My dogs were going crazy tonight. Observe the following Exorcist-like scene that occurred in our kitchen just a few hours ago:
No, they weren’t possessed. And those strings that they are trying to catch? Kelp noodles. They LOVE kelp noodles.
The best thing since sliced bread. And unlike sliced bread, it’s nutrient-dense, full of minerals, high in calcium, and ridiculously low in calories. This whole package, which I used tonight, has only 18 calories. Not per serving, folks. Per package.
Its uses? While I’ve seen others use it for pasta dishes, I find the texture of the noodles to be too similar to rice noodles (or for those fellow Koreans out there, chapchae noodles) for me to smother them with a cream or tomato-based sauce. I like my zucchini noodles for pastas. For kelp noodles, I like to go Asian. Tonight’s dish is my version of a raw Korean chapchae that even your meat-loving non-raw Korean mother would approve of:
1 package of kelp noodles*
1 bunch of kale (I used collards but recommend kale for this recipe)
1 cup red cabbage, shredded
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup dried wakame
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 red onion, chopped
5 tablespoons of Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
1-2 tablespoons of toasted sesame oil (makes everything taste Asian!)
Optional toppings: nori strips and hemp seeds
*Usually sold in health food stores. For those fortunate to live in San Francisco, you can find this at Whole Foods and Rainbow Grocery.
Step 1: Cut up kale
Wash the kale* and pat dry. Cut into one inch strips. Set aside the stems for juicing.
*I ran out of kale today and was too lazy to go back to the store, so I used collards for this recipe. It turned out okay but it’s so much better with kale.
Step 2: Salt and Massage Kale
See post on massaging.
Notice the difference in the kale/collards after a good massage. Even greens need to relax once in a while!
Step 3: Rinse and prep kelp noodles
Rinse the kelp noodles well.
Once the noodles are rinsed well, soak them in warm water for a few minutes. The water should be hot enough to soften the noodles but not so hot that you can’t stick your fingers in without burning your skin.
Let the noodles soak for a good 3-5 minutes. Periodically check in on them to see if you should add a bit more hot water to keep the water warm. After a few minutes, the noodles should have softened up.
Step 4: Add veggies
You can really add any veggies you have to this dish. I happened to have red cabbage and red bell pepper lying around so I added those tonight, but any veggie should work for this dish. Make it colorful!
Step 5: Add noodles
Rinse the noodles well and squeeze out any excess water. Add to the bowl of goodies.
Step 6: Soak and add wakame
This is optional. I like adding wakame but my husband thinks this dish tastes better without. If you want to add extra nutrition to this already nutrient-dense dish, go for it.
Soak the wakame in cold water for 1-2 minutes.
Once the wakame has rehydrated, rinse it well and squeeze out any excess water. Add to the bowl of veggies and noodles.
Step 7: Add seasonings and toss well
Add the Bragg’s Liquid Aminos and sesame oil. Here’s what they look like:
Step 8: Put in a big bowl and top with nori strips and hemp seeds (optional)
This will make four decent-sized dinner portions or two ridiculously large portions for two gluttons (we went with the latter, although we did have to share this with our
possessed kelp-loving dogs). I did a quick back-of-the-envelope calculation on the calorie content of this entire dish (all four/two servings) – the whole thing (before nori and hemp seeds) has 410 calories (195 of which are from the sesame oil).