Life is either a great adventure or nothing. – Helen Keller
|Fantastic flavours, and probably on the healthy side too.|
I’ve become a fan of steelhead trout. Doubly so when I find a whole filet that’s marked down 30%. The whole thing – enough for four – cost $5.60. Cool.
This day was one where I went to the grocery store and had no idea what I was going to make. But I knew it was about time for fish, purely for the health benefits (fish once a week if we can). Dinner was to be a grand adventure.
So there I was, with filet in hand, wondering what the heck I should to do with it. One of the first things that sprang to mind was teriyaki, but that’s so October 24th… (excellent recipe here).
I’m sure my spouse thinks I’m crazy, because we seldom eat the same thing twice. What would I write about if we did? I’ll let you in on a secret: days that I post baked goods is usually when we have eaten a "repeat" meal.
But back to teriyaki... This isn’t teriyaki, bit it’s kind of a cousin. Last month when I was researching the teriyaki I stumbled upon many recipes that incorporated fruit juice. I thought why not try something like that, sort of, kind of, in the future? The future had come.
|Bitter melon at left. Opo squash at right. Photo:|
@Damten, Flickr ccl
This glaze is one of the best I have ever made. It has fruity sweetness with a fair punch of ginger and just enough heat from the chilli flakes – and 5 minutes to make. Definitely a keeper.
But I couldn’t just throw fish on top of rice. So off I went to the weird vegetable section of the store. I wasn’t disappointed. I found an Opo squash.
Opo squash goes by a few names, calabash and bottle gourd being two. When fully grown these gourds are hollowed out and used for bowls or water containers. When young, they are cooked as a summer squash – like zucchini.
They have about as much taste as a zucchini too. I didn’t know that until I cut into it. But that’s OK. It’s full of Vitamin A and C. The things we do for our health...
I used some of the same ingredients – matchy matchy – to make a rice dish that I did in the fish glaze. Both had pineapple, chillies and ginger. This allowed me to buy a can of diced pineapple for the fruit as well as the juice.
I walked around the grocery store to round up a few other ingredients to make what I hoped would be a decent side dish.
Truth be told, it turned out to be more than decent. The four servings both recipes make seemed to only feed the two of us… No leftovers. That’s a good yardstick to judge if something is tasty. It passed.
I had no idea what was going to be on the table when I went into the grocery. So this dinner is totally constructed out of some grocery store foraging and my weird little mind. Maybe I’m not as weird as I think.
|All this fish for $5.60. Ready for the oven.|
Salmon with Pineapple Ginger Glaze
Prep: 5 min | Bake 15 min | Serves 4
4 portions of salmon
1/2 cup pineapple juice
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp finely minced ginger
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
pinch of salt
2 tsp cornstarch mixed with 2 tsp water
Preheat the oven to 475°F. Arrange the salmon portions on foil in a cookie sheet or other ovenproof pan.
In a small saucepan combine the juice, soy sauce, honey, ginger, chilli flakes and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and cook for 2 minutes.
Mix the cornstarch with the water and pour into the sauce. Let cook to thicken, and reduce to the consistency of a glaze.
Paint the glaze generously on the salmon pieces. Place in the oven and bake for between 10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of your salmon.
Serve on top of sir-fried rice, as below.
|Crisp bean sprouts, sift melon and sweet spicy pineapple.|
Rice with Pineapple and Opo Squash
Time: 20 min | Serves 4
3 cups cooked short-grain white rice (about 1 cup uncooked)
2 tbsp vegetable oil
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbsp ginger, chopped
1 tsp red chilli flakes
2 cups chopped opo squash (or zucchini)
1/2 cup finely diced pineapple
1 tbsp hoisin sauce
2 cups bean sprouts
1 bunch of green onions, chopped
1/2 tsp five spice powder
1/2 tsp salt
Cook the rice while the salmon is in the oven.
During that time, heat the oil in a wok. Add the garlic, ginger and chilli flakes and fry until fragrant. Add the cubed squash, sprinkle with the salt, and sauté until soft.
Add the pineapple and hoisin and stir fry for 2 minutes. Add the cooked rice and mix well.
Toss in the bean sprouts, green onion and five spice powder. Stir to combine and serve with the salmon on top.
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