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Pan-Asian Salmon with Caramelized Bok Choy and Shiitakes over Lentils

Everyone should have this salmon recipe if only for the delicious glaze! By adding the caramelized bok choy and shiitakes or some other green vegetable, you create a new combination for your menu file. And, starting with the lentils as the base ingredient adds a fullness and texture that’s really good. In fact, whenever given the opportunity, make extra lentils because they are so easy to use as leftovers. Serves 4.

Simple lentils

Ingredients

  • 1¼ cups water
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
  • ¾ cup lentils
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed

Directions

  1. Pour water and stock in pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Add lentils and garlic, cover pot and reduce to simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until lentils are just tender.

Caramelized bok choy and shiitakes

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 large shiitake mushrooms cut into ¼" slices, about ¼ pound or use 32 slices dried reconstituted shiitakes, available in Asian markets
  • 6 baby bok choy bulbs, cut in half lengthwise, about ½ pound
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium chicken stock

Directions

  1. Heat oil at medium in large skillet.
  2. Sauté mushroom slices until slightly browned both sides, add chicken stock and remove from heat. Continue stirring until stock is fully absorbed and place aside.
  3. Return skillet to medium-high heat. When hot, add baby bok choy, cut side down. Cook until slightly brown but not charred (leaves will get darker than the bulb which becomes golden brown).
  4. Serve 3 bok choy halves and 8 shiitake slices per serving. Place salmon on top.

Broiled salmon

Ingredients

  • 1 pound salmon fillet, skinned and cut into 4 equal portions
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ¼ teaspoon dry ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon dry ground mustard

Directions

  1. Preheat broiler to highest setting.
  2. Combine all ingredients and brush on salmon top and bottom sides.
  3. Place salmon on foil then cook under hot broiler for 4 minutes.
  4. Serve over caramelized bok choy and shiitake mushrooms, spoon liquid left in foil on top.

Serve with cooked lentils.

Per serving: 392 calories, 42 gm protein, 33 gm carbohydrate, 12 gm fat, 2 gm sat fat, 5 gm mono fat, 52 mg cholesterol, 12 gm fiber, 363 mg sodium

THE SEASONED COOK If baby bok choy or shiitakes are not available, substitute pea pods and crimini mushrooms, and simply sauté them.

Traditional Hot and Sour Soup

Several Asian culinary traditions include hot and sour soups, so ingredients vary widely. One common feature, however, is red peppers or white pepper for heat, and vinegar for sour. Our simpler version (serves 4) is long on flavor and promises to become one of your own family’s traditions. (And expect guests to think you purchased it from a restaurant!)

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ small onion, cut lengthwise into ¼-inch-thick slices
  • 2 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced ¼ inch thick
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 carrot, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Pinch cayenne pepper or chili garlic sauce
  • 1½ tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ cup unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 large whole egg, beaten
  • 2 large scallions, trimmed and cut crosswise into ¼ inch-thick slices
  • 6 ounces firm tofu, cut into ½ inch cubes

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium-low heat. Add garlic and onion, cover and stir occasionally, until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add mushrooms and sauté about 4 minutes.
  2. Add broth, carrots, ginger, black pepper and cayenne; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until carrots are tender, about 3 minutes.
  3. Place cornstarch in a small bowl and whisk in soy sauce and vinegar. Slowly whisk cornstarch mixture into soup. Simmer until soup has thickened and clear, 2 minutes. Turn off heat.
  4. While stirring in one direction, pour in beaten egg. Add tofu, cover soup, and let stand 1 minute. Remove the cover and add scallions. Serve hot.

Per serving: 152 calories, 12g protein, 14g carbohydrate, 7g fat, 1g sat fat, 4g mono fat, 53mg cholesterol, 2g fiber, 410mg sodium

The Seasoned Cook For some heft as well as extra protein, add 4 ounces of cooked chicken, shrimp or pork. Additional vinegar will increase sourness. To keep tofu fresh for a week, cover with water and refrigerate, changing water daily. Chili garlic sauce is found in the Asian foods aisle of most grocery stores.

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