This Japanese salmon, asparagus and soba salad makes the perfect summer meal – it’s light, bright and full of flavour, and you can have it on the table in under 20 minutes. Low in saturated fat, dairy-free, and with the option to make it gluten-free, this is clean eating at its finest.
For the best results, crank the oven up to its top temperature to give the salmon skin a nice burnished finished. Make sure you have all of your other ingredients chopped and ready to roll. This recipe serves two, but it multiplies easily if you’re feeding a crowd.
3 tbs oyster sauce*
1 tsp sesame oil
2 x 150g salmon fillets
2 bunches young, crunchy asparagus, trimmed and halved
Olive oil, to drizzle
2 bunches soba noodles* (200g)
1 cup mesclun (mixed salad leaves)
1/2 cup coriander leaves
1/2 avocado, diced
Green chilli & ginger dressing
1 long green chilli, finely chopped
2cm ginger, grated
1/4 cup (60ml) soy sauce*
1 tbs rice wine vinegar
2 tsp maple syrup
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp sesame oil
Preheat the oven to 250°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Place a large saucepan of water on the stove and bring to the boil.
Combine the oyster sauce and sesame oil in a bowl. Add the salmon and turn to coat in the marinade (you can leave this for up to 30 minutes if desired).
Place the salmon on the tray and bake for 5-8 minutes until the flesh is just cooked and the skin is blistered (feel free to cook the salmon more or less, depending on your tastes). At the same time, spread the asparagus on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, then bake for 5 minutes or until just tender.
Meanwhile, cook the soba noodles according to packet instructions (around 4 minutes) until just al dente. Drain, then rinse under cold water. Set aside.
Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl, then taste and adjust flavours to suit – it should be a punchy blend of salty from the soy, sharp from the vinegar and lemon, spicy from the chilli and ginger, and a hint of sweetness from the maple syrup.
In a large bowl, toss the soba and asparagus with the salad leaves, coriander and avocado. Drizzle with the dressing and toss to combine, then flake over the salmon and gently stir through – you still want lovely chunks of salmon, so take care not to break it up too much. Alternatively, divide the noodle mixture between 2 bowls, then top each with a salmon fillet.
* To make a gluten-free version of this Japanese salmon, asparagus and soba salad, switch the oyster and soy sauces for tamari, and be sure to buy 100% buckwheat soba noodles.