champagne, Sparkling Wines, Vegan Dinner Ideas, Vegan Recipes, Wine and Food

Vegan Appetiser with Champagne: Crispy Udon Noodles with Seaweed Salt

If you’re planning a vegan dinner party, the key is to keep is simple. I’m not a passionate cook, but I do get very excited about wine and food pairings, especially quirky vegan recipes!

This vegan starter idea takes just minutes to make, looks beautiful, and is a great excuse to drink Champagne – because everyone knows sparkling wines love fried foods!


Crispy Noodles


Crispy Noodles and Seaweed Salt Appetiser Recipe

1 serving =  40- 50g noodles 

This idea is taken from Food & Wine’s recipe; here are my comments:

  • 50g udon noodles (I used pre-cooked this time around, and skipped the first step about cooking until al dente. Works just fine)
  • Vegetable oil, for tossing and frying (I used olive oil with avocado oil, for extra deliciousness)
  • 1 sheet nori or seaweed flakes
  • Sea salt to taste

Given this experiment was for a 3-course vegan dinner plan on a budget, I used what was available from my local supermarket. The difficulty of using pre-cooked udon noodles is that they are already stuck together – so they can’t be braided, tied or knotted into appealing shapes. Instead of nori, I used a homemade mix of sea salt and Mara Seaweed flakes from Morrisons, which I’d bought for other uses (chickpea tuna!!). As per this recipe, I’ll use nori sheets next time to see if it’s any different.

Simple, elegant, and delectably moreish, the thing I love most about this dish is that it is so versatile – it’s a great snack to enjoy in front of the TV, but it’s also pretty enough to look at home at a dinner party. This was served as part of a vegan starter platter, but could easily be an experience all on its own. Guests will love being greeted on arrival with a glass of bubbly and a plate of crispy snacks – and if they munch their way through all of them, making more takes just 5 minutes.


Crispy Noodles (1)
Try Brut Champagne with crunchy fried udon noodles, sprinkled in seaweed salt


Wine Pairings for Fried Food

Is has to be the curious classic: bubbles and crunch. A lively, zippy sparkling wine like a Brut Champagne pairs beautifully with fried foods, because the zestiness cuts through fat, the bubbles provide wonderful texture, and there’s a certain creaminess to Champagne that speaks to the richness of fried food. Nori or seaweed salt adds a fishy dimension that correlates well with a white wine. From start to finish, it is a wonderful food and wine combination that is virtually unbridled in possibilities.

For the 3-course vegan dinner, this starter paired with the Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Champagne best, but proved a nice match for the Crémant too. The salty, fishy nature of the salt is a little overpowering for the delicate red fruits of a pink Cava, but it’s not unenjoyable. . .


Which wines would you try with this recipe?


Sparkling Wines Trio
Vegan Food and Sparkling Wine: Crémant du Jura, Rosado Cava and Brut NV Champagne




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