Salmon, Bok Choy and Udon, oh my!
This post is inspired by Wood, who sent up a flag for recipes to get her through the week. This is our absolute favorite fast, healthy meal, bar none. We ate this almost once/week when I was pregnant and trying to get salmon and greens as often as possible (when what I really wanted was pizza and mac'n'cheese). This method for cooking salmon, straight out of Patricia Wells' Bistro Cooking, will wow your benefactees, the texture is unbelievable.
MZ loves everything in this dish now, she plays with the udon noodles and will eat the bok choy if it's cut small. And Wood, you should easily be able to find the ingredients in your 'hood...
2 salmon fillets
Teriyaki sauce from a bottle or homemade
2 garlic cloves
6 fresh shiitaki mushrooms (if you're feeling fancy)
4-6 heads of baby bok choy, depending on size
2 individual serving packages of udon noodles, without the broth base
1 T sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 T mirin
2 T sake
1 garlic clove, pressed
1" piece of ginger, peeled and grated
Preheat oven to 325. Combine teriyaki ingredients, or pour sauce in a shallow baking dish. Add fish, turn to coat, leaving skin side up.
While fish is marinating, slice mushrooms thinly, if using, then cut bok choy on the diagonal into thin slices and rinse in a colander -- allow some water to remain on the leaves. Put a medium pot of water on to boil. Pour a glass of wine, if you haven't done so. A fruity sauvignon blanc, gewürztraminer or dry riesling would be perfect.
Heat a nonstick pan on medium high heat. Pat the fish dry and lay in the pan, cooking for two minutes on each side. While fish is cooking, transfer teriyaki sauce to a small saucepan and bring to a boil, cook for at least 3 minutes to reduce and to make sure it's cooked. Wipe baking dish with a paper towel and place fish back in, and place in oven. Set timer for 5 minutes.
When water comes to a boil, add the noodles. Stir to break up a bit, and cook as directed.
Heat a wok or flat nonstick pan on high heat (if you have expensive nonstick pans, ditch them for some restaurant supply pans and enjoy high heat -- they're practically disposable). Add some canola oil, and the garlic. When it turns golden in color, add the mushrooms. Stir occasionally until they soften (a minute or two), then add the bok choy. Stir often, but not continuously, for a few minutes until done to your liking -- keeping in mind that baby bok choy goes from crisp to mush very rapidly.
When the noodles are done, drain in colander used for bok choy. Plate to two rimmed soup/pasta bowls, reserving some for the baby. Add the bok choy mixture, then lay the fish on top, again reserving some for the baby. Add the teriyaki sauce to the water remaining in the bok choy pan, and spoon over all.
Cut the baby's food up, refill the wine, and sit down to eat together. The best.
Riff references: Bistro Cooking, Japanese Family-style Recipes