I’ve been buying an extra half pound of salmon so that we can make salmon salad with the leftovers. Coho salmon is really the best and has few bones, even in the center cut.
This recipe is made with produce that is common is Mexican cuisine . The jicama looks like a pointy potato, but is a bit sweet and crunchy inside.
The citrus dressing is a nice contrast to the sweet papaya, and has a little kick from Habanero salsa and ginger. I thought of adding the cilantro after we ate it, so I’ll have to wait until next time to retake the picture with it.
Ingredients: Serves 2
Several handfuls of clean baby spinach, long stems discarded
About 1/3 cup sliced jicama
1/2 small papaya, sliced into bite sized pieces
1/4 medium avocado, sliced
1/3 cup of toasted pepitas
About 1 Tb cilantro leaves
3 Tb juice from 1/2 medium lemon and 1 lime
1 Tb cold water
3 drops Habanero salsa (That’s hot enough for my taste but you are welcome to add more if desired.)
1/4 tsp finely grated ginger
1/2 tsp honey
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 Tb olive oil
Make dressing: Combine all ingredients except oil in a jar and shake well. Add oil and shake well to emulsify.
Toast the pepitas (Green pumpkin seeds): Preheat oven to 350′ Measure 1/3 cup of pepitas in a bowl. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp water on them and mix in. Sprinkle 1/4 tsp salt and stir well. Spread on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes until pepitas are light brown. Cool on a rack.
Place baby spinach on plates, removing the long stems. Slice papaya, avocado and jicama and place on top of spinach.
Place cold salmon on top. Dress with citrus-ginger dressing. Sprinkle toasted pepitas on top.
1 – 2 tsp coconut oil. I used the virgin oil with coconut flavor
1/2 Manila mango, sliced
1/2 small lemon
1/2 tsp butter
Melt 1 tsp coconut oil over medium heat in heavy frying pan. I use my cast iron skillet.
Put salmon fillet in, skin side down. Add mango slices. Cover skillet for about 3-4 minutes until the skin is well cooked.
Flip salmon over and ease skin off with a metal spatula. Spread a little bit of butter on top of the salmon and squeeze some lemon on.
Add another tsp of coconut oil to the pan and flip the mango slices over. Cover pan and let cook for another 3-4 minutes until the salmon is starting to cook through. Flip the salmon over and spread a bit more butter on top and squeeze some more lemon on it and the mango slices.
Cut salmon into portions and serve with mango slices on top.
I’ve developed this cooking method through trial and error to make the most tender and juicy salmon. The secret is to fry the salmon skin side down. This makes the skin crispy enough to easily remove. The salmon develops a crusty exterior and tender interior. I brush it with lemon butter and finish it with a wine reduction with lemon butter.
Coho wild salmon is a good choice, economically and ecologically.
2 Tb olive oil, divided
1 pound salmon fillet
1/4 tsp sea salt
several grinds of black pepper
Sprinkle of dill weed
1 lemon to make 2 tsp lemon juice, plus lemon slices to garnish
1 Tb butter, melted
2 Tb Chardonnay or other dry white wine
Approximately 1 Tb sliced almonds to garnish
Mix lemon and melted butter together and set aside.
Sprinkle fillet with 1 teaspoon olive oil, salt and pepper
Heat olive oil in heavy frying pan over medium-high heat. Place salmon, skin side down, in the hot oil and turn stove to medium.
Sprinkle dill weed on salmon and cook for 3 minutes.
Brush top with lemon butter. Flip salmon over.
Remove crispy skin using a metal spatula.
Brush salmon bottom with more lemon butter. Cook for 2-4 minutes, depending on how well you like it cooked.
Flip salmon again so that the bottom gets a little brown, then put on a plate.
Sprinkle salmon with a tiny bit of sea salt.
Add 2 Tb white wine to the pan and stir about a minute. Add remaining lemon butter to the wine reduction.
Pour sauce over salmon.
Cut salmon in half to serve two people.
Garnish with a sprinkle of sliced almonds and a slice of lemon.
Serve with steamed artichokes with lemon butter dip and a glass of Chardonnay
I made my own teriyaki sauce after noticing that the bottled sauce generally has sugar or corn syrup as the #1 ingredient. This simple to make sauce has a little bit of brown sugar, but gets its flavor from the ginger, garlic and Mirin cooking sake (SAH- kay).
Combine in a small saucepan:
1 Tb corn starch
1 Tb tap water
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup Mirin
3 Tb brown sugar
1/4 tsp ginger powder
4 cloves garlic, smashed in a molcajete or mortar and pestle, and finely minced to make 1 Tb
2 inch piece of ginger, finely minced to make 1 TB
Whisk cornstarch and water together, then whisk in soy sauce, Mirin, ginger powder and brown sugar. Add fresh garlic and ginger. Heat to boiling, whisking constantly, then simmer for a few minutes until thick.
For chicken teriyaki: I’ve made this in the frying pan and barbecued, depending on the weather.
Pan cooked teriyaki:
Slice chicken breast and slice one onion. Heat pan with 1 Tb of canola oil. Add onions and chicken and teriyaki sauce. Bring to a boil, then let simmer for about 20 minutes until onions are soft and chicken is tender. Serve with rice and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
6 boneless, skinless breasts.
Cut off excess fat. Rinse and pat dry with paper towels. Place in on a large plate. Pour canola oil over breasts and spread it over both sides with your hands. Place breasts on hot grill and cook for approximately 10 minutes on each side until done. Brush teriyaki sauce on one side of chicken and put that side down on the grill. Reduce flame to low. Cook for 5 minutes. Brush other side of chicken with teriyaki, flip chicken to that side, and cook on low for another 5 minutes. Plate the chicken and pour a bit more sauce over it.
Use 3 salmon steaks or 1 1/2 lb filet:
Marinade salmon in 1 cup Mirin for 15 minutes
Place on hot grill. Cook for 2-4 minutes, depending on thickness of salmon piece. Turn to other side and cook for another 2-4 minutes. Brush teriyaki sauce on one side of salmon, turn down flame, and cook for one minute, repeating for the other side.
Now that summer is officially here and we finally had a nice hot summer’s day, it’s time to make Vietamese style Summer Rolls. They are sometimes called Spring Rolls, although the Spring Rolls are often fried. Summer rolls are made with fresh, raw vegetables, with or without boiled shrimp. Gỏi Cuốn translates literally as salad rolls, which is pretty much what they are: a shrimp salad in a roll. I’ve always loved these for their burst of flavor from the fresh herbs inside heightened by the sweet spiciness of Hoisin (WHO-zjen) sauce and sweet chili sauce.
Many thanks to chefs Cindy Hay (pictured above), Wyn Ha and Jenny Inpraseuth; my Southeast Asian colleagues who cheerfully and patiently taught me to make these.
Asian ingredients are available at most Asian markets and Berkeley Bowl
You can make these Vegetarian/ Vegan with just salad ingredients or add fried tofu.
About 2 cups of medium shrimp. If you buy shrimp in their shells, they make a lovely broth.
3 cups water
1 slice of fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic (use two when making tofu rolls)
1 tsp salt
A slice about a quarter of the tofu in the container
Peanut-Hoisin dipping Sauce
Cindy told me that the sauce needs to have sweet, sour and salty flavors:
1/3 cup reduced shrimp broth. If making vegetarian, boil water with sliced garlic and ginger and 1/4 tsp salt
2 Tablespoons bottled Hoisin sauce (tương ăn phở)
2 Tb plus 1 tsp salted peanut butter (either smooth or crunchy)
1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
1/4 tsp Siracha sauce or chili garlic paste (add more if you like it spicier)
juice from 1/2 lime
1 Tb chopped peanuts
1 package rice paper rounds (bánh tráng)
1 round cake pan or pie pan with warm water
You can vary the salad ingredients, but always include mint, cilantro and basil leaves and rice noodles.
Rice vermicelli noodles (rice sticks) size medium Bún Giang Tây.
1/3 cup cilantro leaves
1/3 cup mint leaves
1/3 cup Thai basil (you can substitute regular basil if you can’t find the more aromatic Thai basil)
4 – 6 green leaf leaves lettuce. Use the upper part of the leaves.
1/2 cup bean sprouts, rinsed and cut in thirds
1 large peeled carrot
2 Persian cucumbers (no need to peel) or 1 peeled pickling cucumber
1/4 peeled small jicama
1/4 red bell pepper
about 6 smap peas, julieened
6 chives, chopped in thirds or 1 scallion, green parts only, sliced thinly and chopped 4 inches long.
You can make the shrimp and Hoisin dipping sauce ahead of time.
Defrost shrimp overnight, or in a colander under cold running water for 7 minutes. While shrimp is defrosting, fill a small pot with 2 cups water and add 1 tsp of salt, ginger and garlic, and bring to a boil. Bring shrimp to boil, then boil over medium high heat for 3 minutes. Drain shrimp in a sieve over a bowl, reserving cooking liquid. Cool shrimp until you are able to handle them. Peel the shrimp and cut in half crosswise (so that each half has the shrimp shape).
Pour the liquid back into the pot. Return the shells, garlic and ginger into the reserved liquid. Boil uncovered for about 10 minutes or until reduced to 1/3 cup. Pour over a sieve into a bowl and set aside to cool.
Use firm or extra firm tofu. Cut about a slice about a quarter of the tofu in the container. Wrap it in a clean dish towel.
Place it on a cutting board, then place another cutting board on top. Weigh the top board down with a heavy frying pan with several bags of rice inside.
After about 10 minutes, remove the tofu and unwrap it. Cut it into slabs, then halve them crosswise.
Heat a teaspoon or so of oil in a small frying pan and fry tofu. Use tongs to flip them.
Let fried tofu drain on paper towels. Paint on one side with the peanut sauce:
Hoisin peanut dipping sauce:
Stir 1/3 cup reduced shrimp broth with Hoisin sauce, coconut milk, peanut butter, and siracha in a small pot and heat over medium heat. Stir in lime juice. Pour into a ramiken or small serving bowl. Top with crushed peanuts.
If making vegetarian rolls, use water boiled for 15 minutes with 1/4 tsp salt, a slice of ginger and 2 cloves garlic instead of shrimp broth.
Prepare the noodles:
Boil 12 cups water in a a saucepan. Use about 31/2 oz rice vermicelli noodles, also called rice sticks Bún Giang Tây (about 1/4 of a 14 oz package). Be sure they are size medium, not the very thin vermicelli.
Cook the noodles, uncovered, for 5 minutes in boiling water, stirring occasionally.
Cool them by rinsing them in a sieve under cold water for 2 minutes. Stir and separate the noodles with a fork or chopstick so that they don’t clump up. Let them drain over a bowl.
I use a special Asian vegetable shaver with a zigzag blade called a Kiwi Pro Slice Peeler to shave thin slices of carrots, cucumber and jicama. Rotate the vegetable as you shave it. Discard (or snack on) the cucumber core that has the seeds.
Cut the vegetables very thin and small, Cut the bean sprouts in thirds so they don’t poke through the thin rice wrapper.
Summer rolls are not too hard to make, but the trick is in rolling the sticky rice paper. It comes in a hard, almost plastic-like wafer.
I couldn’t believe it was the same thing as the soft wrapper. Magically it transforms when dipped in warm water. It softens and becomes thinner and pliable. If you dip it flat, it wants to curl up.
The trick is to hold it by the edges and rotate it through the water, then give it a quick dip in the water to wet the middle. The whole process should take about 5 seconds. If it stays too long in the water it will become too thin and tear easily, and stick to itself. If it’s too stiff the wrapper will be too chewy. It will soften on the plate as you add the veggies so that it will be thin and flexible.
Place the rice paper on a damp plate. It will soften within seconds.Put a lettuce leaf and a tablespoon of noodles first to add a cushion for the vegetables.
Then add a few vegetables, and a few mint, basil and cilantro leaves. Avoid over-stuffing the roll. I got excited by all the wonderful ingredients and wanted to add it all in as much as possible. My rolls became bulky and torn. Moderation in all things I remind myself.
Roll wrapper halfway, and then fold left and right sides over the filling. Lay 3 shrimp halves, cut side up, with a few basil, cilantro and mint leaves along the edge of the cylinder.
If using tofu, place three pieces, sauce side down with the herbs
Finish rolling up the summer roll. Cut it in half crosswise to look prettier.
Dip your summer roll in Hoisin Peanut Sauce or sweet chili sauce.
On our first date, my husband and I cooked Camarones al mojo de ajo. We’ve been in love ever since.
I love the Spanish word for garlic clove: diente, which also means tooth. And there is some resemblance, come to think about it.
2 Tb olive oil
3/4 lb large raw shrimp
1 head of garlic
A few shakes of red chili pepper flakes
¼ cup dry white wine such as Chardonnay
1 lime, juiced
large pinch smoked Maldon salt to taste (you can use regular or sea salt if you don’t have that)
Defrost shrimp in in the refrigerator overnight or in a colander under cold running water for 7 minutes. Peel the shrimp and save the shells in the freezer for a future batch of shrimp broth. If you are planning to eat the shrimp with your hands, keep the tails on. But for tacos or pasta, remove them.
Smash the garlic head in a molcajete (mortar and pestle made of volcanic rock). This will loosen the peel, separate the dientes, and smash the garlic to release the flavor. Discard the garlic peel and finely mince the garlic. Mix with the peeled shrimp.
Heat olive oil in a wok or large heavy frying pan. Add garlic and the shrimp. Toss with a metal spatula until the shrimp turn completely pink. Sprinkle with a little red chili pepper flakes. Squeeze in a large lime and add wine and scrape the pan. Salt to taste. I used a few grinds of smoked sea salt.
To make tacos, I first fry half a sliced onion and a bell pepper (you can sub a cup of frozen bell peppers) in olive oil, then set aside in a bowl. Fry the shrimp in the same pan and then mix with the onions and peppers. Cut half a large avocado (or a whole small one) into chunks, and separate cilantro leaves from stems to make about 1/2 cup of leaves. Mix all ingredients together and serve with homemade tortillas
We enjoyed this in a restaurant in New York and I said “I think I can figure out how to make this.” After two tries, I think I’ve got it perfect. The salmon is moist with a crunchy sesame seed crust. It makes an easy weeknight dinner with a salad or stir fry veggies on the side.
1 pound salmon steak
Juice from ½ lemon
3 Tb sesame seeds
¼ tsp sea salt
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp sesame oil
Squeeze the half lemon over both sides of the salmon.
Heat a heavy frying pan with olive and sesame oils.
Pour sesame seeds onto a plate and arrange in the shape of the salmon steak and sprinkle salt over them.
Press each side of the steak into the seeds so that it is well coated.
Place salmon in the hot oil, and then turn the flame to medium low. Fry for about 10 minutes on each side until salmon is fully cooked.
This easy fish dinner is a bit spicy, moist and colorful. I made it first with spinach and the second time with red Swiss chard. If using chard, add it with the other vegetables. Spinach can be added at the last few minutes, since it only needs to wilt. You could even use both!
1 lb salmon steaks – 2 steaks
2 cloves garlic, crushed and diced
1 tsp fresh rosemary needles
¼ tsp red chili pepper flakes
several grinds of black pepper
several shakes sea salt
½ lime or lemon
1 red bell pepper, chopped
5 mushrooms, sliced
1 bunch Swiss Chard, both stems and leaves, chopped
OR /and one bunch spinach, de-stemmed
1 tsp olive oil
Heat olive oil in heavy skillet. Add rosemary and garlic. Wash salmon and sprinkle both sides with salt and chili and black pepper. Squeeze lime or lemon on both sides. Place in pan on top of herbs on medium flame. Add chopped red bell pepper, mushrooms, and chopped red chard on the sides of the fish. Cook about 8 minutes, until fish browns. Turn fish over. If using spinach, add it to cover fish, and cover pan. Cook for 5 minutes.
I served this with red Quinoa in a heart shape for Valentine’s Day
I first tasted Baja-style fish tacos in a fast food place by the beach in Los Angeles. I thought they were the most wonderful thing! But I needed to find a less greasy alternative.
I make a lighter version (361.5 calories for 2 tacos) of those fried fish tacos, using Barbecued Salmon or Poached Salmon. Substitute lime for lemon in the recipe.
Or try my spicy pan-fried rock cod, sole or salmon with Tajín (chili powder with lime and salt) in the recipe below. Salmon is rich in omega-3, the healthy fat.
I add lots of fresh vegetables in the slaw: cabbage, radishes, cilantro and green onions. Top with lime juice, salsa and avocado chunks or Sonia’s guacamole.
Pan Fried Fish Tacos Serves 3 hungry people
Crunchy yet still not as greasy as deep-fried fish tacos, I made these with dry masa harina (corn flour) that I used for making tortillas or tamales. They are not as coarse as cornmeal. The tamale masa harina is coarser than tortilla masa harina. Use whichever you have on hand.
2 large fillets (1 1/2 pounds) of rock cod (red snapper), sole or salmon. Remove any bones and the skin
2 – 4 Tb canola oil as needed
1/2 cup masa
1 tsp salt
several grinds black pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp smoked paprika (optional)
1 tsp Tajín (tah -Heen) (chili powder with lime and salt)
juice of 2 limes plus a cut up lime for serving
Combine masa, Tajín, salt and pepper on a plate.
Rinse fish well then cut up into 3 to 4 inch pieces. Roll them in the masa.
Heat oil until hot. Place fish pieces in oil and cook over medium heat about 5 minutes, until it browns. Turn over and cook until golden brown on the other side. If necessary, add another spoonful of oil between batches.
Sprinkle with lime juice. Serve with vegetable slaw as below.
Taco Ingredients: Makes 6 tacos
6 corn tortillas
1 cup shredded cabbage
¼ cup cilantro leaves, chopped
2 large radishes, sliced
3 green onions (scallions), sliced thin
juice of 1 lime, plus another lime to squeeze on tacos
My friend Karen and I invented this easy recipe on the Fourth of the July. We grilled it in the park on a charcoal grill. The second time I made it on a gas grill at home. Barbecue the salmon about 3 inches above the coals after they have turned white, or on medium high for gas.
Serves 3 (1/3 pound per person)
1 pound salmon fillet or steak
2 lemons: 1 sliced and 1 quartered
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
salt to taste
1 sprig rosemary
3 sprigs dill weed
Place salmon on a sheet of aluminum foil, skin side down.
Sprinkle with olive oil, garlic and salt.
Tear up rosemary and dill sprigs and place on top.
Place lemon slices on top.
Squeeze two quarters of the second lemon on the fish. Wrap salmon tightly in foil, place another piece of foil on top, then wrap again.
Heat up grill on high, then put on medium high before placing salmon on. Cook salmon fillet 3-5 minutes on each side. After 6-10 minutes of cooking, check that it is firm and flaky. For salmon steak, cook 6 minutes on each side, 12 minutes total.
Unwrap salmon on plate, remove lemon slices. Squeeze last two quarters of lemon on salmon.