Chances are, you won’t have all of these ingredients in your pantry. But as “weird” as some of this might sound to you, this is an extremely simple recipe, and worth a trip to an Asian Market (or Amazon.) I’m confident that you’ll use at least a few of them over and over again. Honestly.
2 salmon filets
1 bunch baby bok choy
1 teaspoon olive oil
For the broth:
3 cups of water
1/4 teaspoon Togarashi (optional)
1/2 sheet kombu
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
1 handful dried bonito flakes
1 Tbsp shoyu
2 tsp yuzu
Preheat your oven to 425.
Make your dashi first by simmering the kombu and bonito flakes in the water for about 30 minutes. Strain and add the yuzu and shoyu. Keep on low. Brush the salmon with the olive oil and if you like a little spice, sprinkle a little Togarashi on top.
Wrap the salmon filets in a piece of foil and bake for about 10 minutes - more if your filets are thick.
Clean the bok choy well - it can hide grit like leeks can, but it’s one of my favorite veggies (you can see I made extra). You can either do a quick stir fry of the bok choy or steam them, which I like for this dish.
Plate the bok choy with the salmon on top and drizzle with the dashi. Sprinkle the black sesame seeds over all.
This is a super light dish which is why I liked steaming the bok choy. The salmon is rich but there’s very little fat on the plate.
A funny note about bonito flakes: People get a bit freaked out when they drop this into hot water because the flakes start to “dance” around the water. It’s not alive, it’s just that the bonito is flaked so thin, it reacts to the hot water.
If you really want to see your dinner dance, go to YouTube and look up Dead Dancing Octopus. It will make you want to run out and get a hamburger.
But you’ll enjoy this salmon. And if you want to dance, I won’t tell anyone.
Dashi: Not an ingredient, exactly. It’s a basic fish stock used in a lot of Japanese cooking made of kombu, bonito flakes and water. It tastes like the ocean
Kombu: Dried sheets of kelp
Shoyu: Japanese-style soy sauce
Yuzu: Juice from the yuzu - a citrus fruit, a hybrid of mandarin orange and the ichang papeda
Bonito flakes (katsuobushi): Fine flakes of dried bonito - a type of tuna
Togarashi Seasoning: a Japanese mix of red chili pepper, orange peel, sesame seeds, Japanese pepper, ginger and seaweed