Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Delicious Salmon-Bok Choy Combination

Time for a simple yet delicious and healthy meal that can be cooked in under 30 minutes. Fish is one of the healthiest protein one can easily buy and up there on my favorites list are Chilean sea bass, striped bass, halibut and of course, salmon.

Unless you want to go all fancy-schmansy with some exotic glaze or crumb, it's really quite easy to cook salmon. All it takes is you basic seasoning of salt and pepper. And if you happen to have any garlic/onion powder hanging around the pantry, by all means, sprinkle some on. Just get a pan with some oil heated up and pan fry the fish, starting with the skin side up. Make sure you get a good amount of browning on the surface of the fish before turning it over. What's worse than an undercooked fish is a pale and anemic looking one. Don't worry about how thick the fish is as long you get the proper browning. You may not be able to cook the fish all the way on the pan without burning it. The proper solution is to finish it in the oven for a couple of minutes. Nowadays, some diners like their salmon cooked to a medium temperature but traditionally, it should be cooked all the way through. There is a fine line (probably a window of just a minute or two) between cooking the salmon all the way through and overcooking it. So, if you think it is done, just pull it out of the oven, as it will continue to cook even as it sits on the counter.

Accompanying the salmon is a wok-fried combination of bok choy and button mushrooms (I didn't have any shiitake on hand, so I had to settle) and jasmine rice, all typical components of a Chinese meal. For some color to the presentation, I sprinkled some sesame seeds and sesame oil onto the rice.

Stir-frying the vegetable is pretty straightforward. First, sweat the onions and then cook the garlic. Next, I add a tablespoon each of fish sauce, Shaoxing cooking wine and sweet soy sauce. Mix well in the wok and then add the chopped up bok choy and mushrooms. Cook until the vegetable is just wilted and serve immediately. And there you go, simple yet delicious and healthy.

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