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Miso Salmon with Seared Baby Bok Choy

It is a common misconception that healthful food cannot possibly taste good. WRONG! When we look to world cuisines, like the cuisines of Asia, we can find ten lifetimes of recipes that are both delicious and healthful. My secret ingredient for this dish is miso. Made from naturally fermented soybeans, it’s a sweet-salty-sour and delicious nutrient powerhouse.

For the salmon:

  • 4 ea. 5 to 6-ounce salmon filets
  • 3 tablespoons red miso
  • 2 tablespoons light fruity vinegar, like rice, Modena, plum or white balsamic
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed or canola oil
  • Dry sake or white wine to deglaze (we’ll measure the amount when we cook)
  • 1 tablespoon butter

1. In a small bowl, whisk the miso and vinegar together until blended. Smear the mixture on both sides of each salmon fillet. Lay the fillets in a single layer in a shallow glass or ceramic dish, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, but best overnight.

2. Once the salmon has marinated, some liquid will appear on the dish. This is good! Just before cooking, use a spoon or table knife to gently scrape the remaining miso mixture from the salmon onto the plate with the juice.

3. Heat a medium ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the oil and sear the fillets for 3 to 4 minutes, or until well browned. Turn the fillets over and cook another 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the filets to a holding plate. Return the pan to the heat and add the sake or wine, and spoon the reserved salmon juice and miso marinade into the pan.

4. Bring to a simmer and cook until smooth.

5. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter until it’s completely melted and incorporated. Set aside

For the bok choy:

  • 2 baby bok choy, split in half from top to bottom
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed or canola oil
  • 4 thin slices of fresh ginger root

1. Mix together the salt and sugar, then generously sprinkle the cut side of the bok choy with the salt-sugar mixture.

2. Heat a medium non-stick skillet over medium heat. Use a skillet that has a tight-fitting lid.

3. Add the oil, then the bok-choy, seasoned-side-down into the hot skillet. Once the bok choy begins to sear, add the ginger and cook until it begins to sizzle nicely.

4. Place the lid on the skillet and cook, checking occasionally, for about five minutes.

5. Check the bok choy to ensure it has browned and that the thickest part of the stem can be pierced with a sharp pairing knife.

6. Transfer each half of cooked bok choy to a warmed serving plate.

7. Top each piece of bok choy with a salmon fillet, and drizzle over with sauce.