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Sunday, April 27, 2014

Salmon and Cucumber "Noodle" Salad

Salmon and Cucumber Noodle Salad
I rarely eat canned salmon. I've had it maybe two or three times max in my lifetime. I was never very impressed with it. Bones, skin, ummmm...if I'm buying a can, convenience is what I'm after, and picking out the bones and skin is anything but. So, I just stick with fresh (which oddly enough, I don't mind removing the skin and bones from).

And then I received a package in the mail.

My friend Bea of The Not So Cheesy Kitchen is a proud PDXer (Portlander?). Anytime I bring up salmon (which is surprisingly quite often) she reiterates her stance on Pacific Northwest Salmon being the best salmon. Especially when I tell her that I just ate Atlantic Salmon. That's what I usually seem to find in "my" Northwest (that would be Northwest Indiana).

One day, her and the fam headed to the beach...or was it the mountains...maybe it was both...and she mentioned two magical words: salmon and jerky. Together. As in, Salmon Jerky! And since she knows me (and can pick up on the needy desperation in my voice), she bought some extra and shipped it to me. It was ridiculous. Basically like hot-smoked salmon (one of my favorite things in the world), but less meaty and more chewy.

Salmon and Cucumber Noodle Salad
But alongside that glorious salmon jerky, she'd squeezed two cans of Pacific Northwest seafood into the box. One can contained Smoked Pacific Oysters, the other Smoked Pacific NW Salmon. SMOKED SALMON - IN A CAN! I haven't opened the oysters yet, but I have opened the salmon. I wanted to use it in a simple salad; something fresh that would let me taste the salmon. And praise the heavens that I did. My jaw dropped to the floor when I opened that can. Drop dead gorgeous chunks of smoked salmon sat in a minimal amount of water.

I would have eaten it from the can with a fork if I didn't already have plans for it. I was so happy that the salad made the salmon the star of the show. If I could buy this canned salmon on my local shelves, they'd have a problem keeping it in stock.

Salmon and Cucumber "Noodle" Salad
Cucumber and smoked salmon come together to form the perfect salad-as-a-meal for a busy day.
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Salmon and Cucumber
by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: n/a
Keywords: entree salad paleo dairy-free gluten-free nut-free soy-free cucumber mint salmon

Ingredients (serves 1)
  • 1 English cucumber
  • 1 (6-8 ounce) can hot smoked salmon
  • fresh mint, julienned
  • couple big pinches crushed red chile flakes
  • 1 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • freshly ground black pepper
Use a julienne peeler, a spiralizer, or a zester like the one pictured to cut the cucumber into long thin noodles. 
Cucumber Noodles
Place the noodles into a bowl and toss with the mint, red chile flakes, lemon juice, and pepper.

Drain any water from the salmon, then flake or chunk it and gently toss it with the cucumber noodle mixture.
Northwest Salmon - smoked and canned
Enjoy immediately.

note: You could substitute canned cooked salmon or just cook a salmon fillet and use it in place of the canned smoked salmon.

Salmon and Cucumber Noodle Salad