Salmon Wasabi “Rice” Bowl

There is this meal, this dish, that Hubs and I have craved since we started this journey but haven’t yet indulged. This dish is so delicious that my mouth taste it just thinking about it. It is sweet and crunchy and savory and spicy and ultimately filling. It is the Pacific Catch Salmon Wasabi Rice Bowl. And until I discovered cauliflower rice a few weeks ago (and have since been obsessed) did I even consider it an option. 

Ingredients

The Salmon & Marinade

  • Salmon (skin off…though it would be good with skin too)
  • Soy Sauce
  • Brown Sugar
  • Fish Sauce
  • Salt/Pepper
  • Sesame Seeds

The Rest of It

  • One Head of Cauliflower (though I maybe would do more if more than 2 people)
  • Sesame Oil (two parts)
  • Grapeseed Oil
  • Salt/Pepper
  • Pea shoots (I got mine at Trader Joes)
  • Seaweed Salad (I actually couldn’t find it after two stores so used a kale and seaweed salad that I found at our health food store)
  • Avocado
  • Persian Cucumbers
  • sliced ginger

The Dressing

  • 4 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • salt/pepper
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon wasabi

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It all comes together pretty quickly once you have finished with the cauliflower rice which you could do ahead of time to save “dinner” prep time. 

Marinate the salmon in soy sauce (a few splashes), about a tablespoon of brown sugar, a few splashes of fish sauce and salt/pepper to taste. Let it sit while you prepare you cauliflower rice (or for about 15 minutes). 

Preheat the oven to 350.

To make cauliflower rice, cut the leaves off of the head of cauliflower and cut the entirety of the cauliflower into two inch pieces. In a cuisinart, pulse (in a few batches so that the already chopped pieces don’t get too small) the cauliflower until it is the size of “rice”. I actually don’t go that small. I leave a few 1/2 inch chunks. In a saucepan, heat on medium a teaspoon of sesame oil and a tablespoon of grapeseed oil. Once glistening, put in the grated cauliflower, add a bit of salt and pepper to taste, and cook, stirring frequently, until it is warmed through. Put it aside in a bowl.

Put a bit more sesame oil and grapeseed oil in the pan and, again, heat until glistening. On the top of the salmon, shake on a layer of sesame seeds. Put that side down on the hot pan and cook for two minutes. While that side is cooking, sprinkle the other side with sesame seeds. Flip the fish after two minutes and cook two minutes more on the other side. Have ready a 1/4 pan lined with tin foil. After the second side is cooked, transfer the fish to the pan, drizzle on the remaining marinade and put in the oven for 5ish minutes (depends on your oven). The fish is done when it is slightly firm to the touch.

Meanwhile, plate the rest of the ingredients: Put the “rice” in a deep bowl. On top of that put a small bunch of the pea sprouts in one area, a scoop of the kale/seaweed salad in another area, the cucumbers sliced into thin strips in another area and the avocado in slices in the last area. Then whisk together the ingredients for the dressing. Adjust as needed for taste (a bit of bite is good as it soaks into the cauliflower rice and other ingredients). 

When the salmon is finished, place it on top of the other ingredients and then dress the bowl with the wasabi dressing and a few slices of ginger. And that is it! We devoured it. The salmon was tangy, the greens balanced well with the sweet and salty of the fish and the “rice” really worked! I honestly wouldn’t have known the difference.

 

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The sickness!! (And foil-packet grilled salmon with mustard and tangelos)

Everyone in my family has been sick in one way or another at least a portion of but more likely the majority of the last two weeks. I was sick first (fever, lethargy, slight nausea, sore throat), then P (vomiting followed by fever and lethargy), then D (only a bit of fever a while back but now she has a weird rash all over her side), then hubs (throwing up followed by fever for five days) and finally our au pair (fever, extreme lethargy and nausea). It has been… “pleasant” around here. And only *I* seemed to have any appetite. All hubs wanted was carbs, carbs, carbs (to ease his belly). So cooking has been extremely limited. 

Right before everyone got sick, though, I cooked a few delicious things. The first was a super easy, grilled, foil packet salmon, corn and asparagus meal. 

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At the farmer’s market I had picked up the most delicious looking filet of salmon. I wanted to use it that night (and it was the last night our old au pair was around before taking off on her month long US adventure) but I didn’t have much time after being outside playing with the kids all afternoon, so I went back to my old standby: foil packet salmon with mustard and orange juice. I had also found perfectly spring-y super thin asparagus and tangelos, my favorite kind of orange. With the addition of some supermarket corn (I had to keep on apologizing to our au pair that *this* corn was going to be her first experience with corn on the cob. I promised her over and over again that this summer I will introduce her to the way corn on the cob is supposed to be. Man, I cannot WAIT for some Morning Glory corn!), we had a meal!

Hubs got the grill going as I popped off the ends of the asparagus and put them in a bowl with olive oil, grapeseed oil, salt, pepper and a bit of balsamic. We did these first as they were going to take up most of the grill to feed five people (the girls, their friend and us). I shucked the corn and got the foil packets ready while the asparagus grilled.  Our salmon was so fresh that I had to de-bone the filet with pliers, too. Once deboned, I cut the salmon into individual portions so that the salmon could be served while still in the tin foil. Mostly for aesthetics 🙂

To prepare the packets, simply cut a piece of tin foil large enough to completely seal the juices in but also a little room above to tent it a bit so that it steams while it grills. Place the salmon skin side down in the center of the foil and then smother the flesh with a healthy spoonful of grain-y dijon (my favorite is the Maille; I like the way it pops in your mouth). Squeeze the juice of a tangelo orange over the salmon until there is a small pool around the bottom of the salmon. Seal that juice in with the foil packet. I usually fold in the sides and then pull the other side in, fold it and then crimp the edges.

Once the asparagus is done, throw the salmon packets on the grill with the corn. You don’t need to do anything to the corn except for shucking the silky hairs and outer leaves. Plop that sucker STRAIGHT on the grill. No oil. No butter. Just corn and grill. Let it get a bit of char. Once it starts to char a bit, squeeze on some lime juice.  

The salmon needs about 10-15 minutes on the grill. Because it is getting indirect heat by steaming AND grilling in a packet, it doesn’t easily overcook. And letting the orange juice caramelize a bit is AWESOME.

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We keep our asparagus warm in the oven at 200 degrees while the other stuff cooks. When it is finished, plate and put a bit of balsamic glaze over the asparagus and a bit of grated parm over the corn. Put the foil packet on the plate and let your eaters discover the deliciousness themselves!

 

Mom’s Salmon

On Tuesday I made my “mom’s” salmon (she surely got it someplace fabulous but I don’t know the source) and it was easy and delish (and pleased my very picky with fish hubs):

  • skin on salmon filets (I cooked for 4 adults with some leftovers…so almost 3 lbs)
  • 1 cup finely chopped parsley
  • zest of 3 lemons
  • 1/2 cup panko/breadcrumbs
  • 2 teaspoon ground flaxseed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons whole grain dijon
  • vegetable oil

First, preheat oven to 425. In a bowl mix panko, parsley, zest, salt/pepper. Drizzle mixture with oil until it is soft and combining. Heat vegetable oil in ovenproof pan (I had enough salmon that I had to use two pans — my cast iron and my stainless steel frying pan). With skin side down on a plate or cutting board, brush the salmon flesh thickly with mustard and then pat mixture on top (mine ended up about 1/2″ thick). Sear skin on the stovetop for about 3 minutes on med/high heat. Then put the pan in oven (being careful not the spill the oil) on a higher rack for 5-7 minutes (my salmon took a bit longer to cook but my oven SUCKS).

I sided it with sauteed brussels (with balsamic and white onion) and broccoli with parm, and all of the above covered with some toasted pine nuts.

No picture on this one (I stupidly deleted it) but let me tell you….it was GORGEOUS!