Like everyone else, I want to eat healthier this (month) year. But healthier doesn’t mean subsisting on dressing-free salads and ice cubes. I want my food to taste good AND be good for me (at the very least, not be bad for me), so naturally I turn to two of my favorite things: salmon and mushrooms.
I used to fret about buying salmon skin-on, and struggled to take the skin off before baking or searing since salmon skin’s not my thing. But I found, embarrassingly recently, that cooking with the skin on makes it easier to remove the skin afterwards. Maybe it has some other benefits I’m not aware of, like keeping the fish moist. Ok I just had a thought about how strange it is to talk about taking skin off a formerly living thing…let’s move on to the mushrooms.
Not sure how else to explain it other than to say mushrooms are everything to me. I like them fried and sauteed, on pizza and in Indian curries, for brunch and dinner. Dried wild mushrooms are new to me, though. I bought a bag from Foraged and Found Edibles at a Farmer’s Market in Seattle recently, and have been exploring ways to use them. In my wild mushroom and parmesan linguine, the mushrooms’ meaty mixed texture and weight was a nice complement to the creamy pasta. For this dish, I opted to cook them simply with a black bean paste for a slightly salty, robust side to the baked salmon.
For the salmon:
2 salmon fillets, skin-on
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp togarashi seasoning
1 tbsp Fox Point seasoning (nice mix of shallots, garlic, and green peppercorns…my favorite from Penzey’s)
1 tsp lemon juice
For the mushrooms:
2 cups dried wild mushrooms
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 medium onion, sliced
1/2 jalapeno, sliced
1 tsp Chinese black bean paste
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
Heat oven to 400F. Place wild mushrooms in a bowl of warm water and let them soak for 20 minutes until they soften. Mix olive oil and seasonings for salmon in a bowl and brush on one side of salmon fillets. Spray baking pan with cooking oil so salmon does not stick to the pan when cooked. Bake salmon in oven for 20 minutes. While salmon cooks, prepare the mushrooms. Heat sesame oil in a wok on high heat. Cook the onions and jalapenos for 2 minutes before adding the black bean paste. Cook for 30 seconds, then add the mushrooms and cook for 3-4 minutes on medium heat. Season with salt and pepper and turn off the heat before adding the cilantro.
This tasted yummy and healthy at the same time, and it’s filling enough so you don’t need tortillas, rice, or pasta to round out the meal. But if I had leftovers, I’d probably break up the salmon and add it along with the mushrooms in a tortilla or sandwich for lunch.