Salmon Salad with a Soy Ginger Dressing

salmon salad

Salad salad salad. There are a lot of platitudes about healthy food but it does make sense. Every time we eat we have an opportunity to eat what will do us good or eat something shite. Better if it’s tasty shite, worse if it’s shite shite. If it’s good for you and tasty, then doubly plus good. Mucho macho delusion is at work. The movie running through the head is that unhealthy eating is vindicated by being oh so tasty and a willingness to stare death in the face to do it. In reality it’s a failure to develop reasonable adult tastes and an unwillingness to work beyond the hot, the salty, and the fatty as the pinnacles of food pleasure. The result is usually to work most of the way through it to justify getting it in the first place and then spend the rest of it wondering what you were thinking, case in point – the Whopper. Then it’s the useless loop of validation and the fruitless search for the taste that you thought you’d get. Not forgetting the whole forbidden fruit thing but it’d be nice if the forbidden fruit wasn’t forbidden froot, if you know what I mean. Perception: wildly pushing risk parameters on a thundering hunk of hot metal. Reality: riding Virago into back of vehicle while looking back at outrun Excel.

Why don’t I make more salads? I dunno. Salads are subordinate clauses to the controlling idea of meat and have the Tontoes about them. We rarely, if ever, make a course of them. The trick is to make them more like bongos and less like drum kits. Actually I hate bongos after many a perfectly good boho party in the early nineties was ruined by squads of percussionistas. Somebody had put a mirror on the lawn so you could like look at the stars and this vibe was demolished by a lumpen faux salsa chorus. Anyway this is a healthy salad and more meal in a bowl like the Vietnamese Beef salads and an amped up version of the token bits if browned bacony things in a Caesar, the Japanese do a nice line in a seafood salad. With the recipe I was looking for gone missing, I kind of made it up with repeated finger dipping tastings (not hygenic I know but better food poisoning than relying on some kind of palatal telepathy). As a meal you’ve got your meat, your veg, and your bread.

Wash and dry some lettuce – the further away from the nutritionally empty iceberg the better. Grape tomatoes and trimmed and steamed asparagus refreshed to a chill immediately after steaming in ice water.

Pan fry salmon cutlet in a little vegetable oil. I marinated the salmon in a little saké for 15 minutes. Flake it while it’s still hot (builds finger character) and make sure no bones get into the salad.

I was distracted and let the asparagus oversteam and become soft so I thought croutons would add a bit of crunch. Thick slice of sourdough bread, toasted in a toaster, and cut into cubes. The innovation was to quickly fry them in the pan I’d just cooked the salmon in to give it a nice coating of fishy flavour goodness

Dressing: 4tbs soy sauce; 2tbs lemon juice; 2tbs white vinegar; 2tsp sugar; 3 spring onion whites, finely sliced; 2tbs ginger, finely grated; 2tbs of white and black sesame seeds, lightly dry pan toasted. Pop in a jar and shake and pour over salad. The measurements are recollected guesstimates, accurately replicate it at your peril. If you want a bit of a guide, the soy sauce is salty, the lemon juice adds fresh tangy sourness, the vinegar a bit of spare sour fruitiness, the ginger and spring onions a bit of pungency, the sesame seeds add crunch and toastiness, and the sugar add sweetness to offset the saltiness of the soy. Adjust accordingly.

A fine addition to the mid-week warm weather repertoire that’s as healthy as it is tasty and as crusty as it is trusty with the cruton hitting the futon and the pisces balancing any nutritional crises.

Note: in a break from food photograph narratives, neither the book, garlic, watch, or mango were in the salad. Apologies for any confusion that may have resulted.

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  1. Kate’s avatar

    This is like a salad I made the other day except minde had chicken in it instead of salmon. I used those lovely yellow teardrop tomatoes and a soy-sesame dressing. It was good.

    Also I found the Boatshed in Cott finally — what a remarkable range of foodstuffs!

  2. Anthony’s avatar

    Did you maribte the chicken at all?

    Yeah it’s great the boatshed, I go there to get my 00 pasta flour. Tad hexpensive of course.

  3. Kate’s avatar

    No I used a roasted chook from the shop *slinks away shamefully*

  4. Anthony’s avatar

    Actually don’t you hate it when people psychically home in on the one weak aspect of something good you done?

    A. I read The Brothers Karamazov on the weekend
    B. In Russian?
    A. Erm no the English version.

    A. I built a table last week
    B. Oh that’s great, did you mill your own timber?
    A Ah no I just erm got some from the ah hardware shop.


  5. Kate’s avatar

    You’re just summed up my life right there. Oh why are people so cruel?

    (In my defense it was a nice roast chook from a gourmet deli place in Subi.)

  6. Anthony’s avatar

    Oh I know what you mean, you mean cruel like physical torture causing significant amounts of pain.

    Was it a free range chook?

  7. Gracianne’s avatar

    Lovely salad, I’ll remember this one in summer. It is too cold at the moment for any tasty healthy food.
    “Adjust accordingly” : how can you make me laugh with a salad recipe?

  8. Anthony’s avatar

    Ah the Trux Royale
    You’re just a summer love
    But I’ll remember you when winter comes

    Surely you can have lots of hearty and healthy food Gracianne

    “Adjust accordingly” no I’m deadly serious, the decision lies in the hands of the dresser and to pass that responsibility to the recipe is bad faith..

  9. FXH’s avatar

    Was it a free range chook?

    It wasn’t ranging too free after I cooked it.

    I haven’t dropped in for a while.

    Looks like a nice salad. I accidently got a HUGE and expensive tuna steak the other night and BBQ’d it in 4 pieces after soaking on soy, rice vinegar and ginger and garlic.

    It was so good easy and yummo I went back and figured out it was in fact cheaper than most meatey things. It was about $26 a kilo from memory. But it has no waste at all, no fat to trim, no bone, and it was ALL tender and tasty. Works out cheap I reckon.

    I’m thinking next time of riffing on your salad here. Perhaps BBQ Sparrow Grass (my fav way) to get a bit crispy.

    And I’ve just discovered Snake Beans in Garlic and Chilli.

    What do ya reckon?

  10. FXH’s avatar

    mh i had a bit of a thought about say fried little rice cake balls or lumps for a crispy.

  11. Anthony’s avatar

    Rest now my feathered friend. Your wandering days are over.

    Welcome back

    Tuna is a fantastic bit of meat and it wasn’t until I went to Japan that I saw it out of a tin. You can pay more for that than steak and the moment and it’s better value than rabbit.

    Can’t get enough of the stuff at the moment and never bother steaming it before grilling, just lop the ends off at an angle (nice touch from work)

    Snake beans are great, especially if you’ve got a nice long plate.

    You can grill the rice cake ball on the BBQ but I’d go wonton skins for a nice easy oriental crunch (or just chuck some nuts in there)

    How about a Nicoise?

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