Kelp Noodle and Cabbage Salad with Seared Tempeh and Carrot Orange Miso Dressing

Kelp Noodle and Cabbage Salad with Seared Tempeh and Carrot Orange Miso Dressing | The Full Helping

I threw this kelp noodle and cabbage salad with seared tempeh and carrot orange miso dressing together last weekend, sort of on a whim, inspired by stuff I had at home (one bag of kelp noodles that survived the move; a block of tempeh that came with us, too; fresh cabbage and carrot, kale). The dressing was originally going to be my carrot miso dressing (a CR classic!) but over time I was inspired to make something a little sweeter and more like a vinaigrette.

Full disclosure: the dressing is probably the best thing about this salad. And, whether the ingredients appeal to you or not, make the dressing. I’ve now served it over several salads, including a soba noodle salad that the boyfriend and I all but demolished last night, and it’s terrific.

That said, it’s hard to argue with a salad that’s so rich in texture. Crunchy kelp noodles and cabbage, chewy and hearty strips of lightly seared tempeh, sweet dressing, slightly bitter kale. It’s all pretty great.

Kelp Noodle and Cabbage Salad with Seared Tempeh and Carrot Orange Miso Dressing | The Full Helping

Kelp Noodle and Cabbage Salad with Seared Tempeh and Carrot Orange Miso Dressing | The Full Helping
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Kelp Noodle and Cabbage Salad with Seared Tempeh and Carrot Orange Miso Dressing

Author - Gena Hamshaw
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Yields: 4 small or 2 large servings


For the dressing:

  • 1/3 cup orange juice fresh or bottled
  • 1/3 cup carrot juice fresh or bottled
  • 2 tablespoons mellow white miso
  • 1 tablespoon tamari
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons neutral flavored vegetable oil such as grapeseed
  • 2 pitted Medjool dates

For the salad:

  • 8 oz 1/2 package kelp noodles, rinsed and snipped with a scissor into small pieces (see this post for instructions)
  • 2 cups tightly packed shredded red or green cabbage
  • 2 cups grated carrot
  • 1 cup tightly packed curly kale, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil
  • 1 green onion chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds

For the tempeh:

  • 8 oz. tempeh
  • 2 teaspoons grapeseed safflower, or melted coconut oil
  • Tamari as needed


  • To prepare the dressing, blend all ingredients together in a blender till smooth. Dressing will make about 1 cup.
  • Mix all salad ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
  • Slice the tempeh into thin strips (about 1/2 inch thick). Heat the vegetable oil in a medium pan till hot, then add as many pieces of tempeh as you can. As soon as it starts sizzling, add a nice dash of tamari. Allow it to brown on one side (shouldn't take long--2 minutes or so), flip, and brown on the other side. Add more oil and tamari as needed.
  • Toss the salad with as much dressing as you like. I like this salad to be generously dressed, so I'd suggest 2/3 cup to start. To serve, top the salad with the seared tempeh strips and sesame seeds.

Kelp Noodle and Cabbage Salad with Seared Tempeh and Carrot Orange Miso Dressing | The Full Helping

That tempeh recipe? It’s kind of my go-to, when I don’t have time to marinate fancily. Sometimes I’ll use coconut oil and just spray the tempeh with Bragg’s while it’s cooking. So easy.

Hope you enjoy this one. It’s perfect for a weekend lunch!

In other news, part of why this was a busy week was that I’m getting set up to do my nutrition counseling in a real life workspace here in Manhattan. I’ll be working out of a friend’s wellness practice in Chelsea, and I couldn’t be more excited. As readers know, I see clients via Skype, phone, and over email, but I love the opportunity to work with folks face-to-face, too.

If you’re in the New York metro area and you’ve been thinking of seeing a nutritionist who is familiar with plant-based diet and understands eating disorder histories–or you’re simply looking to improve your diet, enhance your health, lose or gain weight, and feel more vibrant–say hello at I’d love to see you.

Happy weekend, friends,


Images courtesy of Lighter.

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  1. I just tried this recipe and it was soooo tasty! It took me some effort to track down kelp noodles, but it was definitely worth it. Thank you!

  2. Mmm this looks lovely and I’ve been wondering what to do with my bag of kelp noodles. I always get excited about them and then realise that most of my recipes aren’t actually meals and would probably be more healthy with brown rice noodles (I’m finally able to laugh and acknowledge that often with raw foods the recipe they’re trying to replicate was quite possibly healthier in the original form due to the lack of substance in the raw version – I’m thinking specifically of various pad thais). ANYWAY, throwing some tempeh on sounds ace!
    I’m assuming, but just checking, that you use toasted sesame oil here?

    h xxxx

  3. That looks delicious. I never have bottled juice around and I don’t always want to take out the juicer for small bits. If I were to say, double the dressing recipe, how many oranges and carrots do you think I would need to juice? (so I could do it all at once) I happen to have a bag of kelp noodles in the pantry….and I always have kale and tempeh on hand!

  4. This looks fantastic. After a very stressful period in my life and finding myself not eating as well as I could be, I am re-motivated to embrace vegan eating. Your lovely salad above is inspiring. I’m printing it off now. Thanks for the encouragement.

  5. I have to thank you for introducing not one, but two of my new favorite things to me: kelp noodles and tempeh, both of which I tried for the first time this summer! I love the ease of kelp noodle salads (and their crunch) and tempeh is such a delightful protein source. I love it’s nuttiness! Both of these are now staples in my kitchen and so easy to prepare. I can’t wait to make this salad!

  6. This looks scrumptious but would take me a whole day to make. I just don’t have the time for all the prep it would take. I love your site but it’s mostly “in my dreams!” Thanks for all you do. I’ll keep reading.

  7. This looks fabulous, Gena! And beautiful. And nutritious. I will no doubt make a version of it soon. Thanks!