- 1⁄4 cup Rice Vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons Chili Paste (like sambal oelek)
- 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Fresh Ginger
- 2 cloves Garlic
- 1 English Cucumber
- 1⁄4 cup Roasted Peanuts (chopped)
- 3 Tablespoons White Sesame Seeds
- 1⁄4 bunch Cilantro (washed and coarsely chopped, even stems)
- 1 head Butter Lettuce (or romaine leaves work too)
Bring a large pasta pot of water to a boil. Add all but a hefty pinch of salt. Once boiling add the rice noodles and cook according to the package instructions (typically it’s only 4-5 minutes). Drain the noodles in a large colander and immediately run under cold water until they’re cold and thus no longer cooking.
*Careful not to over cook, rice noodles become tacky and clump easily if over boiled.
Once cold, turn noodles out into a large bowl and drizzle with about ½ of the vegetable oil tossing gently to coat.
While noodles are cooking, prep the salmon. Pat the top of the filets dry and sprinkle with the remaining pinch of salt.
In a large non-stick sauté pan, add the remaining oil and heat over medium-high. Once shimmering, add the salmon, top side down and cook for about 5-6 minutes. A nice browned crust should form making it easy to flip. Cook the other side for 3-5 minutes to cook fish through. When done, remove to a plate to cool a bit.
Use a large fork to flake the fish into large chunks. Either toss these with the noodles now, or keep separate to plate more intentionally.
Meanwhile, combine all of the sauce ingredients in a mason jar or glass bowl. The ingredients are all of the: peanut butter, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, chili paste, brown sugar.
Mince the ginger, or use a grater to get it really fine. Add to the sauce.
Microwave the sauce in the bowl for a total of 1.5 minutes, in 30 second bursts. Between bursts, carefully remove the bowl (it will be hot!) and whisk it.
If you don’t have a microwave, just bring the sauté to a simmer in a small pot while whisking.
Wash and slice the cucumber into thin rounds or half moons. Add to noodles.
5. TOSS TO TASTE
Toss the warm sauce, to taste, over the noodles and combine. Add the chopped peanuts and sesame seeds. Wash and pat dry the cilantro and chop it up, including the stems, toss it in.
Remove the core from the lettuce with a paring knife. Wash the leaves and cut them as needed to make the size wrappers you like. Pat them dry with a linen or paper towel.
Serve lettuce cups with noodles, sauce and extra nuts or cilantro to taste. If you didn’t stir the salmon in, generously place it on top and spoon on more sauce.
*If you have extra sauce, store in the fridge for up to a month. Tastes great on roasted veggies, fish, grain bowls, as a dip for raw veggies.