Wednesday, March 2, 2011

First Meal in the New Apt - Honey Soy Salmon!

This past weekend I moved into my very first apartment living by myself! It's all very exciting, as a cook especially - because I have the entire frigde and freezer to myself! (It's the little things that excite me). A big thank you to my family for helping me move in and up the narrow stairs to my beautiful 2nd floor apartment. The entire place was just re-done - so also exciting as a cook are the brand new appliances! I'm definitely not completely unpacked, but I've unpacked the important boxes - the kitchen ones! I haven't gotten my microwave yet, so I'm sans microwave this week. On Sunday night, after moving in, I was so tired that I just wanted oatmeal for dinner so I could get to bed - I put it in my bowl, added the water and ... realized I didn't have a microwave. So I had stove-top oatmeal for dinner Sunday night - I don't count this as my first meal in my new apartment - it's too sad. Instead, my dinner on Monday night counts!

Honey Soy Baked Salmon
2 portions salmon (mine was .82 lbs)
1/2 TB lite soy sauce
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1 heaping tsp honey
2 tsp olive oil
1 scallion, chopped
1/8 tsp ground ginger
sesame seeds to garnish
1 cup broccoli, garlic steamed

This dish is seriously easy - great for a quick weeknight meal! All you have to do is mix all of the marinade ingredients together (soy sauce, garlic, vinegar, honey, oil, scallion and ginger).
Pour over the salmon (which can already be in its baking dish, skin side down - make sure you rinse it first!) and put the salmon back in the fridge to marinade for as long as you have - could be 10 minutes or an hour, it's up to you and your schedule.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and cook the salmon for about 20 minutes (depending on your portion size). Feel free to baste the salmon a couple times with the cooking liquids to keep those yummy soy flavors on the fish and not just in the pan! The fish should be pretty firm when you press down on it - it's hard to overcook salmon, so air on the side of more time than less if you're not sure if it's done.
While the fish is cooking you can make your sides. I only had broccoli, but you could also have a side of rice - jasmine rice might be a nice complement to the already-asian flavors in the salmon. I also tried adding garlic to my steaming water for the broccoli to see if it would add a little flavor to it - verdict: I'm not really sure if it did anything. The flavors from the salmon were strong enough to outweight the garlic flavor in the broccoli (if there was any). Broccoli steams fast - so don't even turn the heat on for it until the salmon has 5 or 6 minutes left in the oven.

And that's basically it - you're done! When you take the salmon out of the oven, sprinkle it with some sesame seeds (toasted are better). I think that next time I would try using a rice wine vinegar, instead of white wine vinegar - I didn't have any on hand or else I would've use it this time. It should keep in line with the asian flavors better than the white wine vinegar did, though it was still delicious and will definitely make this again! This marinade could probably work well on chicken or shrimp too! Because I cooked more than one portion - the 2nd piece worked perfect on top of a salad last night for dinner - so don't be afraid to cook more than you need!

A funny quirk I've realized about my apartment - it has the world's most sensitive smoke alarm, which I'm sure my parents appreciate, but I do not! Just baking this salmon set it off - and you can see from the picture - I didn't burn it, I swear! So I'll have to figure that out because it will get old fast if the alarm is going off every time I cook - and I'm sure my new neighbors won't appreciate it either.

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