This cold plate is a noodly dream fired up with soy, spice, and salt, courtesy of my beloved fish sauce. Since the recipe basically makes itself (heck, you even microwave the crispy shallots), your job is to get the freshest piece of salmon possible (when recipes say “ask your fishmonger” these are the times they’re talking about). Though there are whole blogs devoted to properly slicing sashimi, just use a sharp knife and slice to your desired thickness. Then sit back, eat, and chill.
- 1 cup thinly sliced shallots
- 1 cup canola oil
- 3 ounces wide or thin rice sticks (uncooked rice noodles)
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds, plus more for garnishing
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce
- 2 teaspoons hot chili oil
- Kosher salt to taste
- A three-ounce piece sashimi-grade (as in really fresh and really good) skinless salmon filet
- 1 small avocado
- 1 lime, cut into wedges
- Soy sauce
- Chopped Thai basil, scallions, or cilantro, for garnish
Make the shallots: Scatter the shallots evenly over the surface of an 8 x 8-inch glass dish. Pour the oil over the shallots and microwave on high until the shallots are browned and crisp, 6 to 8 minutes. (Begin checking them at 6 minutes as they can darken quickly). Remove, strain through a fine strainer, drain the shallots on a paper towel, and season with salt. Reserve the shallot oil for another use.
Cook the noodles according to the package directions, then drain and rinse them in cold water. Arrange them on a towel-lined baking sheet or plate to really dry them out (otherwise that water will dilute the flavors of the salad).
Toss the noodles in a medium bowl with the sesame seeds, sesame oil, the fish sauce, and 1 teaspoon of the chili oil. Season with salt to taste (hard to believe, but the noods still need a little salt). Transfer to a serving plate or bowl.
Sharpen the sharpest knife you’ve got (you know you need to – you’re going to be slicing sashimi!). Pat the salmon dry, then use your knife to slice off thin slices that resemble what you get in a sashimi salad at your favorite sushi joint. Then pit and peel the avocado and slice that as you think it would look best in this salad – you’re the boss! Arrange the salmon and avocado on top of the noodles, then drizzle with the remaining teaspoon of hot chili oil and as much soy sauce as you feel like. Garnish with the crispy shallots, herbs, and more toasted sesame seeds.