Monday, January 25, 2010

soy-ginger salmon

I think I can finally say, with confidence, that if I had to choose my favorite cuisine, it would have to be Asian, in all its incarnations. I could happily indulge in sushi on a daily basis, Thai food makes me swoon, Korean BBQ excites me on end, and the scent of ginger and garlic is like my Prozac. It's such a vastly diverse cuisine that might wrongfully come across as intimidating to many but should really be calmly approached. With a well-stocked pantry (and ingredients you can find at any grocery store), an Asian-style meal can be whipped up with ease. Take for example, Saturday night's dinner: Soy-ginger glazed salmon with scallion sticky rice, broccolini, and baby greens and avocado dressed with a citrus-rice vinegar dressing. A meal so perfect for entertaining (or date night) that this, without a doubt, has to be the next thing you put together for your lucky guest(s). So good in fact, you might need to leave some of the cooking to when they arrive. Because if not, they'll be snooping around everywhere looking for the hidden take out containers.
For the salmon, combine 2 cloves of grated garlic, 1 Tbsp. of grated ginger, 4 Tbsp. of soy sauce, 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar, 1/2 Tbsp. sugar, 1/2 Tbsp. sesame oil, and 1 tsp. sambal paste (hot sauce or sriracha will do just fine) in a ziploc bag. Place the salmon in the bag, seal it completely, and rub all sides of the salmon with the marinade. Place in the fridge for about an hour (no more than 3) to marinate.

For the salad dressing, I combined the juice from half an orange with a dash or two of rice wine vinegar, a Tbsp. of dijon, a tiny bit of grated garlic and ginger, and then drizzled in olive oil until it emulsified. Steal a taste on a piece of lettuce. Smirk. Pour yourself a glass of wine (2007 Edna Valley Paragon Chardonnay). You've already got this in the bag.

Get a pot of rice going (2 cups of water to one cup of rice with a pat of butter and plenty of salt) and finely slice two or three scallions.

Preheat the oven to broil. When it's up to temperature, broil the salmon for about 10 minutes (depending on the thickness, keep an eye on it). Remove from oven and place it on the stove on standby.

Bring a pan with an inch of water to a boil with salt. Add in the broccolini and cook for about a minute. Drain the pan, add a tsp. of olive oil and a bit of grated ginger (or garlic) and sauté over high heat for another minute. You want these guys to retain their crunch.

When the rice is cooked to sticky perfection, add in the scallions, stir, done with that. Dress baby greens with sliced avocado with the Asian-citrus vinaigrette. Plate everything. Pour the wine. Shower in the compliments.

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