Fishing for Compliments

In Japanese, Rice, Salad, Vegetables on March 22, 2012 at 3:39 pm

I aim to please.  Don’t we all?  I especially love creating a meal that satisfies even the most sophisticated and particular palates.  I know how hard it is to find adequate cuisine for myself, let alone a superb experience, so I strive to “do unto others” as I would want done unto me.  It makes the rave reviews even that much more enthralling.

Two New Years Eve parties ago, we had an East Asian theme (last year’s was Italian).  One of the main courses was salmon teriyaki, which everyone loved.  In fact, there were no pieces of salmon leftover, but the General Tso’s chicken sadly had some pieces remaining by 4 AM.  People kept asking me how I made it.  My big secret was a bottled sauce made by San-J that I used all the time during the year.  My other big secret was using wild caught Atlantic salmon.

A couple weeks ago, I was chatting with a friend about what she should eat for dinner after her spin class, and we decided that she should get sushi.  All that talk about raw fish got me in the mood for some salmon.  I rarely eat fish, but when I’m in the mood for it I treat myself, and usually to the wild caught varieties.  I mean who can resist a bagel with lox, cream cheese, and all the fixin’s?  I would be a very bad Jew and make G-d very sad.

After work I stopped by the fish store and selected a lovely piece of wild Atlantic salmon.  It was the perfect reddish-orange hue, and it could have served well in a  ceviche or even sashimi style.  I also popped into the health food store across the street to procure some veggies for stir-frying, as well as some salad ingredients.  Then it was homeward bound and off to work!

On a flesh-dedicated cutting board, I cut the fish into 1 inch cubes, and placed them in a large ziplock bag.  Using about half the bottle of teriyaki, I poured the sauce over the salmon, zipped up the bag, gave it a little shake, and placed in the fridge to marinate for 30 minutes.

I pulled out my rice cooker, added some brown rice and water, and set it off while I preheated the oven to 350 and chopped up some veggies.  I started with some onion, garlic, and two kinds of bell pepper.

I had bought a bunch of colorful carrots that day, so I opted for one of the purple variety.

Then I sliced it up on a slight angle.  The insides are kind of orange, so it’s a twofer.

Using my large wok, I added about 2 teaspoons of toasted sesame oil, and all of the previously mentioned veggies.

I used my microplane to finely mince the garlic and add to the wok.

While those sauteed, I sliced up some zucchini and yellow squash.

I also washed and dried some snow peas.  Then added both to the wok.

I poured the contents of the salmon ziplock into a roasting pan, and covered the pan with tin foil to cook for 15 minutes in the 350 degree oven.

When it was done, it looked like this.

During the cooking time, I danced between stir-frying and chopping salad veggies.  I used tomato, pepper, and avocado.  I wanted to use cucumber but they all looked grossly huge (i.e. they had tons of slimy seeds).

When the stir-fry was all browned to perfection, I added some mirin, low sodium soy sauce, and vegetable broth to create a mild sauce.

All I had left to do with the salad was place the chopped veggies over some mixed greens, and top the salad with some ginger dressing.  Jo’s brand is the closest tasting store-bought variety to a restaurant’s version.

Since everything was ready at the same time, I decided to serve the salad on the same plate as the main course.  It actually looked really good, almost like a bento box.

Here’s a little bit more of a close-up.  This was Nick’s plate.  Mine had no rice :(.

The fish was actually really tasty, and it melted in my mouth.  I had just enough for leftovers for moi the next day, which was all I needed for my sporadic fish-fix.  Until the next bagel and a schmear.


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