Jordan has a lot of Italian friends. I`m not sure why or how he, being half Portuguese and half British, got in with this group of guys but any way he did. And while they may all be upstanding citizens with no mob connections they, without fail, always know a guy who knows a guy.
We know a guy who knows a guy who can fix our plugged drain, another who can build us a bookshelf, someone who give us fresh tomatoes in the summertime, and someone who makes their own prosciutto in their backyard shed, and yet another who sometimes give us fish.
Which is how several beautiful black cod and an alarmingly large piece of halibut appeared in my appeared in my fridge last week. They had never been frozen. They were unbelievably fresh. I was unbelievably happy.
So, while I wrecked my eyebrow tweezers plucking out pin bones, I thought about summer. About the sun pouring through the window, about fresh veggies, and all things green. I thought about hiking, which made me think about canoeing, which made me think about bikinis which made me think that perhaps we should eat a salad with this piece of fish.
But here,s the problem with salads: I always think their great until an hour later when I’m super hungry again.
So instead of just veggies, I made a Vietnamese noodle salad, with edamame, and peanuts, and cucumbers, and sprouts. And of course, on top in it`s place of honor, the most incredible buttery, soft piece of halibut imaginable.
Vietnamese Noodle Salad with Halibut
Don’t worry if halibut is out of your price range, it’s out of mine nine times out of ten. Just use any kind of white fish, cod, talapia, snapper, whatever looks good and fresh at your market will be delicious here.
2 fillets of halibut
Juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp Soy Sauce
1 tsp Fish Sauce
Oil for frying
Half a package of rice noodles, or rice stick noodles
1 cup Edamame, shelled
5 green onions, slices thinly on a bias
1 cup Bean Sprouts
1 cup Pea Shoots
Half a Cucumber, cut into quarters lengthwise and then cut on a bias.
Half a Cup Peanuts
A big handful of Cilantro
A handful of Thai Basil
1tbsp Lime Juice
2 tsp Soy Sauce
1 tsp Fish Sauce
2 tbsp Peanut Oil, Canola Oil, or Olive Oil
Preheat your oven to 400F
Get a big kettle on the stove and bring to a boil.
Prepare your Fish
Put the lime, soy, fish sauce and halibut into a ziploc bag and shake it up a little to disperse everything. Set aside. This can be done up to 2 hours in advance.
Cut up your veggies, pull apart your herbs, peel your beans.
Roast your peanuts at a 400F oven for about 10 minutes or until they start to get yummy and brown inside. The skins might smoke a bit, but that doesn’t mean that their done yet, cut one open or bit one in half and see. Peanuts need to be nicely roasted to be tasty.
Roughly chop them up.
Mix all the ingredients for your dressing and taste it. Is it seasoned properly? Is it lime-y enough for you?
That kettle should be boiling by now. Put all your rice noodles into a big bowl and then pour the water over top. Give it a little shake and let it sit there until they cook through but there is still a bit of bite to them.
Strain it into a colander and rinse with cold water, stirring sometimes to make sure it all cools down evenly.
Mix all your salad ingredients together except the peanuts.
Put the halibut onto a baking sheet lined with parchment and bake until it’s nice and browned inside but still very moist in the middle, about 10 minutes. (sorry, no picture here!)
Put the halibut on top of the salad, sprinkle with the peanuts and your in business!