Category Archives: Seafood

Salmon with Wine Glaze

For 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb (4 pieces salmon fillets/steaks)
  • 1/3 cup Pinot Noir
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tbsp pure dark maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Japanese sesame oil
  • one 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled, sliced and finely grated
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely minced
  • olive oil/sesame oil for cooking
  • toasted white and black sesame seeds
  • salt and pepper

Recipe:

  1. Coat one side of the salmon with salt and pepper and spread a layer of toasted sesame seeds on top
  2. Add some oil in a hot skillet, cook salmon with the coated side facing down first, about 3 minutes. Repeat step 1 for the remaining side of the salmon, carefully flip over and cooking for another 3 minutes
  3. In a bowl, mix well the wine, soy sauce, maple syrup, and 1 1/2 tbsp sesame oil, then add in garlic and ginger. Heat the sauce in a sauce pan for 5 – 7 minutes till it reaches a thicker consistency. Drizzle over plated salmon
  4. Bon appétit! ;)

Serving suggestions: Pinot Noir, vegetables, rice …

NOTES: Cooking time of the fish depends on the thickness of the salmon fillet/steak. Watch carefully, it’s ready when the meat turns white-ish and the sideview of the middle section is just slightly pink. Don’t move the fish around much otherwise you will lose the sesame crust. If you are short on sesame oil, olive oil works as well for cooking the fish, but definitely use good quality sesame oil for the glaze. All I can say is that it’d be such a torture to ever eat BAD (dry, flaky, flavorless) salmon again after making this dish. It’s so easy to make as long as you get good ingredients. Treat yourself right, use fresh salmon fish. 😉

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Filed under Main Dish, Seafood

Thai Basil Clams

For 2-3

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lb live Manila Clams
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 small bunch of Thai Basil
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 4 Thai chilies (thinly sliced)
  • 2.5 tsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 3/4 tbsp nam prig pow (optional)

Clean the clams:

  1. Select undamaged clams that are unopened, keep them in a cool place, unwrapped, so they can breathe
  2. Right before cooking, soak the clams in rice water or water with added salt or water with added cornmeal for 30 minutes to 1 hour
  3. Take the clams out and thoroughly scrub the shells of the clam
  4. Rinse lightly underneath the running water

Recipe:

  1. Heat up the oil in a wok on high, add in thin strips of Thai peppers and smashed or coarsely chopped garlic
  2. Add cleaned clams in right away and stir until all clams are opened
  3. Add in fish sauce, sugar and nam prig pow (if available), mix them well with the clams
  4. Add Thai basil leaves, stir quickly and remove from heat
  5. Bon appétit! ;)

Serving suggestions: rice, spirits, buns …

NOTES: I didn’t find nam prig pow at 99 Ranch, but perhaps it was just under the name “roasted chili paste”… and I was single-mindedly looking for “nam prig pow” only… It was nevertheless very delicious!! I should have bought at least 2 lb of the clams… The Thai chilies were pretty powerful, my lips are still ‘hot’ because of them, and I only used four small ones!! Don’t stir the clams for too long after adding the Thai basil leaves, and eat  them while they are hot…. :), so good!!

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Filed under appetizer, Chinese, Main Dish, Seafood, Side Dish

Miso Cod with Spinach Banchan

For 3-4

Ingredients:

Miso Cod

  • 1 lb Black Cod fillets (3-4 pieces)
  • 1/4 cup sake
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 4 tbsp miso paste
  • 3 tbsp honey

Recipe:

  1. Make marinade inside a glass container using all ingredients but the fish
  2. Pat the fish fillets dry and put them inside the marinade container, refrigerate for 24 hr
  3. Preheat oven to 400F
  4. Lightly Grill fish fillets till brown on both sides
  5. Bake for ~ 15 mins
  6. Bon appétit! ;)

Spinach Banchan

  • 1 bunch spinach
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp toasted white sesame
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • a pinch of salt

Recipe:

  1. Boil the water with 1tsp salt
  2. When it starts to boil, put the clean spinach in there immediately and turn off the heat, let it sauna for 2-3 mins
  3. Take the spinach out, drain water and wash under cold water for about 1-2 mins, gently squeeze out the excess water
  4. Chop the spinach a few times and put it in a mixing bowl
  5. Mix with sesame oil, sesame seed, finely chopped garlic and a pinch of salt to taste
  6. Bon appétit! ;)

Serving suggestions:  bread, rice, sake …

NOTES: Very easy to make and very taste-buds pleasing! 😀 Can be pricey if you choose to get quality black cod, but you may use regular cod fillets. White miso paste was recommended, but I only had the dark one at home, so that was used instead. Additionally, I chose honey over sugar, so feel free to use sugar if honey is not available at hand. Baking time depends on the thickness of the fish fillets, thus, it can range from 10 to 15 mins. Also, remember to remove dead leaves and roots before making the spinach side dish, it’s important to toast the sesame and pay attention to how much salt you add in there. Finely chopped scallions can also be added … ENJOY!!

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Filed under Main Dish, Seafood, Side Dish, Vegetable

Seared Scallops with Heirloom Tomatoes

For 2-4

Ingredients:

  • 8 scallops
  • 1 lb heirloom tomatoes (3-4 medium sized ones)
  • 1/5 cup olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 tbsp fresh, finely chopped tarragon
  • 3 tbsp brown butter
  • canola oil to sear scallops
  • salt & black pepper to taste

Recipe:

Make brown butter

  1. Use a non-dark interior/bottom pan and heat butter on medium till the butter is completely melted into liquid and turn slightly brown
  2. Be careful not to overheat and strain out the specks when ready

Main part

  1. Mix olive oil, tarragon and garlic in a small bowl
  2. Sprinkle both sides of scallops with sea salt, sear scallops for about 2 minutes on each side over medium-high heat in a lightly oiled pan, till golden crust form
  3. Dice tomatoes to desired chunks, place on serving plate and drizzle with the olive oil mixture and some salt
  4. Place scallops on the bed of tomatoes, drizzle with brown butter and some black pepper
  5. Bon appétit! ;)

Serving suggestions: white wine, bread, pasta, rice pilaf …

NOTES: Did you know that scallop come in dry and wet!? Well, I didn’t. But you’d better make sure you start with dry scallop or if only wet scallop is available in your neighborhood, rinse the scallops REALLY well and pat them dry!! Apparently most scallops we see in markets are wet scallops that had been soaked in phosphates, which acts as a preservative and also makes the scallop white and plump. If you don’t take care of the chemical and start searing.. well… you’d be poisoning yourself. Since the dry scallops are all natural, they’d be sweeter and vanilla colored. 🙂 Um… time to run to Whole Foods or local specialty seafood market and indulge? Don’t sear the scallops for too long, unless you like them rubbery and bouncy 😀 You can make a lot of the brown butter at once, they will last max 6 months refrigerated and they are very seafood and salad friendly! 😉

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Filed under Main Dish, salad, Seafood

Crabcake with Cranberry and Sage

For ~ 2 -4

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb lump crabmeat
  • 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/8 cup finely chopped pearl onion
  • 1 <= medium egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp fresh, extra finely chopped sage
  • 1/8 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Recipe:

  1. In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise, cranberries, sage, salt and pepper
  2. Melt 1 tbsp butter on medium heat in a small skillet, cook onion and celery until tender
  3. Gently mix crabmeat and bread crumb in a large bowl, add in egg and mixture from steps 1 & 2, toss to coat well
  4. Shape into about 8 crabcakes and refrigerate for 15 mins
  5. Melt remaining butter in skillet on medium heat, cook crabcakes till golden brown, turning once
  6. Bon appétit! ;)

Serving suggestions:  Salad, melons, white wine …

NOTES: You may use dried/rubbed thyme and any types of onions. I think I would prefer adding just slightly more finely chopped celery and onion next time, but it’s up to you. Dried cranberries can probably be substituted with dried cherries. Make sure you squeeze the crabcakes tightly enough when shaping them, otherwise they’d fall apart during the cooking process. There, I think I am done with crabmeat for a while  😉

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Filed under appetizer, breakfast, Main Dish, Seafood, Side Dish

Crab Salad with Avocado and Tomato

For 4

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb lump crabmeat
  • 1 1/2 diced Hass avocados
  • 1/3 cup very finely chopped onion
  • 1 large heirloom tomato, sliced
  • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped jalapeño
  • 1/2 tbsp honey
  • 2/3 tsp minced garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste

Recipe:

  1. Create the dressing by combining olive oil, lime juice, cilantro, jalapeño, honey and garlic together in a small bowl,  season with salt and pepper
  2. Toss the picked over crabmeat with 3/5 of the dressing
  3. Gently toss the diced avocado and finely chopped onion with 2/5 of the dressing, lightly season with salt and pepper
  4. Place sliced heirloom tomato on serving plate, sprinkle with some sea salt, top with avocado/onion & crabmeat
  5. Garnish with cilantro leaves
  6. Bon appétit! ;)

Serving suggestions:  bread, crackers/chips, white wine …

NOTES: Using good avocado, fresh lime juice, REAL crabmeat and quality honey will make a huge difference. Also for aesthetic purpose, you might want to use red onion, I only had yellow ones on hand. Drizzle over more or less of the dressing to your own liking. There is not much mistake to make here, really light and delicious! 🙂

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Filed under Main Dish, salad, Seafood, Side Dish

Baked Gruyère Cod

For ~ 2-4

Ingredients:

  • 2 pieces of fresh cod fillets
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 handful of shredded Gruyère cheese
  • salt & pepper to taste

Recipe:

  1. Preheat to 400 F
  2. Place cod fillets into an oven-safe dish
  3. Sprinkle on sea salt & pepper (lightly)
  4. Cover fish completely with heavy cream
  5. Scatter shredded Gruyère cheese over the cod fillets
  6. Bake for 25 minutes
  7. Bon appétit! ;)

Serving suggestions:  Veggies, wine, pasta, rice …

NOTES: I chose cod, but you can substitute with white fish or sole. Frozen fish pieces work as well, but as always, fresh ingredients are superior. Don’t over do the salt and pepper since Gruyère cheese provides plentiful flavor. Depending on the size and thickness of the fish, cooking time range from 20-30 minutes. Such a lazy comeback, but it was delicious 🙂

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Filed under Main Dish, Seafood