Blistering barnacles it’s windy outside! We better get used to it I thought as it is not called the Cape of Storms for nothing. I have to confess I have not find Norway to be all that food inspiring I hoped it would be. It is probably completely unfair as we are in the middle of nowhere but yet we are surrounded by such beauty I just thought the food would be as majestic as the fjords and mountains.
We are in Aurland, close to Flam and it is touristy, because of this we are met by one of my food hates: tourist food. Like children’s menu (my other food hate) ‘they’ are assuming what ‘we’ like to eat, in the case of children’s menu all kids apparently want to eat is pizza, chicken nuggets (who invented the word nugget?!), bolognese pasta and hamburgers. By ‘tourist food’ it’s usually a very sad version of something not even the ‘locals’ will eat. In Norway this is a very weird looking ‘meatball’, a sad sandwich, ‘limpy’ waffles and the usual pizza slice (?). Don’t get me started on the booze, that is another story. We braved a bar one night and I was horrified at the waitress taking out a box of wine (yes yes I have heard that this might be the future of all wines – to which I am horrified and yes I don’t have a kindle either) and if that is not enough to bring back memories of a miss spent youth, the ‘Chardonnay’ I ordered was very sweet, and yes very £££! I did not say it : )
Thankfully our recent culinary experience was saved by a trip to a Fleischers Hotel in Voss where we enjoyed a buffet (nonetheless) of local crab, house smoked salmon and mussels, all cold and all very delicious. The second redemption was a agricultural farm in Aurland where you can buy the local harvest which is all organic and hand harvested.
I was adamant to cook some salmon before we leave Norway and this is it. Cooking in all sorts of kitchens is making me realise how important a good kit is. There are some indispensable kitchen tools one need in order to even attempt to cook in these self-catering houses (and a good sous chef I hear the husband mumble). We are staying in a little cabin on the lake near Voss and when I mean tiny I mean tiny! Prepping, blogging and eating was at the same allocated space in the ‘kitchen’ – such a beautiful view (well once they finish the deck at the moment we are overlooking unfinished decking) it is worth the squeeze.
PS: this blog is being written with very limited internet access so I apologise in advance for any typo’s – I will correct these once we are back in civilisation.
Citrus Soba Noodles with Norwegian Pan Seared Salmon and Coriander Crumb
4 fillets of Salmon
1 small chilli deseeded and finely chopped
45g of coriander leaves picked and finely chopped
3 slices of stale bread (whatever you have) roughly chopped or broken up
zest and juice of 1 lime
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 packet of soba noodles
30g of butter (optional)
salt and pepper
Mix the bread and coriander together with some oil and butter , season generously and feel free to add some zest to the crumb as well.
Heat some oil in a small frying pan and fry the breadcrumbs till golden – cool slightly – chop if crumbs to large
We are aiming for a variety of textures to add in our noodles
Cut tiny florets from the head of the broccoli
Slice the top of the broccoli ,like you would a bread, ending up with a crumb like texture
Spiralise the base of the broccoli or cut into very fine slivers on a mandolin
Heat a small amount of oil in a large frying pan and add the broccoli in stages to cook till soft – keep warm in the oil ready to toss through the noodles once cooked.
Please follow the packet instructions bearing in mind that the noodles only cook in 5/6min in boiling water. The noodles need to be rinsed and then tossed with the broccoli and oil. Feel free to use your clean hands to make sure the noodles stay well oiled and separated. Season well
Season the salmon
Heat some oil in a non stick frying pan to a medium heat
Place the salmon skin side down on the pan and fry till golden brown and crispy
Turn the salmon over and remove the pan from the heat (this will ensure a pinkish middle)
If you prefer a more well done salmon you can leave the salmon on the heat for longer
(remembering that we are avoiding the white protein oozing from the salmon as this spells overcooked)
If necessary reheat the noodles gently add the zest and toss again – add the juice as required for the necessary zing
Add the chilli if desired
Divide the noodles on four plates, add the salmon and scatter the dish with the coriander crumb
+I wanted a rougher crumb only because I don’t have a food processor on my travels but you can easily place the bread and coriander in a food processor and process to a crumb