A simple summer meal: grilled fish, chilled noodles, cool cucumbers. Here the salmon marinade doubles as the dressing for the noodles.
Recipe halves well. You will likely have leftover dressing. Store it in the fridge.
Ginger: I like to mince my ginger in the food processor—mincing ginger with a knife isn't my favorite. I quickly rinse out the food processor afterwards, and it feels like no big deal.
I buy farmed raised salmon from a local seafood shop called Hooked (Latham, NY). It's from the Faroe Islands, and from what I can tell online, it seems to be a pretty pristine operation. I know farmed salmon can be atrocious in terms of feed and environmental damage, but I don't believe this to be the case with this farmed salmon. Wild is probably best if you can get it.
Soba: I buy soba noodles that are a mix of wheat and buckwheat. If you are looking for gluten-free soba noodles, be sure the package says so. Also, my mother has been making these with fresh udon noodles, which are completely delicious if you can find them — they're so chewy, and they hold up really well in the fridge.
I like to break the salmon into pieces to stretch the servings, but you could certainly serve the salmon aside the noodles. You also could break some salmon atop each plated bowl of noodles. —Alexandra Stafford
cedar plank, soaked in cold water for 1 hour or longer
toasted sesame oil
finely minced ginger
pinch crushed red pepper flakes
5-oz filets wild salmon, see notes above
soba or udon noodles
English cucumber, thinly sliced, a mandoline or spiralizer is nice here
Fill a medium pot with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Preheat a grill to high. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl or liquid measure, whisk together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, mirin, sesame oil, ginger, sugar, and crushed red pepper flakes. Place the salmon in a small dish or ziplock bag. Pour a quarter cup (or more) of the marinade/dressing over the salmon so it is coated — it doesn’t have to be submerged. Chill for 20 minutes.
Cook the noodles according to package instruction (see notes above). Drain, rinse under cold water, then plunge into a bowl of cold water and swish the noodles around with your fingers. Drain. See this post: https://food52.com/blog/10282-how-to-cook-soba-noodles
Place salmon on cedar plank, leaving excess marinade behind. Place plank on grill grates. Grill 5 minutes. Remove plank, transfer salmon to a plate, and let rest for 5 minutes.
Place drained noodles in a large bowl. Add cucumber, scallions, and sesame seeds. Pour over some of the dressing. Toss gently to coat. Taste. Add more dressing as needed. Adjust taste with a pinch of salt, more crushed red pepper flakes, or more vinegar (or a squeeze of lime, if you have it) to taste.
When salmon has cooled, break it into pieces over the noodles, leaving the skin behind if you wish. Toss gently. Serve immediately. (Alternatively, serve the salmon aside the noodles.)