Salmon (or Shrimp) in a Creamy Coconut-Miso Sauce

The salmon version

The salmon version

Hello there! Hard to believe it’s been 7 months since my last post and the same since I announced this self-imposed hiatus from blogging. The hiatus is going well, thanks for asking. I haven’t been quite as productive as I had originally hoped, but things are picking up and I do think I might actually, some day, perhaps in the way distant future, but soon, I hope, produce something tangible that looks vaguely like a collection of my favorite recipes, maybe some stories and a few photos or pictures, you get the idea. So the hiatus continues.

But just to practice my blogging skills, I may throw up a recipe (not literally, oh dear) now and then. Like now, maybe. This seems like a good time, since I’m already here talking, to share an incredibly delicious recipe for this Coconut-Miso Salmon dish that I can’t stop making. It’s incredibly swoon-worthy in the most delicious way, but, as so often happens, the first go-round wasn’t quite that. The original recipe, which I snagged from the NYTimes, held such promise, but turned out to be rather lackluster and in dire need of some personality. I won’t bore you with the sordid details of how it came to be the recipe below, but after many testings and tastings. this version is the one we want to eat as often as possible. If you’d like to check out the original recipe, here’s the link.

this here is the shrimp version

this here is the shrimp version

So, just a couple of shortcuts that might make this recipe and future cooking endeavors a little easier/quicker. I’ve noticed that many Asian and Indian recipes often call for both minced garlic and ginger. When that’s the case, I reach for my big ol’ jar of garlic-ginger paste and approximate the amount needed from the recipe. Evidently, ginger-garlic paste is used extensively in Indian cooking, so who am I to argue with that? I order mine on Amazon. The jars tend to contain more than I can use right away (and it lasts for like EVER), so I break it down into smaller jars and freeze them, taking them out as needed.

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The other shortcut that I only recently learned about that you probably already know but never bothered to mention is the total ease of cooking rice in the microwave! I learned this from Priya Krishna (from her book, Indian-ish), and it’s as easy as rinsing your rice (always!!), placing it in a microwave safe bowl with twice the amount of water (i.e. 1 cup rice, 2 cups water) and a little salt. Microwave uncovered for about 15 minutes, fluff with a fork, then let rest for another 10 minutes or so. Perfect every time and SO easy. I have 2 microwaves and this recipe works perfectly with the smaller one, (950 watts). With the larger one (1250 watts), I have to power it down to 80% and it’s ready by 13-14 minutes. I still use my rice cooker, but when crunched for time (it takes 40 minutes in there) or I don’t want to haul it out, this is how I roll. And no, I don’t cook rice in my Instant Pot. I’ve never gotten the results I like…but the microwave rocks out the rice in no time.

About to be nuked

About to be nuked

Just out of the Nuker

Just out of the Nuker

Perfection!

Perfection!

I guess that’s all I’ve got. As I mentioned above, the hiatus continues, with unpredictable interludes of blogging just to keep in touch. Hope you’re all doing well and enjoying copious amounts of deliciousness. Speaking of which, here’s the recipe…

Salmon (or Shrimp) in a Creamy Coconut-Miso Sauce

And in case you can’t decide between shrimp or salmon, don’t. I can imagine how delicious it would be with both. Just a thought.

Click here for a printable recipe
Adapted from the NYTimes

Serves 4
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 tablespoons coconut oil, warmed to melting
1 1/2 lbs large shrimp, peeled and deveined  or 1 1/2 lbs skinless salmon, cut into 2-inch pieces)
1/2 medium red onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, minced (about 2 tablespoons)*
1/2 tablespoon minced garlic*
Kosher salt and black pepper
¼ cup white miso
1 tablespoon garlic chili paste (like sambal)
1 can unsweetened, full-fat canned coconut milk
3/4 cup chicken broth (or water)
5 ounces baby spinach (about 5 packed cups)
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving
2 scallions, sliced
1/3 cup chopped herbs like fresh basil and cilantro
1/2 cup of chopped cashews or peanuts, optional but tasty

* or 2 to 2 1/2 tablespoons of ginger-garlic paste

For Serving:
This is great served over your rice of choice, quinoa, rice noodles, cauliflower rice or ramen noodles. Optional, but delicious, is a final sprinkling of toasted cashews or peanuts on top.

Directions:
In a small bowl, mix together the turmeric, cumin, coriander and cinnamon. Place the shrimp (or salmon) in a bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of the coconut oil and 1/2 of the spice mix.  Set aside while you prep and gather the rest of the ingredients.

Then, in a large skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over medium high heat. Add the shrimp or salmon to the pan and cook for 2 minutes on each side.  Remove the shrimp (or salmon) to a clean bowl, leaving the oil in the pan.  If using salmon, you’ll want to cook it just a bit longer on each side, but don’t worry about cooking it through. It will be going back in the pan later.

Add the onion to the pan and saute over medium high heat for 3-4 minutes, adding the remaining spice mix after 2 minutes. Continue to cook for another minute or two and then stir the ginger and garlic into the pan.  Season with 1 teaspoon salt.  Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 3 more minutes. Stir the miso and the chili paste into the pan and cook, stirring frequently, until miso is lightly caramelized, about 2 minutes.

Add coconut milk and 3/4 cup of chicken broth or water and bring to a simmer over medium high heat.  Simmer until liquid is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach to the pan and stir it into the sauce for only a moment, then add the shrimp or salmon back to the pan. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently until heated through, just another couple of minutes. Remove from the heat and stir the lime juice.  Taste for seasoning and add salt or pepper if needed.  If the sauce seems too thick, add a little water to thin it down.

To serve, divide rice or noodles among bowls. Top with shrimp/salmon and lots of sauce. Sprinkle with herbs and scallions and cashews or peanuts, if desired. Serve with lime wedges for squeezing on top.