marinated salmon, peanut noodles and sesame green beans

Posted on April 11, 2011. Filed under: Dinner, fish, pasta | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |


You can call this post “An Ode to Flop”.  Flop (aka Julia) is a wonderful lady who is currently located around the world in a wonderful place known as China.  But before that, she was my roommate.  Flop and I often cooked together and amassed quite a collection of kitchen tools, spices and frequently-made recipes.  Tonight, I made one of our favorite repeats.  Start with some marinated, seared salmon and throw in some spicy peanut noodles and lastly, some stir-fried sesame green beans.  It’s a great asian-y dinner and similar flavors of garlic, sesame and soy running through each dish and they compliment each other well.

For the fish:

salmon filets (from the thick part of the fish),
one filet per person
fresh ginger – about an inch long piece, peeled
a bunch of fresh dill
2 cloves of garlic
1 lemon
soy sauce
cayenne or hot sauce
Dijon mustard
olive oil

For the noodles:

spaghetti (1/3 of a box or so)
¼ c peanut butter
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar (optional)
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp vegetable oil
cayenne
sesame seeds
green onions (optional)

For the green beans:

green beans
vegetable oil
sesame oil
chili flakes
2 garlic cloves
salt

This fish recipe is a very vague one, at best.  The amounts are not specific and can be changed or omitted according to taste.  The policy for us is that we’d load up the fish and cover them to marinate for about 30 minutes, then remove most of the marinate and cook it.  Put all of the salmon in a baking dish with an edge (like Pyrex), skin side down.  Sprinkle with cayenne to taste (go easy, a little goes a long way unless you like a lot of heat) and slather with some dijon mustard.  Mince the garlic and ginger relatively finely and generously sprinkle on each filet.  With the ginger, cut about an inch long piece and peel by slicing the skin off.  It’s easy to do and the fresh flavor is really fantastic.  Just don’t put it in a garlic press cause that does NOT work.  Take the fresh dill (again FRESH please!  It makes such a difference!) and chop it up and slather the filets in the dill.  Sprinkle a few tablespoons of soy sauce over the fish and squeeze lemon juice over each as well.  Again this is to taste so emphasize flavors you like, remove or reduce flavors you don’t.   Drizzle with a little olive oil and let the fish sit for about 30 minutes to let the flavors all soak in.  The fish should be almost hidden by all of the goodness covering it.

While the fish is marinating, you can cook the pasta.  I randomly discovered that Flop had left a random bag of Asian pasta in our cupboard so since I didn’t have much spaghetti, I used those noodles instead.  Thankfully there were some very helpful step-by-step pictures on the back so I knew how to cook the noodles.

While the pasta cooks, combine the peanut butter, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar (if you want), vegetable oil, and sesame oil.  Whisk to combine and add a tiny bit of cayenne if you want some spice.  Add the pasta and toss to combine.  Add some sesame seeds and chopped scallions (if you don’t forget them at the store like I did!).  The noodles can be served hot, cold or anywhere in between.  If they get too thick or sticky, add some warm water a tbsp at a time and toss until it loosens.  It’s best when it’s really fresh so I usually start eating it immediately and fill up before the rest of the meal is ready.

The noodles are a great side dish but can also be made as a main course by adding a bunch of veggies (like red peppers and snow peas) and shrimp or chicken.  When I made this for my Italian brother-in-law, he was very concerned about the words spaghetti and peanut butter in the same sentence but even he enjoyed the dish (or humored me kindly).

Preheat the oven to 350F and get back to the salmon.  Scrape off most of the marinade.   In an oven safe pan with a bit of olive oil, sear the fish (skin side up) over high heat for about 2 minutes.  Flip the fish over and slide the pan into the oven.  Depending on the thickness of the fish, it should take 10-15 minutes to finish cooking.

While the salmon finishes in the oven, blanch the green beans in boiling salted water for 2-3 minutes and then toss them in a very hot pan that has about a tablespoon of vegetable oil and a tsp of sesame oil.  Optionally, you can add some chili flakes and/or a few smashed garlic cloves to the oil as it heats up.  I like both!  Stir fry for another 2 minutes (I take them from the boiling water directly into the hot oil.  It will spatter a bit but no reason to dirty another dish).  I usually salt the beans pretty heavily because I like them salty in this dish but season to your liking and sprinkle with some sesame seeds.  You can also make this dish with snow peas/pea pods or I’m sure a variety of other veggies.  It’s tasty and quick and the sesame oil adds great flavor.

Once the salmon is finished cooking, plate everything up.  Feel free to add another squeeze of lemon juice to the salmon and you’ve got a fresh, colorful plate of yummy food.  Take your plate, raise your glass and toast to Flop.  POOB!

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2 Responses to “marinated salmon, peanut noodles and sesame green beans”

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A friend made the cake balls this weekend-AMAZING!!! Thanks and keep cooking.

[…] my former roommate and cooking partner in crime, Julia has been attributed with past posts such as marinated salmon, peanut noodles and sesame green beans as well as the most recent post of pommes anna (which a friend smartly recommend that I rename […]


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