I’m back to real life… AKA as sitting on my couch wrapped in a blanket and writing on my laptop with one hand and a half eaten nectarine in the other. Everyone’s work environments are different! I got back from Cleveland Sunday night and the transition back to my regular life has been a bit… challenging. I’ve always been overly sensitive to my environments (overly sensitive in general really), and I was home for longer than I have been in a very long time. I was getting used to the routine of sleeping in my bed, waking up to have breakfast with my parents before my dad went to work, watching This Is Us with my mom, venturing downtown to pick up ingredients from the asian markets, and seeing family members more than once or twice. It was nice. I realize that in my last blog post I wrote about how I was anxious to get back into my kitchen, but now that I’m back here I’m anxious to be back home and spend time with my family. Ughhhhh it’s such a vicious cycle!
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, then you’re fully aware of my constant battle with homesickness and internal guilt of being away from home. I’m having a particularly hard time with it because when I was home learned a new family recipe from my grandma, which was so wonderful, but at the same time that experience reminded me that she’s not getting any younger and I wish I could pop in every other day to learn more from her. It’s not just my grandma that I wish I could spend more time with, it’s everyone in my family really and Reuben’s family. While I was at the airport waiting to board my flight, I was sort of spirally internally, but I was thinking about how we live in a bubble in San Francisco. We have a great friends that feels like family sometimes, but we don’t have any real family near us. That distance can feel so far and we forget that there’s life happening outside of our bubble. Good life things and bad life things. After almost 6 years away and I am so desperately ready to leave this bubble. I’m fully aware that we can’t just literally pick everything up and leave… there’s jobs, projects, the plants, and the millions of dishes I would need to bubble wrap. But I think it’s worth make the motions to make something happen.
ANYWAYS. Sorry if you weren’t interested in reading about an emotional spiral on a Tuesday! I’m slowly getting adjusted back to my daily work routine and have a some exciting recipes I’ve planned for testing this week! Hopefully a steamed chicken sausage bun will help lift my spirits a little bit. I’m also sort of resetting my recipes and simplifying them. You know me, I love a great weekend project recipe, but life is a lot right now and I just need to incorporate more simple recipes into my life. So, I’ve been turning back to the meals my mom made for us growing up. She never made Furikake Panko Salmon for us… I just bought her a jar of furikake for the first time last week though! She did however, make us a plate of salmon, steamed rice, and veggies, all the time. She always said that she hates salmon, but I guess continued to make it for us on a regular basis because I loved it so much. Motherly love right there!
The Best Baked Salmon
Unlike my mom, I love cooking salmon! So what if it stinks up your house a little? Just open a window and the smell will be gone by morning. Salmon is a great protein for weeknight meals because it cooks up so fast and it’s also really healthy for you! If you buy wild salmon versus farm raised salmon then you’re getting double health points too! For this recipe we actually used farm raised salmon because Reuben and I prefer the added fattiness and richness. I’ll do an extra youtube barre workout later, it’s fine.
There are a million and one baked salmon recipes out there. I’m sure they are all great… but this might just be my favorite way to prepare salmon other than eating it fresh and raw in nigiri form or in a poke bowl! The salmon is brushed with a little sesame oil and seasoned with salt and pepper. Then it’s topped with a super crunchy and flavor packed mixture of panko breadcrumbs and furikake. Furikake is a Japanese savory seasoning to sprinkle over rice. I put it on everything! Noodles, bread, soup, toast! The most standard variation is a mixture of seaweed, bonito (dried fish), sesame seeds, salt, and sugar. But there are a lot of different varieties out there! I love adding it to the breadcrumbs because just 2 teaspoons of furikake adds so much complex flavor to a crazy simple dish. It’s salty, sweet, nutty, and bursting with umami!
Once the salmon is coated in breadcrumbs, all you do is bake it in a 425 degree oven for 10-12 minutes and THAT’S IT! You want the salmon to be almost cooked through and flakey. I like to have the very center of salmon just barely…slightly raw. Over cooked fish is one of the saddest things. Serve the salmon with a big scoop of white rice, jasmine rice if you want the whole Eat Cho Food experience, and a side of vegetables! I’m sharing a quick and easy recipe for stir-fried bok choy at the end too! Enjoy : )
Oven Baked Furikake Panko Salmon
1 farm raised salmon filet - about 1 lb
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp salt + heavy pinch
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
2 tbsp furikake + more for finishing
2 tbsp melted butter
steamed white rice - for serving
stir -ried bok choy - recipe below
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut your salmon filet into individual portions - either 2 large portions or 4 smaller portions. Brush a baking tray with 2 tbsp of olive oil. Place salmon skin side down on the oiled baking tray. Brush the flesh of the salmon with sesame oil and season with 1 tsp salt and white pepper.
In a small bowl, combine panko breadcrumbs with 2 tbsp furikake, melted butter, and a heavy pinch of salt. Mix until evenly combined.
Place the furikake pankp breadcrumbs on top of the salmon filets. Place in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes until fish is cooked through but still flakey.
Remove from the oven and and sprinkle the filets with a little bit more furikake. Finish with a squeeze of fresh lime juice. Enjoy warm with a side of steamed rice and vegetables for a complete meal!
Simple Stir-Fried Bok Choy
6 small bok choy bulbs
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic - minced
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp sriracha
1/2 tsp sesesame oil
heavy dash white pepper
Wash and dry the bok choy bulbs. Peel the leaves off the bulb and set aside.
Heat olive oil in skillet over medium high heat. Swirl the pan so that the oil evenly covers the pan. Once hot, add the bok choy and the garlic. Cook and stir occasionally for 4-5 minutes until the bok choy is starting to wilt.
Add the soy sauce, oyster sauce, sriracha, sesame oil, and white pepper to the bok choy. Stir the bok choy and continue to cook for a few more minutes until the bok choy is tender.