Back when the food network actually showed cooking shows, I loved to watch them. I guess I “get” the competition shows, but mostly I find them disrespectful to food. I am sure all cooking shows end up wasting food, but some of the competitions seem mean spirited. Like most “reality” tv, the money becomes more important than the tasks at hand.
I won’t belabor my point, needless to say, I miss the real cooking shows. Some are still shown during the day, when I, of course, do not have time to watch. When I do, I find myself watching, thinking and wondering about how certain recipes work.
So the other day, I had time to watch Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa. I enjoy her ability to put together a relatively simple meal. She, of course, has shops I can only dream of in Wichita, Kansas, nonetheless I enjoy her style.
The other day, she shared a recipe she had gotten from another chef for Asian Salmon. Watching her create the marinade I had a gut feeling this would not work. It looked interesting, but I just thought WAY too much soy and other ingredients. When I went to look up the recipe, my hunch was played out in the comments under the recipe. Too salty.
So, I was still fascinated by the concept. So I decided to experiment. I had tried a recipe that I loved using a wasabi pea crust over salmon. So I took 1/4 cup wasabi peas and put them in my mini food processor.
Truthfully, I had forgotten how much I love wasabi peas. Not too hot, but so crunchy! I did eat some, I admit. I pulsed these until they were the consistency of bread crumbs.
I then added 1/4 cup panko. Which would create the crust later.
Then I used some of the ingredients for the marinade. Soy sauce, fish sauce, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, garlic, lemon, ginger and added: hot mongolian oil (just a couple of drops) and hoisin sauce and a little bit of olive oil.
1/2 cup soy sauce, 1 Tablespoon Fish Sauce, 1 Tablespoon lemon juice, 2 Tablespoons Rice Wine Vinegar, 2 Tablespoons hoisin sauce, 1 Tablespoon Sesame oil, 1 garlic clove minced and 1 Tablespoon grated ginger, a couple of drops of Hot mongolian oil and 1 tablespoon olive oil.
I had 2 5 ounce Faroe Island salmon filets. One of the joys of living in Wichita is having a marvelous fish monger in the Seafood Shop. I poured half the marinade over them.
Added the panko/wasabi pea mixture over the top.
Poured the rest over of the marinade over the top and let it sit 15 minutes. I heated up the oven to 450 degrees
I put the salmon in the oven for 10 minutes. After 8 minutes I turned the oven off and left the salmon in until the timer went off at 10 minutes.
I served it with black rice I had cooked in the oven (an Alton Brown recipe) and sauteed baby bok choy and red cabbage.
It was good. Still, a bit more salty than I would have liked. Next time I will use the lower sodium soy, and add more wasabi peas to the crust. My husband made all kinds of encouraging noises as he snarfed, I mean ate dinner.
I have to admit, I play with recipes all the time. I can not remember the last time I made something exactly the way the recipe written. Sometimes I just do not have all the ingredients listed so substitutions are in order. In almost every case, the food is good and life is good.