Salmon with Wasabi Sauce & Baby Bok Choy from Martha Stewart
We all know the saying “The quickest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”. This can also be a fairly speedy route to the female heart as well. Staying in and making your date dinner (or making it together) rates high on the romance scale. You get to show off your creativity and appreciation for nuance and details, even if it’s a simple dish. It’s no different from putting an outfit together. That’s what this series is all about. She or he will be left impressed, and you won’t need the skills of Wolfgang Puck.
- Familiar Ingredients: mayo, cilantro, lime juice, ginger, oil, salmon, soy sauce
- Not So Familiar Ingredients: wasabi paste, mirin, baby bok choy
- Number of Pans/Pots you’ll need to make this dish: One blender, immersion blender, or food processor for the wasabi sauce, one large skillet.
Whenever you can present an entire vegetable cooked (think whole young carrots, or a full head of baby lettuce in a salad), the dish always tends to look fancier. A chopped up hash of vegetables can be delicious, but that just doesn’t have the wow factor of a full veggie laid out on a plate. Baby bok choy is perfect for fancy presentation. And our girl Martha paired it with some salmon. Simple, elegant, and easy. Plus the sauce is DELICIOUS. I mean, there’s mayo in it. Come on now. But it’s light, and really flavorful. I could see it making a great dressing in an Asian slaw. Hmm.
This is a great springtime meal that falls on the light side, but you can make it heavier by adding something starchy, like brown jasmine rice. Coconut Rice with Edamame would pair really well, and would make for some great next day leftovers with the salmon.
So here’s the recipe, be gone, and cook! No, wait… first a few explanations and tips.
Wasabi Paste – If you’ve had sushi, you know what this is. Wasabi paste (or Japanese horseradish) is the bright green stuff you mix with your soy sauce which causes that delightful “burn” in your sinuses. You can buy tubes of pre-made wasabi paste, which will last a while in the fridge. Or you can by wasabi powder, and just reconstitute it with water.
Salmon – Buy salmon out of the butcher case at your local grocer. If they don’t already have 6-8oz fillets in the case, the butcher can cut the salmon fillets down to match the thinner cuts shown in this recipe. Or, you can buy larger fillets and cut them up yourself. Opt for boneless fillets, if available.
Baby Bok Choy – You’ve likely seen this veggie several times at the grocery store, hanging out among the cabbages and root vegetables. Time not to pass it up. This Chinese cabbage is flavorful, has a nice texture cooked, and pairs deliciously with soy sauce.
Check out these babies.
Mirin – This is a rice wine, sweeter and lower in alcohol content than sake. It’s a staple in Japanese cooking, and a little goes a long way. You can easily find this item in the Asian food isle at the store. I’ve never taken a straight chug out of a bottle of mirin. Anyone have experience with this? Do tell.
Final Note: Since this dish has some Japanese inspired elements, why not pair this with some sake? No, I’m not talking about the hot sake you order at a sushi joint and pound as sake bombs. I’m talking about sake meant to be consumed chilled, and slowly. There’s a huge variety out there. If you need some guidance, K&L Wine has some good write ups and scoring on several sakes. You might also try a local wine shop. There will often be a sake section, albeit small, but likely stocked with finer sake.
Sarah is a self proclaimed foodie and regular contributor to theprettyguineapig.com. Her addiction to massive amounts of wasabi while eating sushi has been cause for concern for her husband. She’s survived thus far. For more MIFYD posts, click here. And if you love a good horseradish burn, proclaim your love in the comments.