Here's a change of pace from all that Thanksgiving cooking: kelp noodles. I'm sure maybe all of two of you out there have tried them in the past.

So what are kelp noodles? Kelp noodles are made with kelp,  a sea vegetable often used in Chinese, Japanese and Korean cuisines. Kelp noodles are gluten-free, grain-free, and soy-free, and if you're counting calories, you'll be glad to know that they have almost none.

Like tofu, they take on the taste of whatever you're preparing them with. When raw, they have a crunchy texture. Soaked, they'll be a bit less crunchy.  I generally use glass noodles (mung bean thread) for Asian dishes but these are nice for a change of pace.  You can also use shirataki noodles. Look for them at most health food stores and even at Whole Foods.

Here's a few other ways you can prepare kelp noodles:

          Serve with a pesto sauce 

          Top with avocado cream

          Use in an Asian stir fry

          Add to a broth or miso soup

          Substitute for spaghetti and add tomato sauce     

          Make pad thai 

          Stuff them in Vietnamese summer rolls 

          Serve raw in a salad



The first time you make a dish with kelp noodles, I would suggest keeping it simple. You'll want to see if you like the taste.  Soak the kelp noodles in warm water with some lemon juice for about a half hour before you prepare them so they won't be so crunchy. NOTE: If you have leftovers and put them back in the refrigerator, they will get crunchy again.

I prepared an Asian dressing and served them tossed with red mizuna, edamame and toasted sesame seeds. A Japanese friend of mine noted that wakame, another sea green, would also be excellent choice to add to the kelp noodles for a delicious gluten-free dish.


Serves 4 as an appetizer


One 12 ounce package kelp noodles 

Juice of a lemon

1 tablespoon white sesame seeds 

2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar

2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

1/2 teaspoon agave or organic sugar

1 inch peeled and grated fresh ginger

1 cup chopped red mizuna

1/4 cup organic edamame, cooked


Rinse and soak the noodles for 30 minutes in warm water with the juice of one lemon.   Drain.

Toast the sesame seeds in a saute pan until lightly golden and fragrant, tossing frequently. Set aside.

Prepare the dressing in a large bowl by whisking together the brown rice vinegar, sesame oil, agave or sugar, and the ginger. 

Heat the noodles quickly in a saute pan or serve them cold.

Toss the noodles in the dressing. 

Add the red mizuna, edamame and toasted sesame seeds and serve.