Friday, August 19, 2011

Salmon Stir-fry

Lately, I have featured a varied array of delicious, but maybe kind of slightly not-so-healthy dishes (see here, here, and here).  As proof that we do eat healthy around here sometimes, mostly in fact (ish), I bring you this.  Proof.  Because you probably weren't giving it a second thought but I have been very concerned about your perceptions of my eating habits.  I very much care what you think, you see.  For what it's worth, I have always thought you were rather charming.

So, stir-fry.

We are very lucky to live walking distance from one of the best Chinese food restaurants in the country.  Even so, sometimes you just don't want to leave the house.  Luckily, stir-fry will usually satisfy those Chinese food cravings and it's super easy and versatile to make at home.  You can mix and match whatever vegetables you have handy with whatever seafood or meat you've got around.  Easy peasy. 

A lot of the Asian recipes you come across though are filled with a long list of intimidating ingredients that are expensive and likely to only be used once if you're anything like me.  Then years later, you'll come across that bottle of oyster sauce in the back of the cabinet and wonder how the hell that got there.  Along with the random can of minestrone soup and the bottle of marjoram you needed for that one thing that one time.  All those Asian sauces and potions are delicious and would take our at-home version to the next level, I'm sure, but it's just too much for me. 

The only sort of persnickety you-might-not-already-have items in this version are toasted sesame oil and fresh ginger. Toasted sesame oil (we get ours at Trader Joe's) I use all the time drizzled over grilled vegetables, in salads, and in marinades.  Adds a ton of flavor and so yummy.  A little goes a looooong way though so be careful.  And ginger because I love it.  One ginger root will last you forever.  You usually only use an inch or so at a time in recipes (or steeped in tea - so good!).  Then put the rest in a plastic baggie and throw it in the freezer until next time.

I also garnished mine with crumbled dried roasted seaweed.  I usually eat it as a snack with brown rice.  My mom used to feed this to us when we were little.  Anything weird I do, you can pretty much blame her.  Mostly.

Try it!

This version adapted slightly from this food network recipe.

1 pound salmon, cut into cubes (can substitute chicken, shrimp, steak, anything really)
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 scallions, diced, separate white from green and reserve green for garnish
1-inch piece of peeled fresh ginger, minced
1 Tbs soy sauce
2 Tbs sugar
1 1/2 Tbs cornstarch
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbs toasted sesame oil
1/3 cup water
1/4 tsp red chili flake
canola oil
veggies of choice.  We used:
1 orange bell pepper, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 1/2 cups snow peas
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
2 cups baby bok choy, diced

In a medium bowl, mix the salmon with the white scallions, half the garlic and ginger, soy sauce, sugar, 1/2 Tbs of the cornstarch, 1 tsp of salt, and toasted sesame oil to coat.  Let it sit on the counter for 15-20 minutes.

Mix remaining 1 Tbs of cornstarch with 1/3 cup of water.

Heat a high-sided skillet on high and add canola oil.  Add your veggies of choice and saute for only about 2 minutes.  You want the veggies to still have some bite.  Add the remaining garlic and ginger, and 2 Tbs of water (not the cornstarch mixture).  Add the 1/2 tsp of salt and pepper.  Saute for another 2 minutes.  Transfer the veggies to a bowl and set aside for now.

Reheat the skillet and add canola oil.  Add the salmon and saute 3-4 minutes.  Return the veggies to the skillet and toss together with the salmon.  Add the red chili flake.  Stir in the cornstarch/water mixture.  Bring to a boil, the sauce will thicken.  If the sauce is too thick, add some water.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve over brown rice, or couscous, or quinoa (quinoa is in the pics above because we didn't want to wait the 40 minutes for the brown rice).

Garnish with toasted sesame seeds if you've got them and reserved green scallions (and crumbled dried, roasted seaweed if you so desire).


Kelsey said...

I LOVE stir fry. It's delicious and so easy to make! I like how you marinaded the salmon, looks good! The strange thing about stir fry is that it doesn't fill me up for long. I have no idea why that is. I cook up veggies, chicken, and brown rice, put it in a bowl twice the size of my stomach, and yet, two hours later I'm starving again. It's healthy and yummy, though, so I keep making it.