Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Korean Cod and Sesame Kale Salad

We are currently on a bit of a Korean kick.  We made six (Belated) Chinese New Year meals (I know that I still owe you guys one (Belated) Chinese New Year meal) and then a bunch of southeast Asian meals.  Now we have cycled through to Korean or Korean-inspired meals.  Randomly enough, we even went out to dinner at a Korean restaurant last night.  The inspiration for this meal actually came from a vegan food truck that I like called The Cinnamon Snail.  About a month ago I tried one of their dishes that they served with a kale salad.  I liked the dish, but I liked the kale salad better.  And two weeks ago I tried another of their dishes (Korean barbeque seitan) that also had kale in it.  The kale in both dishes had a spicy vaugly Korean flavor to it.  When I noticed how nice the Tuscan kale looked at Fairway last week I decided to buy a few bunches and try to make a Korean-y kale salad.  And then I started thinking that if I was going to do a Korean-y kale salad I could probably figure out some sort of Korean-y seafood recipe to go with it.  Cod immediately came to mind and I went home and did some Google research and came up with these two recipes.  The kale salad (recipe available here) wasn't eactly what I was looking for, but I figured it was easy and would give me somewhere to start.  I wanted to add some salted cashews but by the time I got home and went for the cashews Alex told he he had finished them off as his afternoon snack.  Oh well.

Both dishes were a little salty for me, but otherwise good.  I thought the cod had nice flavor - a little spicy, a little sweet.  I liked it.  Our cod fell apart when I tried to flip it but we have a pretty good habit of ruining fish so there is nothing new there.  Alex massacred one of our Dover sole filets the other night too.  At least he only destroyed one fillet - I managed to destroy both here (although I reassembled one of them nicely for the photos).  I am going to keep working on the salad to perfect it.  I like kale salads better when the kale is cut into thin strips (I find it easier to eat that way), although I left the kale in larger pieces for this recipe because it was going to be sauteed briefly in the warm dressing.  In the future I would probably skip the step of sauteing the kale in the warm dressing and if I wanted to wilt the kale down, I would make a warm dressing and pour it over top of the kale (like this Korean-Style Romaine).

Recipes after the jump!

Korean Cod
Adapted from Heart Mind & Seoul

1lb cod fillets (we had 2 fillets)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tsp gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)
2 tsp Korean red pepper flakes
1 tbsp minced garlic
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp sesame oil
juice of 1 lemon
toasted sesame seeds
1 scallion, white and green parts, thinly sliced

In small bowl, combine the gochujang, Korean red pepper flakes, garlic, soy sauce, sugar and sesame oil. Stir and set aside.

In large pan, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and heat over medium high heat. Add cod and cook 2 minutes per side, flipping very carefully. Squeeze juice from 1 lemon to the fish. Add the prepared sauce to the pan and reduce heat to medium. Continue to cook until the fish absorbs most of the sauce, about 3 more minutes.

Sprinkle with green onions and serve.

Sesame Kale Salad

2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
2 bunches Tuscan kale, thick stems removed and leaves roughly chopped, rinsed and still a little wet
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame seeds
pinch Korean red pepper flakes (optional)

Heat oils over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger and saute for 1 minute. Add chopped kale and saute until warmed through and beginning to wilt, about 2-3 minutes. Add soy sauce, sesame seeds and Korean red pepper flakes. Stir to incorporate.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

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