When it comes to cooking, there is one person for whom I am forever grateful: my mother, Laura Plimpton. She is one of my greatest cooking teachers and inspirations. She’s also my dial-up, completely invaluable culinary encyclopedia.
I’m infinitely thankful for the delicious, home cooked meals my mother laid on the table just about every night as I was growing up. And for the fact these creations, so infused with love, gave me a taste of the world as my mom always fearlessly tackles dishes from all over. I’m glad that’s rubbed off on me. During the hours and hours I’ve been lucky enough to cook by my mother’s side, I’ve learned not only how to follow recipes, but also how to confidently cook without a book. How blessed am I that these lessons continue on and on?
Today, I wanted to share my rendition of one of my favorite Asian-fusion dishes my mother makes so perfectly: Hoisin glazed salmon with cold sesame noodle.
$$$ The Cost $$$
Dinner for 2 plus plenty of noodles and fish for lunch the next day: $26.26
(Or, you can say that’s the cost of dinner for 4!)
Hoisin Glazed Salmon
What You Need:
- Salmon filet or steaks (While I prefer to buy wild salmon when possible, I cooked a wonderful looking 1 ½ pound fillet from Ruskin’s Fish Market in Crown Heights. It was just $8.99/lbs, so I ended up paying about $13.00)
- 1/3 cup Hoisin Sauce (I had to settle with gluten free, as that was the only thing at the store. It was alright!) ($0.75)
- About 1 ½ tbsp Soy Sauce (add a little more as desire) ($0.05)
- Juice of 1 Orange ($0.79)
- 1 inch piece Ginger, sliced or chopped ($0.25)
- 2 tbsp Honey ($0.25)
What You Do:
- Whisk the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, orange juice, ginger, and honey together in a bowl or large glass measuring cup with a fork or whisk.
- Pour it into a baking pan (Pyrex is great) & 9”x13” is a pretty good size!
- Place the salmon fillet or steaks in the pan.
- Spoon the marinade on top of the fish. Make sure it’s fully coated!
- Cover with plastic wrap and stick in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven broiler on high heat. After taking the salmon out of the fridge, remove plastic wrap and spoon more marinade on top. Stick pan in your broiler and cook for about 12-15 minutes, depending on how think the fish cuts are and how you like your fish J. FYI: The 10-Minute Rule or Canadian Cooking Method is one way to cook fish by conventional methods including grilling, broiling, poaching, steaming, sautéing, en papillotte (in parchment paper), planking, and baking (at 400F to 450F). Speaking of planking, my mother grills the salmon on a cedar plank. It’s delicious! Maybe she’ll comment here about that cooking method.
- Remove from broiler when ready and serve!
Sesame Cold Noodles
We like the following recipe by Tyler Florence. I’m going to note modifcation suggestions in bold, however:
What You Need:
- 1/2 pound dried buckwheat (soba) noodles (I paid $5.29 for really nice Lotus Root Soba noodle)
- 9 tablespoons dark sesame oil ($0.50)
- 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and crushed with the side of a knife ($0.25)
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed with the side of a knife I DO NOT SUGGEST USING THIS MUCH GARLIC… reduce to 1 clove or less!
- 1 red Thai bird chile, minced, seeds and all ($0.10)
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar (I substituted with a spoonful molasses as I was out of brown sugar. Either are great!) ($0.05)
- 1/2 cup creamy NATURAL peanut butter ($1.25)
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar ($0.30)
- 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce ($0.10)
- 6 tablespoons water, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon chili sauce I didn’t add this because I didn’t have any.
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, for garnish ($0.03)
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal ($0.30)
- 1 lime, cut into wedges, for serving I didn’t add this either, but sounds good!
What You Do:
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the noodles and stir to keep them from sticking together. Cook until barely tender and still firm, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain immediately and rinse under cold running water to cool. Drain the noodles really well, transfer to a wide serving bowl, and toss immediately with 3 tablespoons of the sesame oil so they don’t stick together.
Meanwhile, make the sauce. In a saucepan, heat 1/4 cup sesame oil over medium-low heat. Add the ginger, garlic, and chile. Cook, stirring for a minute, until the vegetables are soft and fragrant. Place into a blender along with the brown sugar, peanut butter, vinegar, soy sauce, hot water, chili sauce, and the remaining 2 tablespoons sesame oil. Puree and refrigerate until cold.
Toast the sesame seeds in a dry skillet over medium-low heat until golden brown. (Shake the pan constantly to keep the seeds from burning). Put the noodles in a serving bowl and toss with the sesame sauce. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and green onions, and serve with the lime wedges.
Baby Spinach Salad with Avocado
I also tossed together a little baby spinach/avocado salad with a miso-lemon dressing. The dressing recipe came from my friend, Susan Lemak:
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Large tablespoonish scoop of Miso
- Big glug of Olive Oil, about 1/4 cup
- a bit of something hot, like cayenne or your favorite hot sauce–not too much
Whisk, then massage it into all the leaves. Let it sit a bit. Add whatever else appeals to you. As Susan told me, radishes are lovely.
Salad cost: ~$3.00