Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Nigella's Salmon with Greens and Shiitake Mushrooms

It's "Potluck" time again over at I Heart Cooking Clubs, the chance to make anything we want. For me as we head into the busy and indulgent days before Christmas I was craving something easy and healthy to eat so Nigella's recipe for Salmon with Greens and Shiitake Mushrooms fits the bill nicely. I have had this one tagged to make for ages and based on how fast it is to prepare and how tasty it is, I wish I had made it long before now. It's from "Nigella Bites," in the "Templefood" section which Nigella describes as, "It's my term for the soothing, pure, would-be restorative food I make for myself after one binge or late night too many. "Temple" as in "my body is a..." Well mine's not but this is what I eat when I want to feel it is. And don't think--as if--I'm counseling deprivation or restraint, but rather the holy glow of self-indulgently virtuous pleasure...."

Nigella says, "My templefood days do not consist of fey picking: this is gratifyingly substantial. In order to enjoy it you don't have to know that salmon is rich in omega-3 oils, which are beneficial, indeed essential, to good health, and that shiitake mushrooms are believed, by the Japanese at least, to contain cancer-fighting properties, but it all helps in the aim of wallowing in virtuous well-being. But the most important thing I can tell you is that this is good."

Salmon with Greens and Shiitake Mushrooms
"Nigella Bites" by Nigella Lawson
(Serves 2)

2 skinned salmon fillets, preferably organic
1 clove garlic, finely minced or chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil
generous 1/2 cup (125g) shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
14 ounces, (about 1 & 3/4 cups or 400g) bok choy or choi sum, roughly chopped with stalks separated from leaves
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
pepper to taste

Grill or fry the salmon fillets – preferably in a good non-stick pan or on the smooth side of a griddle – until just cooked through and remove them to warmed plates while you get on with or finish the vegetables (you can start them off as the salmon cooks).
In a heavy-based pan, fry the garlic in the oil until it is warm but not catching. Add the sliced mushrooms together with the choi sum stalks, stirring everything together for a bare minute or so. Cover the pan and cook for about 5 minutes, remove the lid and add the roughly chopped choi sum leaves, soy sauce and sesame oil, then let it cook for another 2–3 minutes until the leaves have wilted.

Pile the mushrooms and greens on the plates with the salmon and, pleasurably, eat. I sometimes make a little sauce to go with, by mixing Colman’s mustard powder into a smooth paste with a little cold water, adding a few drops of soy sauce and (a Microplane grater makes easy work of this) a scant, pulpy purée of fresh ginger.

Notes/Results: On the table in under 30 minutes, healthy and tastes great--not much more I could ask from this dish. A few changes/additions; my wild salmon had the skin on but it was less bother to cook it that way than to cut the skin off. Nigella seems to call for two pans here-one for the fish and one for the garlic and vegetables but I think it is silly to dirty two pans so I just used my large wok, cooking the fish on the flat bottom and then set the salmon aside and then threw the garlic, bok choy and shitakes in the same pan--easy peasy. I like lots of flavor, so I doubled the garlic and added about a tablespoon of freshly grated ginger and some red chili pepper flakes to the mixture as it cooked. I garnished the the dish with some roasted sesame seeds for some texture. This is a great dish and I did find myself "wallowing in virtuous well-being" while enjoying my dinner as Nigella would say. ;-)

You can check out what my fellow IHCC members chose as their potluck dishes by heading to the IHCC site and checking out the links for December's Potluck here.

BTW: I just noticed that this is my post #500! Yowza!


  1. 500 posts - wow! That is really an accomplishment. Now that's a lot of cooking : D
    I like how she uses bok choy here. It's something I love, but I feel isn't used too much. I've been wanting to make salmon at home, but I'm scared of it for some reason. I think I'm not sure what kind to buy.
    I went shopping the other day for that small bottle of pumpkin seed oil and was upset to find that they only had big bottles left and they were $14.99. Wouldn't it be great if we could split a bottle :D

  2. Wow! Happy 500!
    This is indeed a healing and restorative dish, and so deliciously colourful!
    Very tasty, and I heartily approve of doubling the garlic.

  3. 500 posts - that's INSANE. Deliciously insane.

    I haven't had salmon in a while and I am starting to miss it. This looks like a fantastic recipe to get me back in the game.

  4. Yes, 500 posts with lots of healthy and delicious dishes!

    I like the idea of temple-food, just the sound of it makes me feel so virtuous. See? It works!

  5. Deb... this is healthy dining at its best! Wonderful flavors, textures and ingredients. Bravo on your 500 post. I can't wait to read the next 500...

  6. 500 Posts?! WOW! Congratulations. So, did you put Christmas lights around a palm tree yet? Oh, I am so envious of you out in HA. But...EP, TX is not so bad as long as the freak snow storms and the 70 mile an hour winds stay away. LOL The salmon looks divine. Must try this. Have a lovely holiday dear friend. Do a hula for me , will you? Big hugs.

  7. What a lovely recipe. I am looking forward to your next 500 posts. Congratulations on reaching a milestone few bloggers make.

  8. oh i adore Salmon thanks for a new recipe to try lol Rebecca

  9. I'm always looking for good salmon recipes and this looks fabulous. So healthy with all those bright colors. Can't wait to give it a try. Thanks for the recipe Lorraine. And happy 500. I'm still a ways from 100 and loving every minute of it.

  10. Congratulations on your 500th post! I adore any recipe with shiitake, this looks healthy and delicious!

  11. yum! congratulations on your 500th!

  12. Ola deb and 500 posts-thats really something....congarts....
    I love ur pics and presentation and will be whipping this up reall soon too....

  13. Wow, congrats on the 500 posts! The salmon looks superb!

  14. This salmon looks amazing...I could really go for this right now, great choice!! And 500...wowza!! You rock lady :D

  15. 500..seriously?! Wow, congrats!

    Love the salmon. I need to eat more of it, great for my cholesterol. This looks delicious.

  16. Oh am excited about this recipe and trying it tonight -its bookmarked for so long now-have to sub the ingredients but simply have to try it looking at ur pics so will make it work and maybe post it next week....


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