Fish

Gochujang Salmon and Coconut Jasmine Rice

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Salmon is Roger’s favorite fish. It’s on our menu at least once a week, so I have to come up with new ways to prepare it so that it doesn’t become humdrum.I decided to marinate this week’s purchase with an Asian twist and throw it on the grill.

Garlic gochujang (a fermented garlic, ginger, and chili paste found in Asian markets and Whole Foods), is a staple in our fridge. It packs a tangy punch and is perfect for a fatty fish like salmon. Here’s what you’ll need for the marinade-

2 tbsp. garlic gochujang

Juice from 1 lime

1 tbsp. minced cilantro

1 pound of wild caught salmon

1 Ziploc storage bag

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Add the gochujang, lime juice, and cilantro to the Ziploc bag.

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Remove any pin bones from the salmon and drop the fish into the marinade.

Let it sit for at least an hour.

Heat your grill to medium high.

Remove fish from the bag and season generously with salt and pepper.

Oil the grill racks and place the fish flesh side down on the hot rack.

Flip the salmon (with a flat spatula) once it releases from the grill. Total cooking time for a 1” piece should be 8-10 minutes, but this depends upon your grill.

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Here’s what you’ll need for the rice –

3 cups cooked jasmine rice (thank goodness for my rice maker!)

1 cup of coconut milk

3 scallions (green part only), sliced thin

6 cloves of garlic, minced

1 inch of ginger, peeled and minced

1/3 cup chopped cilantro

Zest from 1 lime

2 tsp. kosher salt

1 tbsp. avocado oil (or canola)

Add oil to a wok or large sauté pan and put on medium heat.

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Add the ginger and garlic to the oil and sauté until fragrant (careful not to burn!).

Add the rice, mix, and slowly pour in the coconut milk.

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Toss in the lime zest, salt, scallions, and chopped cilantro. Mix well and heat to your liking (could be served chilled, too).

Eat well!

April

“I never drink water because of the disgusting things that fish do in it.” –

W.C. Fields

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Halibut with Spelt Salad

Growing up I didn’t appreciate the suppleness of fish. And then there was fish Friday in Boston (a Catholic tradition), which always tasted terrible, was generally fried and swimming in grease, and consistently left our place reeking like a deep- fried trawler.

All of the above truly killed it for me, but that ended many years ago when I had a fish epiphany in Hawaii. I realized that the less you do to fish the better; however, I do require some texture somewhere in the dish.

Last night I decided to make a warm spelt berry salad to complement a fresh wild-caught seared piece of halibut. Spelt’s an ancient grain, has a nutty flavor, and is rather chewy. A great compliment to fish.

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¾ – 1 lb. of halibut

1 cup spelt berries

1 shallot, minced

1 lemon, juiced and zested

½ cup chopped basil

¼ cup currants

1.5 cup chopped red kale

2 tbsp. of salted butter

1.5 tbsp. of ghee

¼ tsp. kosher salt

A pinch of sugar

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Pour the spelt into a saucepan and generously cover with water or chicken stock. Bring to a boil for 40 minutes, or until the grains have opened and are chewy.

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Chop up your basil and kale.

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Drain the water from the spelt and add back to the pan. Throw in the basil, kale, butter, currants, shallot, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, and a pinch of sugar to the spelt pan and mix. Set aside until the fish is finished.

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Melt the ghee in a non-stick frying pan. Dry the more attractive side of the fish with a paper towel. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Once the ghee melts and begins to shimmer add the fish, with the salt and pepper side down, into the pan. Now sprinkle salt and pepper on the side facing up. Sear the fish until you get a nice brown crust and then flip. Sear for a total of 10-15 minutes (depends on the thickness of your filet).

Set the fish aside to rest for 5 minutes while you warm up your salad. Once the salad is warm, place the fish on top. I also added a few slices of avocado and sprinkled on some pine nuts, too. Enjoy!

Eat well,

April

“All men are equal before fish.” – Herbert Hoover

 

 

Scallops with Soba Noodles and Asian Stir-Fry

While in Japan visiting Tokyo and Kyoto last April, we visited many outdoor markets, and as a result of our many shopping experiences, I came home with half a suitcase filled with various food items that I was fairly sure would pass agricultural inspection. Soba noodles being one of the many. I bought so many beautifully wrapped bundles of soba noodles, from various stalls, that it will probably take another year before we’ve finally exhausted our supply. Unless we eat them everyday, of course, which is definitely not going to happen.

Scallops were on my mind the other evening and I decided to whip something up utilizing some of our noodle booty. Soba noodles are made from buckwheat, which happens to be naturally gluten free, so they’re a great alternative to spaghetti. They have a nutty flavor and marry quite well with pesto.

If you’re looking to buy authentic soba noodles, I suggest an outing to H Mart in Irvine. It’s located on Alton in the Diamond Jamboree Shopping Center. H Mart has all things Asian. It’s super fun to check out the interesting eats on display. I ask you, where else could you see a bucket load of live abalone slithering their way across the inside of a fish tank? You should also take a friend and have lunch in one of the many authentic Asian restaurants located around the market. One piece of advice, you should get there no later than 10:30AM to nab a parking space in the parking lot. It gets ridiculously busy after 11, and you’ll be circling the lot stalking people trying to find a space. Once you’ve captured a spot, wander around inside H Mart for a bit before walking to lunch. Most of the eateries surrounding the market open at 11.

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What you’ll need to feed two people-

4 oz. soba noodles

2 garlic cloves, smashed

6 sea scallops

1 tbsp. ponzu sauce

1 tbsp. minced ginger

1 tbsp. sesame oil (I used sesame chili oil because I like it hot)

1 ¼ cup miso ginger broth

¼ cup sliced scallions

1 or 2 (your choice) bok choy, root ball cut off and leaves removed

1/3 cup thinly sliced fennel

1/3 cup halved small tomatoes (Optional. I had some that were beginning to soften and needed to be used)

1 generous tbsp. of ghee

Boil soba noodles until al dente and toss with sesame oil. Set aside.

Dry scallops well with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper.

 

Add ghee to a sauté pan large enough to hold six scallops without over crowding. Heat the ghee until it begins to shimmer.

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Add the scallops to the hot pan and sear until you begin to see a nice crust form, then flip. Remove the scallops from the pan once you begin to see “pearling” on the sides. Pearling appears as small white bubbles forming on the outside. Set scallops aside to rest.

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Quickly dump the grease from the pan, and place it back on the burner. You’ll have some beautiful brown bits (also called fond) in the bottom of your pan. With your pan on medium heat, add the ginger and garlic and warm until fragrant. Deglaze the pan with miso ginger broth and ponzu. Scrape the pan with a wooden spoon to ensure all the good bits are in the sauce. Simmer and reduce by 1/3.

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Add the vegetables to the sauce and sauté for a minute. Add your noodles to the pan and warm. Split noodles and veggie mix between two plates, top with scallops, and spoon extra sauce over the top of your scallops.

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Eat well!

April

“Give me my scallop-shell of quiet,

My staff of faith to walk upon,

My scrip of joy, immortal diet,

My bottle of salvation,

My gown of glory, hope’s true gage,

And thus I’ll take my pilgrimage.” – Sir Walter Raleigh