Here’s a great dish to make for dinner – a few simple fresh ingredients is all it takes. You know, I walk through a grocery store more times than the average person. It’s not that I shop that often but my classes are in their cooking schools so quite often, I am in more than one grocery store on a given day. It happens, it’s what I love to do. I used to be able to spend all day in a hardware store just looking at the different gizmos and gadgets, thinking – I could build it if only I had the right tools. Yeah right! Let me show you the tools in my basement. Now however, I could spend all day just walking around the grocery stores and markets getting inspiration for what to make from what I see.

Fresh fruit, vegetables, meats, fish, new products and hidden gems – so many things to grab your attention and make you think – maybe I’ll make this for dinner tonight. Well that’s exactly what happened a few days ago. I wasn’t even looking for fish but happened to walk by the fish counter and saw these gorgeous salmon fillets. Something about that orange/pink flesh that just catches my eye every time I walk by. So how was I going to do this beautiful fillet? I couldn’t fry it as we are trying to put a healthy spin on what we eat. Although nothing beats the taste of fried fish, I knew frying wasn’t what I wanted. For seasonings, remember Italy I told myself- olive oil, salt, pepper and lime juice (not lemons, that’s just too every day for me). Then I remembered something I tried in one of my cooking classes a few months back – Shichimi Togarashi. This is a Japanese seasoning that is a 7 spice blend. Wonderful things like – crushed chili pepper, sea salt, Szechuan peppercorns, black and white sesame seeds, wasabi powder and some nori – to name a few. This would most definitely make the fish the star.

What to serve with it? Something just as simple and flavorful. To keep the Asian theme, I had to have one of my favorites, bok choy, as a vegetable, and of course, my favorite go to – red peppers. This will keep the dinner simple and flavorful – the fresh ingredients being the stars of the dish. So try this recipe for salmon. You can substitute haddock, char, trout – any fish you like, as well as use whatever veggies you have on hand or see on the shelf. As always – enjoy! This will serve 3 – 4 people with brown rice or a quinoa or regular salad.

1 salmon fillet – about 500g, skin on (or off if you don’t like the skin)
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil
Juice and zest of 1 lime
Generous sprinkling of Shichimi Togarashi (this is a PC Black Label product)

Stir Fried Vegetables
1 red and orange pepper (or green and yellow) – thinly sliced
10 – 12 pieces Baby bok choy, leave the center intact, but remove the larger outer leaves – rinsed and dried – you are going to stir fry everything
4 cloves garlic, chopped
½ tsp hot chili flake or a couple of hot dry red chilies – crushed
Grapeseed oil for the stir fry
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp seasoned rice wine vinegar
½ tsp sesame oil

In a non-stick skillet, heat up 1 tbsp. of grapeseed oil
Add the garlic and chili flake – stir for 10- 15 seconds
Add the peppers and sauté for 1 – 2 minutes until tender but still with some bite
Remove the peppers and cover
Add the bok choy, centers and leaves, to the same pan – stir fry
Season with soy, vinegar and sesame oil
Add the peppers back to the pot, and stir fry to bring flavors together – remove from the pan and cover to keep warm – don’t wash the pan
Salt and pepper the salmon, rub 1 tbsp. of olive oil over the surface of both sides – if there is skin on the fish, you may need to salt a bit extra
Heat the pan over medium high
When the pan is hot, add the salmon skin side down and sear it well – about 1 minute or so
It will come lose from the pan when it is seared properly
When it comes loose, cover the pan, reduce the heat and let the salmon cook almost all the way through. Don’t turn it over, steam will cook the rest – but remember, you want some pink in the center – do not overcook it or it will dry. Depending on the thickness this could take from 2 – 4 minutes longer
About half way through this process, add the lime juice and zest to the top of the fish, sprinkle the Shichimi mix on top of this, cover and continue to let the salmon cook – remember, you want some pink in the middle
Serve the salmon over the vegetables