sesame

Broiled Honey Soy Salmon

Broiled Honey Soy Salmon

My absolute favorite way of preparing salmon is broiling. I only recently discovered this method over this past year or so. As my kitchen in my Hong Kong apartment is simply equipped with a hot plate, microwave, and toaster oven, I have really learned some new cooking techniques. For the first 4-6 months I had been living here, I didn't touch the toaster oven. I grew up with a toaster oven but we only really used it for well, toasting things. English Muffins, melting cheese, etc. I don't know why it took me so long to realize that a toaster oven can do everything a real oven can. Bake, roast, broil. It's incredible and the reason why there have been so many toaster oven recipes on the blog this year, lol! 

Broiling salmon sounds so...aggressive. However, once you've got the timing down pat, you are in for the flakiest, butteriest (is that a word?), moist, and tender salmon ever. The amount of time needed to broil a piece of salmon simply depends on its size (and thickness). I find that a normal fillet takes between 5-8 minutes. The finished fish will be firm but still bounce back to the touch. Any time I have broiled it beyond 8 minutes, the flesh will lean towards rubbery and over-cooked. Again, play with timing for yourself.

My favorite preparation for salmon is simply salt and pepper, and then served with tons of lemon juice after it's cooked. I feel like simple seasoning allows the real flavor of the fish to come out, especially when it's perfectly cooked. And of course, you need a ton of acid with fish. Today I'm sharing a simple classic marinade for salmon that you can enjoy with brown rice and veggies. Simply whisk it together and marinade the fish for at least half an hour. Of course, the longer the better. When it comes time to cook, prepare everything else in the meal first, since the fish will only take 5-8 minutes. You can prepare more marinade on the side, to warm and thicken for serving if you'd like. 

Beef Enoki Rolls

Beef Enoki Rolls

Ooooh these are little rolls of magic! Lately I've become obsessed with enoki mushrooms. The bouncy texture, how easy they are to cook, and the way they soak up whatever flavors surround them. They are dirt cheap, and you can toss them into virtually any dish. Growing up, I think I've only really eaten enoki mushrooms when I've gone out to eat hot pot with friends. I always enjoyed them, but they were definitely an afterthought. (Hello, beef!) Recently, however, I've been eating enoki with everything - stir fries, soup, noodle dishes, even salads. Their sweet, mellow flavor is so yum. 

I was inspired by these Japanese Beef Enoki Rolls that I had as part of a lunch set the other day, and couldn't get enough of them. They are simple to prepare and the marinade is actually super versatile and can be used for cooking other protein. Beef Enoki Rolls are tender, juicy, and almost taste like beef jerky - a harmonious blend of soy, ginger, garlic, sake, and sesame oil create an incredibly savory marinade for the thinly sliced beef. Soaking the enoki mushrooms in warm, salted water allows them to soften and gain some flavor. Finally all you've got to do is wrap small bundles of mushrooms in the marinaded beef and pan fry. Searing the meat takes a few minutes, and then you're in flavor heaven. Let's get cookin!

No Cook Japanese Cold Tofu with Sesame Dressing

No Cook Japanese Cold Tofu with Sesame Dressing

The weather is warming up, especially here in Hong Kong. It's 80 degrees in April here! This recipe for Japanese Cold Tofu with Sesame Dressing is quintessential for Spring/Summer. The best part is that this dish requires zero cooking. 

This is one of the best ways to enjoy the beautiful subtle flavor of tofu. Cold tofu can be enjoyed with a ton of different topping choices, including creamy sesame dressing, or a punchy mixture of scallions, fresh ginger, and soy sauce. In this recipe, I'll be using store-bought Japanese sesame dressing. I'll include the recipe for homemade dressing below, but sometimes it's simply easier to go pre-made! 

Hiyashi Chuka (Cold Ramen)

Hiyashi Chuka (Cold Ramen)

This dish is a great way to cool down in the Spring/Summer! Hiyashi Chuka can be made with a variety of toppings, but popular ones include: pickled ginger, cucumbers, ham, shrimp, strips of egg crepes, imitation crab, nori strips, wakame seaweed, and sesame seeds. Some other great ideas are carrots, shredded steamed chicken, and tomatoes! The options are endless, and the dressing is so yummy that it'll pull any combination together. This recipe is super simple - shred and julienne all your toppings, whisk up the dressing, and toss the chilled noodles together. You know how certain foods taste even better when eaten cold? The flavors of the sesame, soy, and rice vinegar dressing bring all the toppings to life :) Let's get cookin!

Ahi Poke & Wonton Crisps

Ahi Poke & Wonton Crisps

Poke is something you crave. Something you daydream about. Tender chunks of raw ahi tuna, marinated in shoyu, sesame oil, and any combination of chili pepper and sriracha. Other variations of ingredients may include seaweed, green onion, maui or red onion, toasted sesame seeds, furikake, garlic, or tobiko. If you’ve been lucky enough to travel to Hawaii, most likely you’ve tried authentic poke and you’ll know why it’s something I crave constantly.