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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Asian Salmon Noodle Salad

It's been one week since we returned to Seattle from a whirl-wind two week trip. And I think I'm finally setting back in to the swing of things. Well, at least I'm back to a new routine that involves pouring over BarBri materials 24/7. I'm done with law school. I graduated last Saturday. And it still hasn't completely sunk in. It doesn't seem so long ago that I was sitting at home on a Saturday night with my study group studying first-year contracts materials until midnight. It doesn't seem so long ago that I was sitting in my car on Summit Avenue crying to my parents about how I had absolutely no clue how I was going to finish. And they would reassure me "You'll look back at this time and think my goodness that time flew." I do think that now. It's hard to believe that 3.5 years have passed.

Last semester was a little untraditional. And I don't generally discuss my grades. But I'm still in amazement about how things turned out. Somehow, I managed to obtain a 4.0 in my fall semester. And after three and a half years of school, one of my exam responses was finally posted on Blackboard as a "model answer." Never-mind the fact that I rewrote the exam response at 3 a.m. after I had already spent weeks working on it. It made it there! My work! Then somehow, I managed to thrive off of coffee, 13 hours of sleep total and peanut butter sandwiches for an entire week so I could research, draft, and negotiate my butt off in my Deals and Disputes class. Woozers. I say somehow because I just don't know how I did it. But I'm done. All done.

I graduated law school with academic honors. Magna Cum Laude. For the first time in my life, I am proud of myself and didn't (and still don't) feel guilty for tooting my own horn. Not bad for a person who was waitlisted before entering law school. Yep, folks. Waitlisted. I just didn't have the numbers to show that I was a successful candidate for law school. But, I like to think of myself as inspiration to people who might not have the best numbers entering. If you are willing to put in the work, you can prove those statistics wrong. I'm happy to say that I worked my tail off and I'm even happier to say that my friends in similar situations were successful just as well. Hard work and determination does not go unnoticed.

A number of people expressed shock at graduation when they saw that I actually had a clue in law school. I found that funny. Just because I remained quiet in class most of the time did not mean that I was failing out! I loved my time at Mitchell. I just didn't love the way I reacted to the stress and pressures of school. But who does? I will eternally be grateful for the school that gave me a new life, new opportunities, and a new chance to smile. It's still hard to imagine that it's done. But that chapter has closed and a new one has started. Though, it's slightly boring to start. I sit here now with bar prep materials surrounding me, reciting things like "P.I.N.E. stands for Prescriptive, Implied, Necessity, and Express" and trying to jam as much material into my brain as possible. Enter brain food. This recipe was inspired by three separate recipes so I don't really have a source. Ron has started eating salmon so I've been able to cook it more often. Ron has also started eating octopus, which is just mind-boggling to me. But anyway, this recipe was really good. I had been craving something and couldn't put my finger on it. So, I pulled some asian ingredients together, opened the soba noodles I've had in the pantry, marinated the salmon and whipped up this noodle bowl. Enjoy!

Asian Salmon Noodle Salad
from a number of sources combined
Yield: 3-4 servings
For the Salmon
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 1/4 lb salmon
For the Noodle Salad
  • 1/2 lb soba noodles
  • 3 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp freshly minced ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup fresh spinach, shredded
  • 1 cup bean sprouts, chopped
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup crushed peanuts
  • 3 Tbsp sesame seeds
For the Salmon
  1. Slash knife marks in the skinless side of the salmon. Place salmon skin side down in glass baking dish.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk all of the other ingredients and pour over salmon. Cover dish and place in refrigerator for 1-2 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake salmon, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until fish is cooked through and flakes. Meanwhile, prepare your noodle salad.
  4. After noodle salad is prepared and salmon is cooked (and slightly cooled), scrap salmon off of skin with a fork. Chop salmon into several small pieces and mix in with noodle salad. 
For the Noodle Salad
  1. While salmon is cooking, bring water to boil and cook soba noodles according to package directions (normally 4-5 minutes) then drain and spray with cold water to stop cooking.
  2. Whisk the next 7 ingredients (sesame oil through sea salt) in a small bowl. 
  3. In a large bowl, combine the spinach, carrots, bean sprouts, scallions, and cilantro. Add the cooled and cooked noodles to the bowl and toss to combine.
  4. Once salmon is cooked and mixed in with noodle salad (see step #4 above), pour sesame dressing over the veggie-noodle-salmon mixture and toss to evenly distribute. 
  5. Place noodle salad into bowl and sprinkle with peanuts and sesame seeds.


  1. I for one am so glad you didn't give up. Dad and I knew you had it in you to succeed. We are both very proud of your accomplishments.

  2. So happy for you, Ashley. Truly. I'm so glad I could be part of your amazing journey and even more excited that WM may have turned you into a pseudo-Minnesotan. :)