Herb-Crusted Salmon

26 Apr

Salt and pepper
2 pounds center-cut salmon (cut into four 6-8oz fillets)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
2 tablespoons beaten egg
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
1/4 cup chopped fresh tarragon (dill or basil can also be substituted)
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons mayonnaise
Lemon wedges

  1. Pour 2 quarts of water into a large bowl and dissolve 5 tablespoons of table salt. Put the fillets into the brine and allow to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. Remove fish from brine and use paper towels to pat dry. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile set a rack to the middle of your oven and preheat to 325-degrees. Melt butter in a 10 inch skillet over medium heat.
  3. Add the 1/2 cup panko and season with 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.  Cook for 4 to 5 minutes; stir frequently; until the bread crumbs become golden brown. Empty into a small bowl and allow to cool completely. Mix in thyme and egg.
  4. In a second small bowl, mix together the chopped tarragon, mustard, and mayonnaise.
  5. Set a wire rack inside of a rimmed baking sheet. Cover rack with foil, and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Evenly arrange the salmon fillets with on top of the foil with the skin-side down.
  6. Use a spoon to spread the herb mixture over the top of the fillets. Evenly sprinkle the panko mixture on top of the fish, and use your fingers to press down so that the bread crumb adheres.
  7. Bake in 325-degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until the internal temperature of the fish reaches 125-degrees. It should still be slightly translucent if you cut into fish with a paring knife. Allow to rest for 5 minutes on the serving platter. Serve with lemon wedges.

Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen/Cook’s Illustrated


All-Purpose Stir Fry Sauce & Basic Stir Fry Procedures

22 Oct

I find myself stir frying a lot these days. So, I was excited to find this recipe for making a batch of stir fry sauce to have on hand for lots of different dishes. This recipe makes about 1 1/2 cups of sauce.

¼ c light soy sauce (if available, otherwise normal soy sauce is fine)
¼ c dark (normal) soy sauce
½ c oyster sauce (can sub with hoisin sauce)
¼ c Chinese wine (or sherry)
¼ c cornstarch / cornflour
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp ground pepper


To make the sauce, combine all the ingredients in a jar and shake to combine. Store in fridge and shake before use. (Sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for several weeks.)

Amount to Use:
Use about 2 tbsp of the Stir Fry sauce + 4 tbsp/ ¼ cup water per serving – around 3 – 4 cups of the combined stir fry (vegetables – packed, proteins + noodles – if using). Or put another way, around ¼ cup per 1 lb / 500g of combined ingredients (proteins + vegetables + noodles if using) plus ½ cup water. But you should adjust to your own taste.
To Use:
  1. Heat 2 tbsp oil in wok over high heat.
  2. Add your choice of base flavorings (garlic, ginger, or fresh chillies minced or finely sliced) – fry for 10 seconds or so to infuse oil.
  3. Add stir fry ingredients in order of time to cook (starting with ingredients that take longest to cook), leaving leafy greens, like the leaves of bok choy, until when you add the sauce (otherwise they will wilt and overcook).
  4. Add noodles (if using), sauce and water, your choice of additional flavorings (sriracha, sweet chili sauce, cilantro, etc.) and any leafy greens.
  5. Gently toss to combine and to let the sauce cook for around 1 minute. The sauce will become a thick, glossy sauce that coats your stir fry. Serve immediately.

Recipe adapted from RecipeTin Eats. Other recipes and ideas using this sauce can be found here.

Asparagus & Bacon Pasta

18 Aug

This is an easily modified pasta recipe. It doesn’t use sauce, and the asparagus can be substituted for broccoli or another vegetable you have on hand.

1 lb uncooked pasta
1/4 to 1/2 lb bacon, diced (can substitute Italian sausage, pancetta or leave out meat altogether)
1/2 cup onions, chopped
1/2 lb fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 chicken broth or dry white wine
1 lb cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tsp fresh lemon juice (optional)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan (optional)


  1. Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water al dente according to package instructions. Drain and set aside. (Save about 1/2 cup of the pasta water when draining.)
  2. Meanwhile, add bacon to a medium saute pan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until crispy. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add asparagus and onions to the pan and saute in the bacon grease for about 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cooked. Mix in garlic, red pepper, and salt and cook for another 30 seconds. Remove vegetables with a slotted spoon, and set aside with the bacon.
  3. Slowly add the chicken broth or white wine to the pan, and scrape the bottom of the pan with a spoon to deglaze. Continue cooking for 5 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced by about half.
  4.  Add the pasta, asparagus, onions, bacon, and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (if using) to the saute pan, and toss until combined. Gently mix in tomatoes and lemon juice and heat thoroughly. (If the pasta seems too dry, add in some of the pasta water until it reaches desired thickness.) Sprinkle pasta with the remaining Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.

Recipe adapted from Gimme Some Oven

Fried Rice

12 Aug


3 Tbsp. butter, divided
3 eggs, whisked
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
1 small white onion, diced
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
3 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper
4 cups cooked and chilled rice*
3 green onions, thinly sliced
3-4 Tbsp. soy sauce, or more to taste
2 tsp. oyster sauce (optional)
1/2 tsp. toasted sesame oil


  1. Heat 1/2 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat until melted. Add egg, and cook until scrambled, stirring occasionally. Remove egg, and transfer to a separate plate.
  2. Add an additional 1 tablespoon butter to the pan and heat until melted. Add carrots, onion, peas and garlic, and season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Saute for about 5 minutes or until the onion and carrots are soft.
  3. Increase heat to high, add in the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter, and stir until melted. Immediately add the rice, green onions, soy sauce and oyster sauce (if using), and stir until combined. Continue stirring for an additional 3-5 minutes to fry the rice. Then add in the eggs and stir to combine. Add the sesame oil, stir to combine, and remove from heat. Serve warm.

*Chilled leftover rice works best for this recipe. However, you can chill freshly cooked rice in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to achieve similar results.

**If adding some kind of meat to the rice, cook it beforehand and add it in with the eggs.

Recipe adapted from Gimme Some Oven

Southwestern Chicken & Rice Skillet

12 Aug

Living in Hong Kong these last few months, with literally one induction burner to serve as my only cooking element has made for some interesting meals. I’m learning the value of one-skillet dinners. Here’s one below.


  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1lb chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/4 onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons taco seasoning (plus salt if using a salt-free blend)
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels, slightly thawed
  • 1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 cup rice (if using brown rice, increase cooking time by about 20 minutes)
  • Optional garnishes: Chopped green onions, shredded cheese, sliced avocados/guacamole

  1. Heat oil in a very large skillet over high heat. Add chicken and onion then season with taco seasoning and salt, if necessary. Saute for 2-3 minutes – chicken does not need to be cooked all the way through.
  2. Add corn, beans, salsa, and chicken broth to the skillet then bring to a boil. Stir in rice then place a lid on top, turn heat down to medium-low, and simmer for 15 minutes. Let sit off the heat for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with tortilla chips or tortillas.

Recipe adapted from Iowa Girl Eats