"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" ~ Mary Oliver

Tag: wasabi

salmon “poke” salad with seaweed and jasmine rice


We’re fortunate to live in New England so the fish that is sold at fish markets and even grocery stores is pretty high quality most of the week. I was a little hesitant to buy salmon on a Monday but it turned out to be tasty in a “poke” salad bowl that I served for dinner tonight along with freshly made jasmine rice.

Sometimes in Hawaii where the “poke” (pronounced po’kay;) tradition emanates, they place the marinated raw fish on a mound of rice. I avoided that because I didn’t want the temperature of the warm rice to diminish the freshness of the raw salmon. So, here’s how I put together this dish:

  1. I bought 3/4 pound of the freshest salmon I could find today.
  2. Also picked up a container of seaweed salad which added a wonderful taste to the salad.
  3. I skinned the fillet of salmon after rinsing it in cold water and drying it with paper towels. I then cut it up in medium sized cubes.
  4. For a marinade, I put powdered wasabi in a bowl, added Ohsawa soy sauce, diluted it with a little cold water, added sesame oil, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. A tiny bit of honey to take the edge off – then added a few spoonfuls of the marinade on the fish, turning it around and then put it in the fridge. This was about half an hour before dinner.
  5. I cooked jasmine rice in my rice cooker and served it in separate bowls. We really like this rice, especially when it’s made right before we eat and served hot.
  6. Preparing the salad included using two shallow bowls, lining it with fresh lettuce, cut up endive, a Persian cucumber quarter cut and lightly covered with the same marinade as for the salmon.
  7. Then, I piled up the marinated salmon in the middle and finished it with the seaweed salad ringed around it with some on top of the fish.

We enjoyed this supper because the tastes were very clean and all in all, it was pretty healthy too.

‘reward’ dinner notes . . .

reward dinner photo 1

This morning (Saturday of Labor Day weekend,) I made good progress in the living area. I hauled out all of the piles of things sitting around the room and grouped ‘like to like’: magazines, writing drafts, books, bills to be paid, etc. I consolidated the trash and moved the bins closer to the table. Cleared off all the extra stuff on our handsome pride-of-place soapstone countertop. Had a little more of a challenge figuring out where to put all the stuff that was being cleared away but that’s the way it always seems to be. And I don’t want to give it away either!

Second, I did two rounds of 30 minutes each and took a five minute break in between. Then, I decided to write checks, pay bills and prepare a package for mailing. Went to the post office, looked at a few things at TJ Maxx but decided to order online at Amazon instead. And finally wound my way back up to the fish market. The first piece a girl behind the counter cut for me was not big enough and still had the thick black skin of the tuna weighing it down. The second piece she cut for me was gorgeous. That’s the only word for it. tuna sashimi

On the way home, I thought the piece of yellowfin tuna was so fresh that I debated about whether to ‘dress it up’ and make one of the recipes for “Hawaiian Poke” (pronounced po-kay) with two kinds of onions (sweet and scallions), sesame seeds, nori and wakame seaweed, soy, sesame and a little honey for dressing. . . or serve it up straight and unadorned as a modest tuna sashimi with rice and cucumber salad on the side. I think I’ll let George be the arbiter of this difficult decision!

So, here’s the verdict and a photo of our meal: we both preferred to have the tuna sashimi-style with Ohsawha organic soy sauce and wasabi paste.

I cooked a pot of short-grain and brown rice in some dashi broth with a little soy added. (A teaspoon of instant dashi, a teaspoon of soy stirred into a cup of mixed rice (shortgrain white, sweet rice and shortgrain brown rice) with a cup and a half spring water in a rice cooker.)

cucumber wakame saladThis is what we have gotten used to eating and I call it “sticky rice” because of the sweet rice that’s included with the other rice. On the side, I’ll slice some English cucumber thinly and toss with some Japanese seasoned gourmet vinegar, soy, sesame and some wakame seaweed and a dab of sweetener. Yum!

Tomorrow, I’m going to tackle one of the bedroom areas and the plant room where the birds used to reside but are much happier being closer to us in the living room where they warble away every night around 7:10 p.m. right after the evening news. Go figure!


temple food . . .

So yesterday, while I had some free time to myself in the quiet of the house and kitchen, I took out my books on food and solitude, Japanese Zen temple dishes and recipes for preparing somen noodles since it’s been so hot and humid. Somen noodles are thin white noodles that are eaten cold, dipped in a sauce with dashi, soy, mirin and a little sugar. Once cooled, the dipping sauce is enhanced right before eating with strips of nori, some grated ginger and some prepared wasabi (horseradish). Dipping bitesize helpings of the cool noodles in the piquant sauce was not only delicious, but also calming and peaceful.

I had a small eggplant in the refrigerator that I poached in a similar sauce to the dashi dipping sauce, slits made lengthwise to allow the vegetable to soften and take on the flavors of the simmering broth. At room temperature and drained of the cooking liquid, I made a marinade of Japanese flavored vinegar, sesame oil, a little soy and sugar with some freshly grated ginger, which I poured on top of the eggplant after slicing it diagonally into pieces easily picked up by chopsticks.

Finally, my daughter had told me a couple of weeks ago about a dish she had made of matchstick sliced Japanese yam and hijiki seaweed, soaked ahead of time. Having scoured our local vietnamese grocery and natural foods stores for hijiki to no avail, I had to resort to ordering it online at! It arrived yesterday and this afternoon, I sauteed the vegetables with a little of the hijiki soaking water, soy, mirin and sugar until the dish cooked to a golden brown.

Tonight, there have been thunderstorms, lightning and rain. Our days seem to be filled with the same kind of intense activity plus lots of knitting and watching the olympics on TV. The sun is now shining on windows streaked with rain. The evening is coming to a close led by this peaceful and tasty repast drawn from Zen temple food traditions. Another way to change my life, I thought to myself.