Friday, March 30, 2012

Super Fresh

Sunset magazine meets hip-hop culture. Apparently. An article in their April 2011 issue is called "Super Fresh."

As in, "Yo, man, that's fresh!" Which means cool, hip, totally awesome. Not, just picked from the garden.

At least, that's my interpretation.

While I doubt most hip-hop stars would eat Salmon Sesame Salad, and I can't think of any who would eat my version with tofu instead of salmon, I wanted to make the dish anyway. Wearing my old-skool Pumas, of course.

I left out the crispy wontons that were supposed to get sprinkled on top of the salad, but only because I was hungry and didn't feel like taking the time to make them.  They look pretty, though: puffy from frying and sprinkled with sesame seeds.

The salmon in the recipe gets boiled, basically, which probably works flavor-wise because the dressing is poured over it, and salmon has enough flavor to hold its own in the salad. But because I was using tofu, I knew it needed extra flavor before going in the salad. I had some Very Very Teriyaki marinade, and put that in the pan as I sauteed the tofu pieces. I thought this was the perfect flavor addition to the entire dish, and went well with the spicier Lemongrass-Chile Dressing. And yes, I realize teriyaki is Japanese and sambal badjak is Indonesian. But this hip-hop salad is already a total culture clash, so I figured it worked.

Apples, pears, or Asian pears would also work in the salad.

Salmon Or Tofu Sesame Salad
serves 6 as a main course
adapted from Sunset, April 2011

1 1/2 lb salmon filets OR 1 pack extra-firm tofu, drained and sliced into 2-inch pieces
teriyaki marinade (optional)
Kosher salt
3 oranges, sliced (I cut slices in half)
1 medium head napa cabbage, thinly sliced
1/2 lb snow peas, trimmed and halved
8 green onions, sliced
1/4 C coarsely chopped cilantro
2 avocados, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

12 wonton wrappers
1 egg
2 TBSP sesame seeds
vegetable oil for frying

3 TBSP lime or lemon juice
2 TBSP packed light brown sugar
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp sambal badjak OR sriracha
2 TBSP minced lemongrass
1 TBSP finely grated fresh ginger
6 TBSP canola oil

1. If using salmon, cook it in a large pot of simmering salted water, covered, until just opaque, about 5 minutes. Lift out and let cool. 
If using tofu and marinade, heat 2 TBSP marinade in pan over medium heat. Cook 5 minutes per side, or until browned crust forms on either side. Set aside.
2. If making wontons, pour enough oil into large pot to come up a half-inch on sides. Heat to 360 degrees. Meanwhile, whisk egg with 1 TBSP water. Brush wontons with egg mixture on both sides and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Fry in small batches until golden and puffy. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with salt.
3. Make dressing: Whisk dressing ingredients together in small bowl. 
4. Assemble salad: combine cabbage, snow peas, oranges, green onions, and cilantro in a large bowl. Toss with 2/3 of dressing. Divide among plates. Arrange either salmon or tofu pieces and avocado on top of salad. Garnish with additional cilantro and dressing. Serve with wonton chips.

1 comment:

  1. Yummm! I love tofu and that sesame flavor soaks right in!