Saturday, August 4, 2012

Salmon Bulgogi with Bok Choy and Mushrooms

    Now that work has calmed down a bit, we have time to cook again.  I'm hoping that this entire month is on the slower side so Alex and I can cook and eat a bunch of meals at home, but we will have to wait and see what happens.  It has been so long since I had the time to really sit down and plan my meals that I find that I am a little rusty.  When I was trying to figure out what to make for dinner this week I literally had no inspiration whatsoever.  I couldn't think of a single thing I wanted to make, so I just dug through the freezer until I found a few proteins, picked up a few veggies at the farmers' market and then searched Epicurious to come up with some recipes.  This salmon dish was what resulted.  I do have an idea for some Chinese-inspired lamb burgers for this weekend, but we haven't made them yet so I can't take any credit.

    When Alex took his first bite of the salmon he predicted I would have two thoughts - that the marinade was kind of salty and kind of harsh.  My first thought was actually that the marinade was almost ridiculously gingery.  We kind of eyeballed the proportions here so the abundance of ginger could be Alex's fault (he did the solids) and the saltiness could be my fault (I "measured" the liquids).  My second thought was that the bok choy and shiitake mushrooms were underseasoned.  But I found that when you tossed the veggies in the reduced marinade that the dish worked out pretty well.  The veggies on their own were kind of bland and the salmon with the reduced marinade/glaze on top was too highly seasoned.  When you put them together (and scraped some marinade off the salmon) it balanced out.  I was a little worried about cooking the salmon at such high temperatures, but that worked out pretty well too.  The salmon turned out to be very nicely cooked - still a touch pink in the center (which I like) and not dry like I had feared.  This will never be my favorite way to cook salmon, but with a few tweaks I think it could be a very pleasant weeknight meal since it is very simple to put together and doesn't require a ton of time, effort and/or ingredients.

    Recipe after the jump!

    Salmon Bulgogi with Boy Choy and Mushrooms
    June 2008

    2 large garlic cloves, peeled, divided (and one of them minced)
    1/3 cup chopped green onions
    1/4 cup soy sauce
    1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine or dry Sherry
    1 3/4-inch cube peeled fresh ginger
    2 teaspoons sugar
    1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
    3/4 teaspoon chili-garlic sauce*
    4 6-ounce center-cut skinless salmon fillets
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1 large bok choy, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide strips (about 7 cups)
    4 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, caps sliced
      Blend 1 garlic clove and next 7 ingredients in mini processor. Arrange salmon in glass baking dish. Pour marinade over. Let marinate 5 minutes.

      Preheat oven to 500°F. Arrange fish, with some marinade still clinging, on rimmed baking sheet. Transfer any marinade in dish to small saucepan. Roast fish until just opaque in center, about 8 minutes. Bring marinade in saucepan to boil; set aside and reserve for glaze.

      Meanwhile, heat oil in large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add bok choy and mushrooms; add remaining minced garlic clove. Stir-fry until mushrooms are tender and bok choy is wilted, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

      Divide vegetables among plates. Top with salmon. Brush fish with glaze.

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