Oh that lovely peachy flesh on the salmon just makes me swoon! Aside from the mega dose of omega 3 fatty acids that eating salmon provides, it's one of the healthiest fish options for anybody out there, especially my expectant mothers. While I wouldn't advise you to go nuts and eat it everyday because after all, everything must be eaten in moderation and we do need to be careful of heightened mercury levels in our seafood these days, it should still be on your must-eat list.
So, to be completely transparent with you, I don't normally cook salmon on a daily basis, but what I do pretty daily, admittedly, is stalk foodie Instagram feeds. Yes, I said it: I'm an Instagram food stalker and my name is Chandara. But in my defense, it's just so tempting to simply sit back and drool over amazing food images. One of my favorite feeds out there is the one by the guys over at Heirloom LA. They're a catering company and food truck in Los Angeles and I must say, if ever I had the funds to have them cater my events or if you're a newly-engaged couple looking for a wedding caterer, they'd be the first ones I'd call or refer to you. I'm dead serious. Their Instagram feed is always chock full of drool-worthy images of their culinary creations. I'm talking about pigs roasting over an open fire, and crudités artfully presented on wooden serving platters gracing a buffet table.
So a few weeks ago, the guys posted an image of their Salmon with Soba Noodles that I found so beautiful, and it inspired me to create my own version with my own twist: Pan-Seared Salmon with Mushroom-Miso Dashi, a dish that would be perfect for you to serve on any date night. When it comes to cooking, sometimes, all you need is a little inspiration to begin with, and then you just let your imagination do the rest. Now, why don't you give it a whirl and let me know how it goes!
|The dish that set it all off: Salmon with Soba Noodles | via Heirloom LA on Instagram|
|Oh the vibrant peachy hue of fresh Alaska Salmon | via Chandara Creative|
|Japanese Shimeji or Beech mushrooms | via Chandara Creative|
|Dashi broth infused with scallions & dry shitake mushrooms lend a wonderful layer of umami | via Chandara Creative|
|Warm silken tofu with Shimeji mushrooms in a sea of dashi acts as a lovely side dish | via Chandara Creative|
|Pan-Seared Salmon with Mushroom-Miso Dashi | via Chandara Creative|
Pan-Seared Salmon with Mushroom-Miso Dashi
Inspired from the awesome folks of Heirloom LA
• 1 6 oz center-cut salmon filet (with skin)
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 1/4 tsp or dash of black pepper
• 1 tsp olive oil
• 1 tbs canola or vegetable oil (higher smoke point than olive oil)
Ingredients -- Mushroom-Miso Dashi
• 2 cups water
• 4 small dried shitake mushrooms
• 1 green scallion (green portion thinly sliced for garnish, white portion left in tact for dashi)
• 1 small piece Japanese seaweed or kombu
• 1 tsp white miso paste
• 2 tsp soy sauce or tamari
• 3 edamame pods, pre-cooked & shelled
• 1/4 bunch of fresh shimeji mushrooms*
*NOTE: Japanese Shimeji or Beech mushrooms come pre-packaged in plastic as a small bunch. This recipe only requires 1/4 of that package.
- 1. Prepare the Dashi: In a small sauce pan, pour in 2 cups of water along with the white ends of the scallions, kombu, and dried shitake mushrooms. Bring to a boil, then let simmer for 10 minutes. Strain out the kombu, scallions, and dried mushrooms and return to stove. Allow dashi to simmer over low heat and stir in soy sauce and miso paste. After 2 minutes, place the silken tofu cubes and shimeji mushrooms in the dashi and allow it to simmer for another 5 minutes over the the lowest heat setting. Keep dashi broth warm.
- 2. Pat your salmon filet dry with a paper towel, and season both sides with salt, pepper, and the olive oil. Set aside.
- 3. In a stainless steel pan or cast iron skillet, heat 1 tbs canola oil over high heat. Once oil is hot enough or after about 2 minutes, place the salmon filet skin side down in the pan. You should hear a sizzle. If you don't then your oil is not hot enough and you'll need to wait a little longer. Allow your salmon filet to sear for 4-5 minutes, depending on the thickness of your fish, and then using a spatula, flip it over. Lower your heat to medium high, and sear for another 4-5 minutes. Tip: The 2nd side should take slightly faster to cook. Once cooked to your desired preference (medium rare or well done), turn off heat and set aside.
- 4. Spoon 3/4 of the dashi broth in a shallow plate. Gently place your salmon over the dashi broth, and sprinkle broth with edamame and sliced scallions. Garnish the salmon with a layer of shimeji mushrooms and extra sliced scallions. Serve with a side of silken tofu and the remaining dashi. Enjoy!