Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Bulgogi Style Salmon with Bok Choy and Shitake Mushrooms
This weekend we finally made a trip up to my favorite type of grocery store - the Asian market. We hadn't been in so many months, I was running low on lots of my staple ingredients! Although there are a few Asian markets on the north side of Chicago, I haven't found any Korean markets, and I hadn't found any markets that were very big. So this weekend was the grand adventure - we went up to the HMart in Niles.
I've been to HMart's in Maryland and Massachusetts, so I knew generally what I could expect. But the one in Niles is a Super HMart which means it's the size of the Home Depot next door. We were literally lost in there for hours. We watched folks making kimchi, tried lots of samples (except the blood sausage... the woman handing out samples didn't think it was a good idea to offer me any), and loaded up on some of our favorite ingredients.
One fun part of the trip was watching the men at HMart making fresh kimchi. For those of you who aren't familiar with kimchi, it's a spicy fermented cabbage dish. It's almost similar to a good half sour pickle. In Korean restaurants, they often start the meal with a variety of very small side dishes that can include tofu, a type of Korean potato salad, broccoli, and always kimchi. I'd never seen anyone make it before so this was a special treat for me. They pull the cabbage to shreds while they're mixing it with the spices and vinegar. Pretty cool!
This salmon dish was really delicious. It was a nice change of pace from our usual lemon juice and garlic salt preparation. It was just a little bit spicy from the sambal oelek and was sweetened by the sherry and sugar. The ginger, garlic, and soy sauce rounded out the traditional Asian flavors. In Korean tradition, I served a side of the freshly made kimchi along with our meal, which was spicy and pungent. My favorite! I especially liked the bed of bok choy and mushrooms under the salmon. Stay tuned for the final component of the meal!
Bulgogi-Style Salmon with Bok Choy and Shitake Mushrooms
slightly adapted from WeHeartFood
3 large garlic cloves, peeled, divided
1/3 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp cooking sherry (Chinese rice wine would work, too)
2 tsp minced fresh ginger, divided
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp chili-garlic sauce (sambal oelek)
2 salmon fillets, 0.5-1 lb each
1 tbsp olive oil (or chili-infused olive oil)
1 bunch bok choy, bottoms removed and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide strips
8 oz fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
2. Combine 2 of the garlic cloves (I broke them up slightly but didn't bother mincing), green onions, soy sauce, sherry, 1 tsp of ginger, sugar, sesame oil, and chili-garlic sauce. Blend using either your immersion blender or food processor until smooth to create your marinade.
3. Place the salmon in a glass baking dish. Pour the marinade evenly over the salmon fillets and allow to marinate for at least 5 minutes. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes, or until the salmon is just opaque at the center.
4. Meanwhile, place the olive in a wok and heat over medium high heat. Add the remaining clove of garlic, minced, and 1 tsp of ginger to the oil and heat until fragrant.
5. Add the bok choy and mushrooms and saute until the mushrooms are soft and the bok choy is wilted.
6. Serve the salmon over a bed of bok choy and mushrooms.