January 6, 2010

Salmon with Orange-Hoisin Sauce and Bok Choy

Mark and I don't eat a lot of fish, but not because we don't like it. It's just a little pricier than, say, the tempeh at Trader Joe's. But, we decided to "splurge" and get this salmon from New Seasons (my favorite grocery store of all time and one of my favorite places in Portland, period) to celebrate the new year. In the end, two large fillets set us back a whopping $11.50. Then again, when you really think about it, that breaks down to $5.75 a piece for a healthy and delicious meal, which I consider to be a good value.

One recent morning, pasting the recipes I'd cut out of my food magazines (Bon Appetit, Saveur, and old issues of Gourmet) into my cooking notebook, I came across a Bon Appetit recipe for Salmon with Hoisin, Orange and Bok Choy. The title alone ensured that I would have to make it---it just sounds too delicious to pass up. Then there was the fact that I needed a good salmon recipe---usually when Mark and I just wing it, the results are edible, but less than stellar. (Fish is not a food category that either of us has mastered.) And I am always intrigued by new ingredients; though I'd read about it, I'd never prepared anything with bok choy before.

Done deal. Except when the time came, I forgot the green onion and we subbed a white one instead. I also I got a little carried away with the orange zest and juice. (I'm usually the kind of person who assumes if a little is good, more is better! Which is not always the case...) BUT, I bought a whole orange just for this salmon---I didn't want to waste it, you see. Well, don't make the same mistake (stick to the quantities listed below) as the orange in my version dominated the other more delicate flavors.

As for the bok choy: it was good and I'm glad to have tried it, but it is not my new favorite.

NOTE: Hoisin can be found at Asian markets. I recommend having a bottle on hand for stir fries, marinades and the like. Savory-sweet goodness. Also, the picture here is of the salmon before it went into the oven. The photos of the finished project were a bit blurry. Sorry!

Salmon with Orange-Hoisin Sauce and Bok Choy
  • 2 heads of baby bok choy, each cut length-wise into 6 wedges
  • 2  5-or 6-ounce salmon fillets
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced---or about 1/4 of a white onion, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1 teaspoon minced, peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon (only!) finely grated orange peel
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon cracked coriander seeds (I used a few pinches of ground coriander)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves (or more, to taste)
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Form a bed of bok choy in the center of two large sheets of tin foil.  (Make sure they are large enough to seal over your bok choy and salmon.) Center your salmon fillets over the bok choy. 
  2. In a small bowl, mix orange juice, onion, hoisin, ginger and orange peel. Spoon sauce over fish, dividing equally. Sprinkle with salt and coriander. Top with cilantro. 
  3. Fold foil together and pinch to seal tightly above the fish and at each end. Place packets on a baking sheet and bake 12-14 minutes, or until the fish is opaque in the center. Plate and serve.
(Serves 2)

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