EPISODE 7: GINGER MISO SALMON

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Khalil from New Jersey loves the Miso Salmon with Sake Butter from Cheesecake Factory. What he doesn’t love is its obscenely high calorie count (1980 according to livestrong.com 2000 according to Eat this, Not That). He asked if I had a healthier version he can enjoy at home with the same restaurant flare. NO PROBLEMO Khalil! Feast your taste buds on my Ginger Miso Sockeye Salmon.

I make this dish all the time. It is SUPER fast and easy. It takes about 10-20 minutes to make with fresh fish so it’s a PERFECT in a rush meal. There is SO much to love about this recipe. First, salmon is one of my favorite fish. I go for the wild sockeye salmon because it is chock full of Vitamin D and heart healthy Omega 3s. Second, creamy miso paste adds a lot of flavor with extra added nutrients without a lot of calories. Third, it looks fancy but, it is super simple, inexpensive, and tasty.
I must say I was very surprised by the calorie count in the original dish until I found a “recipe” online. I am not sure if it is the official recipe or not (it said it was) but it was easy to see why this original could be so fattening. First, there is a stick and 2 pats of butter; which is nearly 900-1100 calories on its own. Second, there is ¼ to ½ cup of brown sugar which sets you back nearly 210-420 calories. Those two things alone account for 1100-1400 plus calories. Yikes. What’s worse is that by drowning a perfectly good fish in all the oil and sugar, you lose the natural flavor of this delightful fish.

I made a few tweeks to the original recipe to make it healthier but, also easier to make at home. The first thing to go was all that butter and sugar of course. Instead I bought fish that still had the skin on the back. Why? It helps keep the fish together, makes it easier to move, prevents the delicious meat from curling, and seals in those luscious oils so the fish won’t dry out. You will know the fish is done when the meat becomes “flaky” and changes color. Second, I traded out the expensive and sometimes hard to find Sake for white wine vinegar ($4). The sake works as an acid to balance out flavors so if white wine vinegar isn’t your style try lemon juice or a dry white wine. Third, I add smoky sesame oil, ginger powder and fresh sesame seeds. If you want it a little more spicy… as I always do, throw in some crushed red pepper flakes as well. Lastly, I made a wild rice with edamame and nori seaweed sprinkles for color.

What you will need: wild caught salmon, white miso paste (low sodium if you can find it), Sesame seeds, Sesame oil, white wine/lemon/white wine vinegar, wild rice, low sodium soy sauce, garlic, shallots, green onion, ginger powder/pickled ginger/fresh ginger, edamame, crushed red pepper flakes (optional) and nori seaweed (optional).

What’s the calorie difference? Well, an average 6 oz piece of Salmon (1 inch thick) is roughly 241 calories. Plus 2 tablespoon of miso paste is 60 cals. 1 cup of brown rice is roughly 216 calories. Throw in the veggies and other seasonings and you are still under approximately 550-560 calories. Even if you throw in a small salad: 2 cups Romaine Lettuce (15 calories)  1 Cup cherry tomatoes (27 cal) 1/4 cup sliced carrots (12) 1/4 cup Sliced cucumber (4 cals) that only adds a whopping 55 calories. Plus no need to make salad dressing use the leftover marinade with extra vinegar and voila salad dressing!

Miso salmon is one of the fastest, delicious and nutritious meals you can make at home. Plus, by not going the restaurant route you can cut down on cost, calories, have the highest quality ingredients without slaving away in the kitchen all day. My kind of chop and drop meal…Done in less then 20 minutes! I hope you enjoy.
Bon Appetit.

SESAME GINGER MISO SALMON

Ginger Miso Marinade
2 tablespoons White Shiro Miso Paste
3 tablespoons hot water
1/2 tablespoon Sesame oil
1/2 tablespoon Low Sodium Soy Sauce
1 tablespoon White Wine Vinegar (Sake or Lemon juice or Dry White Wine as alternatives)
1/2 tablespoon Ginger powder or fresh ginger
1/2 tablespoon Garlic powder
1/2 tablespoon Red Pepper Flakes/Cayenne Pepper (optional)

FISH
6 oz Wild Caught Sockeye Salmon (for mine but choose which one you like)

1/2 teaspoon Sesame Seeds (garnish)

1 teaspoon Green Onion (garnish)

1 cup of cooked wild/brown rice

1) Mix all the marinade ingredients together first. Place in the refrigerator for 5 minutes.
2) Wash fish well with cold water. Pat dry.
3) Place a piece of aluminum foil into a baking dish. Place fish onto the foil.
4) Add marinade. Tent the foil into a pouch
5) Bake on 350 for 5-6 minutes
6) Check the fish. It should be mostly done but not fully.
7) Put oven on broil. Place unwrapped fish back under broiler until golden. (3-4 minutes)
8) Add rice with sesame seeds and green onions to garnish.
9) Add a side salad!

NUTRITIONAL TIDBITS

MISO: Manganese, Vitamin K, Protein, Zinc, Copper, Dietary Fiber, Omega 3s, phosphorus, folate, vitamin A. Miso has a wonderful salty taste and buttery texture. It is a fermented soybean paste originating in Japan. Low in calories but, can contain a lot of sodium depending on the brand. However, Shiro miso is lower in sodium and very delicate in taste. There are also low sodium options of other forms of miso: rice, barley, buck wheat, etc. Miso has a good concentration of immune boosting Zinc, and energy boosting copper and manganese.

SOCKEYE SALMON: Vitamin D, Omega 3, Selenium, Protein, Vitamin B3, B12, B6, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Folate, Vitamin A. One 4 oz piece of salmon provides 100% of daily required Vitamin D, 90% of Omega 3s and more the 50% of B12, B3, and B6. I choose wild over farmed fish because even though contamination with mercury, pesticides, and persistent organic pollutants (POPS) has become a widespread problem in salmon habitats and with the quality of salmon itself, there are still salmon runs that pose relatively low risk in terms of contaminants. Leading this low-risk category for wild-caught salmon are Alaskan salmon. Southeast Alaskan chum, sockeye, coho, pink, and chinook salmon, together with Kodiak coho, pink, and chum salmon have all been evaluated for contaminant consumption risk involving many POPs (including dioxins, dioxin-like compounds, or DLCs, and polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs) and have been found to be the lowest risk category of wild-caught salmon for regular consumption.

COMMENTS:

KHALIL ~Oh I LOVE it!!! Thanks for the shout & helping me make one of my fav meals much more simple–and healthy 😉 I’m gonna repost!

OLU ~ yum delicious! Wow it looks so good. I like how you baked the salmon wrapped then browned it after. Dinner party @ your house!

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