Every now and then I come up with a meal that blows even my own mind. Sweet + Spicy Salmon Rice Bowls is one of those times.
Chinook salmon, referred to as king salmon because of their size, are in season in the Pacific Northwest. They are expensive because they are in population decline. That is why I now am buying sustainably farmed salmon. Farmed salmon in not only less expensive, it allows dwindling fish populations a chance to recover and keep responsible fishermen and women working.
I don't choose just any old industrialized farmed salmon, but only that which is raised in its natural ocean environment, not in a tank that is environmentally unsound and can contain toxins. I'd love for you to read more about this responsible and humane way of raising fish.
Not only that, but more and more chefs are using sustainably farmed fish. They know this is one way to be sure there will be more in the future. And, well, when it's raised right it tastes just as great as wild.
Making the Sweet + Spicy Salmon Rice Bowls
This entire process will take 45 minutes, tops. This recipe is layed out for one person and is easily scaled up if you serve more. The dressing will make enough for 4 bowls, but is a tremendous salad dressing and marinate for chicken shrimp, and other fish, so if you have a couple tablespoons of it left it won't be hard to put it to good use.
First, put a pot of jasmine rice on the stove, in your rice maker, or instant pot. If you cook it on the stove like I do, take it off the heat, leave the lid on, and allow it to steam for ten minutes after its simmer for perfect rice.
Next, you'll whip up a flavorful mixture that will serve you in three ways. It becomes the salmon marinade and glaze, and it dresses the finished salmon rice bowl, tying everything together deliciously. Four ingredients, one small bowl, bam! (Be cautious about the heat of your chili sauce-- not all is created equal so be sure to take a wee taste to gauge how much heat you'd like.) Pour a few tablespoonsful in a shallow dish and put your salmon in it to marinate, and reserve the rest.
Then you'll put your salmon on a small baking sheet and stick it in a hot oven for 5 minutes. After five minutes switch the oven to broil, and broil it for 3-4 minutes, or until the glaze is beginning to bubble, thicken, and brown. (I use my toaster oven to cook the salmon. It's more energy efficient, and when the weather is warm it doesn't heat the house up.)
While the salmon is soaking and the rice is cooking, you'll slice up some cute little Persian cucumbers and an orange or two. You'll wash and dry some baby spinach. You'll pluck some leaves of fresh mint and basil from their stems, and slice one or two leaves into thin slivers for garnish.
Putting the Bowls Together is a Snap
As soon as all the components are ready, you'll divvy up the rice among the bowls, and lay the spinach leaves on top. (I like to arrange the spinach to one side of the bowl. It's artsy that way.) You'll then fan out a few orange slices on top of the spinach, then arrange the cucumber slices on the opposite side of the bowl to make room for the salmon to go in the center. Drizzle it all with the marinade/dressing. Tuck the whole mint and basil leaves here and there-- they become part of the green salad. Sprinkle everything with sesame seeds if you have them, black are especially pretty. Fluff the herb slivers over the top. If you have some colorful radishes to thinly slice, they add another visual and flavor component, but aren't essential.
So there you have it, Sweet + Spicy Salmon Rice Bowls! Doesn't that look pretty? Wait until you taste it.
If you enjoy this recipe, please give it a green star rating on the recipe card below. That will help others find it too! If you make the recipe, please show me and tag 101-Mile Kitchen on Facebook and Instagram! (It's a total thrill when I hear you've made my recipes!) And as always, your questions and feedback in the comments is welcome and appreciated.
¼cup per personjasmine riceprepared according to package directions
For the Marinade/Dressing
2tablespoonssoy sauce, low sodium
2tablespoonsfresh lime juice
1-2teaspoonschili crisp or sriracha sauceCheck your chili crisp for heat and use accordingly
For the Salmon
16 oz. per personsalmon filet, scaled and checked for bones
For the Salad Toppings
1large handful per personbaby spinach, washed and patted dry
½ largeorange, peeled and thinly sliced, per person
2 smallPersian cucumbers, sliced, per person
1 sprig eachfresh mint and basil, per person
1tsp.sesame seeds, black or white, per person (optional)
Cook the Rice
Cook the rice according to package directions stovetop, rice cooker, or instant pot style, using 1/4 cup dry rice for every person you are serving. If you use the stovetop method, allow the cooked rice to rest at least 10 minutes with the lid on before serving.
Make the Marinate/Dressing
Stir together the honey and soy sauce in a small bowl. Stir in all remaining ingredients. Set aside.
For the Salmon
Preheat the oven to 400°. Place 3 tablespoons of the marinade in a small dish with high sides like a baking dish or food storage container. Place the salmon flesh side down in the marinade. Flip after five minutes. Spoon the marinate over the top and set aside for another 5 minutes.
Oil or spray a small baking sheet and place the salmon filets skin side up on it. Bake in the oven for 5 minutes. Turn the broiler on to 400° and move the salmon up under the broiler for 3-4 minutes, until the glaze has turned a bit sticky looking and is beginning to brown in places. Remove from the over.
Putting the Bowls Together
Divide the rice among the serving bowls. Lay the spinach over the rice. Fan the orange slices out and divide them among the bowls. Divide the cucumber slices among the bowls. Lay the cooked salmon in the center of each bowl. Tuck whole mint and basil leaves among the spinach, orange, and cucumber. Thinly slice one or two leaves to sprinkle on top. Drizzle 1½-2 tablespoons dressing over everything. Sprinkle with sesame seeds (optional) and serve!
The marinade/dressing recipe makes enough for 4 rice bowls. If you have leftovers, it's perfect as a salad dressing or marinate for fish, shrimp, or chicken.
This weeknight-friendly Gingery Broccoli Beef stir-fry recipe came to me at the just-right time. Since last November we’ve been abuzz with houseguests. I took a four-month business course, and I started to teach cooking classes. And we’ve made the most of being able to travel again to see family. I can’t get enough of this gingery broccoli beef for four reasons, and think you might, too:
It uses pantry and freezer staples I love and almost always have around, like broccoli, fresh ginger, ground beef and soy sauce or coconut aminos.
It’s a 30-minute complete meal made in one pan, rice notwithstanding, perfect for busy days, lazy days, or any time fast, delicious nutrition is the aim.
It’s a season less dish, as appropriate in May as it is in November.
Our little household loves it. That’s all the reason I need to include this in our regular rotation.
How Recipes Evolve
It's not often one sees the straight line in how recipes evolve, but this one is a perfect example. I learned this gingery broccoli and beef recipe from my friend Mandy. Mandy added oven-roasted broccoli to Michelle at Unbound Wellness's Mongolian Ground Beef. In a step toward speed and energy efficiency I stir-fry the broccoli in the same pan as the beef. I cut the broccoli stems into thin coins, and slice the florets to have have flat edges that allow a similar caramelization as roasting. Triple score: this way it takes less time, uses less electricity, and has one less pan to wash. Taking a page from traditional stir-fries, I add the sauce directly to the pan with the browned beef and broccoli. The stir-fry method seems a little more like the Chinese beef and broccoli dishes I have always loved, just using the weeknight classic ground beef.
Mandy and I have each made our adaptations from Michelle's original yet the spirit remains the same.
Don't count this recipe out for vegans. I suspect that plant-based meat crumbles or crumbled and browned tofu would be a swell swap for the ground beef in this recipe. If you give either option a try, please let the rest of us know how it goes.
If low-carb is your jam, swap the rice for cauliflower rice like Mandy does. It serves four, so my sweetheart and I each have dinner and a grab-and-go lunch with very little effort.
Don't be shy with the ginger! I uses pieces that are longer than my thumb and about twice as wide. The three-step recipe is really straightforward: Start your pot of rice first, and in about 20 minutes you'll have tasty, simple weeknight meal.
Weeknight Gingery Broccoli Beef Stir-Fry
Course: Main Dish, Quick + Easy
Season: All Season
Dietary: Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free
Preparation: Fast + Easy, One Pot/One Pan
Total Time: 28 minutesminutes
Author: Pam Spettel
Using ground beef in a classic broccoli beef stir-fry makes a fast, easy weeknight meal with amped up ginger for extra deliciousness.
In a small bowl, stir together the soy sauce, broth, sugar, and cornstarch until the sugar is completely dissolved. Set this sauce mixture aside.
Slice thick broccoli stems into thin coins. Cut thinner stems and florets into 1" - 2" pieces. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. When it begins to shimmer add the stems and cook for 3 to 4 minutes until they have browned brown in places but are still bright green. Add the remaining broccoli pieces and stir-fry until they are bright green and have softened but remain slightly crisp. A little brown on the crowns is delicious! Remove to a plate.
Crumble the ground beef into the skillet and break into pieces with a wooden spoon. Cook over medium high heat until no pink remains. Use a microplane or other grater and grate the ginger and garlic into the meat. Add ¾ of the slices green onions and stir. Cook, stirring often, until the beef is well browned, about 10 minutes total for this step.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the cooked broccoli back into the skillet. Add the reserved soy mixture to the meat and broccoli, stirring until the sauce slightly thickens, about 2-3 minutes.
Serve the broccoli beef mixture over rice, and garnish with the remaining green onion slices.
It is an odd little kid who prefers observing adults above hanging out with other kids, but that is how I was issued. With the focus of Jane Goodall and the sofa as my cover, I studied grown-ups and all forms of their behavior; language, cultural and social norms, and how curiously their developed biology drove their actions. Kids I found to be mostly mean, addled, and ridiculous.
It will not surprise you, then, to know I hated peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. The basic components were good, I thought. But jelly seeping through the bread, the gluey palate-sticking nature of the thing, and the whole sandwich mangled by the smacking of a thermos inside the lunchbox of a girl with a purposeful stride? Thank you, but no.
If Crunchy Cold Buckwheat Noodles in Peanut Sauce had been popular among suburban moms so long ago, it would have been my absolute lunchbox preference. A tangle of chewy buckwheat noodles and colorful crunchy vegetables draped in a velvet cloak of spicy, gingery peanut sauce is arguably the best use of peanut butter. It would have had me daydreaming about girls in Indonesian -- where peanut sauce originates-- wondering if they liked math any better than me, if their parents fought, and whether they moved a lot or got to live in one house their whole life. I would have wished the Weekly Reader to do a story on them so I could know.
This recipe is for my grandchildren should they want something other than jelly and bread with the peanut butter in their lunchboxes.
Chewy soba noodles and crackly-fresh vegetables are draped in a velvety, gingery peanut sauce. Make it in less than 20 minutes for a speedy dinner, but be sure to make extra-- it holds well for tomorrow's lunches or picnics. Easily halved or doubled, this all-ages people pleaser will be a welcome addition to your meal rotation.
3Tbsp.fresh squeezed lime juice or rice wine vinegar
2Tbsp.sugar, brown sugar, honey, or maple syrup
2Tbsp.toasted sesame oilalso called dark sesame oil
1 tsp. -1 Tbsp.Sriracha or hot chili garlic sauce to taste
1Tbsp.grated fresh ginger and its juice
1-2 grated garlic cloves
10 oz.soba (buckwheat) noodlesudon, ramen, or rice noodles or even spaghetti are also good choices. Use gluten free noodles if you'd like
6 cupsfresh crunchy raw vegetables (see list below to mix and match*)chopped , coarsely grated, or thinly sliced
3-4green onions, sliced
1bunchcilantro, coarsely chopped
¼ cuppeanuts, coarsely chopped (optional)
Peanut Sauce (above)
1lime, cut in wedges for serving
In a medium bowl that allows room for whisking, whisk peanut butter to loosen it. Add each ingredient one at a time, whisking thoroughly after each addition. (You are making an emulsion, and adding the liquids slowly in batches prevents a sloshy mess from forming. It will actually go faster this way, and will minimize cleanup.)
Whisk in warm water, one tablespoon at a time, until the sauce thickly drips from the whisk. You want the sauce to be thin enough to easily coat the nooks and crannies of the vegetables and noodles, but to retain some body. Depending on the thickness of your peanut butter and the room temperature, you will add between 1 Tablespoon and ¼ cup of water. Taste and make any adjustments of sweetener, lime juice, spicy heat, or perhaps salt. Set the peanut sauce aside.
Place a pot of salted water on to boil. Cook soba noodles according to package directions. When done, rinse in cold water until the noodles are completely cold.
While the water is heating and the noodles are cooking, prep your vegetables including the green onions. Aim for small dice, or thin matchstick pieces so that you can fork up a mix of vegetables and noodles in each bite. Place all the vegetables in a large bowl..
Coarsely chop the cilantro and peanuts. Keep a few tablespoons of each aside for garnish, and place the rest in the bowl. When the noodles are cooked, rinsed, and drained, add them to the bowl. Give everything a gentle toss.
Add about ½ cup of the peanut sauce to the bowl, and give everything a gentle but thorough toss, until all ingredients are evenly coated with peanut sauce. Add more sauce, tablespoon by tablespoon, until the salad is dressed to your liking.
Plate the salad individually or transfer it to a serving bowl or platter. Sprinkle cilantro, peanuts, and sesame seed on top. Serve with a lime wedge.
Refrigerate any leftovers in an airtight container. Will keep nicely for a day.
*Fresh crunchy vegetable options. Use what the garden or farmers market gives you, or what you have in your crisper:
green and/or purple cabbage
red or yellow bell pepper
snow or sugar-snap peas
green or yellow summer squash*
*Best added only if you'll consume the entire recipe right away, as they go soft and watery overnight. I don't mind this, but you might!
I consider Curried Salmon Cakes with Mango Chutney and Coconut Rice my springtime signature dish. Do you have a show-stopping dish in your cooking bag of tricks?
You'll know the recipe. People lean forward over their plates to inhale its aroma and turn their focus to their fork or spoon. A hush falls over the table. An eater's brow becomes furrowed in concentrated curiosity, quiet little sighs or hums bubble up as a delicate soundtrack to the moment. Time becomes momentarily suspended.
All of a sudden, that focused calm breaks into cheery chatter and conviviality brighter than before. Life goes on with this one subtle experience tucked into it. And this is when you know.
Credit for this curried salmon cake recipe goes to our friend Larry Deck. He once served it as a late-night New Year's Eve dinner and I was transfixed. The brightness of the homemade chutney and light curry notes in the salmon cakes was a sunny counterpoint to that dark winter night.
It highly likely that I let out a long, deep hhhmmmmmmmm that night.
Wine Pairing for Curried Salmon Cakes + Mango Chutney
Curried Salmon Cakes, Mango Chutney, and Coconut Rice is a heavenly match with any of King Estate's Pinot Gris. I am especially fond of their Domaine Pinot Gris with its pear, tangerine and Meyer lemon peel aromas and flavors, clean minerality, and silky texture. My husband and I featured the Domaine Pinot Gris at our wedding day brunch.
Just like today's recipe trio, this wine is full of happy memories.
The salmon cakes, chutney, and rice make an all-season dish, but I most often make it in late spring when the market is flush with fresh ripe mangoes and Copper River salmon are making their first run. The gingery coconut rice got added over the years and creates a truly perfect flavor and texture triad.
Good to note is that the mango chutney is fantastic with roasted pork and on a cheese platter, and the chartreuse-colored rice will make its way into your rotation apart from the salmon cake and chutney elements.
Any type of salmon you can access is just right for this dish. You're really in luck if your fish market sells salmon trimmings by the bag at a discount, which are perfect since a filet gets chopped anyway. With all of the flavorful ingredients added, the subtleties among salmon varieties can be lost. Go with what you've got.
There is nothing technically challenging about producing this meal. I suggest, however, that you plan it on a long afternoon devoted to zenning out in your kitchen, or when you have a pal available to help with the chopping. All three meal components need quite a bit of chopping!
What is your show-stopping signature dish? If you yet don't yet have one, what would you like it to be?
Other Signature Dish-Worthy Recipes You'll Love
Roasted Chicken + Autumn Bread Salad (adaptable to all seasons): Get recipe here. Mediterranean Chicken + Artichokes: Get recipe here. Sweet + Spicy Salmon Bowls: Get recipe here.
An all-season Pacific Northwest/Southern Indian fusion full of tropical flavors. The ingredient list looks long, but this is an easy make-ahead dish that wows family and guests alike. Make your cakes small for a great appetizer version! This recipe pairs perfectly with Oregon Pinot Gris and other dry white wines.
1cuppanko or gluten-free panko crumbs, divided(½ cup for the salmon mixture, the rest to coat the uncooked cakes)
½ - 1tsp.salt to taste
¼cupcanola or olive oil, for cooking
1 13.5 oz. canlight coconut milk
1-2tsp.fresh gingerroot, peeled and minced (optional)
1-2tsp.fresh turmeric, peeled and minced (optional) ORFind this at an Indian or Asian grocer, and at places like Whole Foods in your area.
½tsp.ground turmeric (the dried spice)If fresh turmeric isn't available where you live.
1smallserrano chili, seeded and minced (optional)
Start with the Mango Chutney
Bring all ingredients to a boil in a non-aluminum saucepan over medium heat. The aroma will be vinegary-pungent at first, then will turn sweet and gingery. Turn the heat down and simmer until the liquid condenses and becomes thick and syrupy, stirring frequently, approximately 30-40 minutes.
The chutney thickens as it cools, and keeps in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks. Makes 2½ cups.
Now the Curried Salmon Cakes
Gently combine all ingredients EXCEPT ½ cup of the panko. Allow mixture to rest five minutes. (While you're waiting, now is a good time to start the rice!)
Place the remaining ½ cup panko onto a plate or shallow dish. Scoop up ½ cup of the salmon mixture and form into 3" cakes. Carefully coat each cake in panko crumbs. Allow the cakes to rest another five minutes. (The resting steps help the panko absorb to hold the cakes together/stick to the cakes and make them much easier to handle.)
Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat until just starting to shimmer. Place salmon cakes, a few at a time to avoid crowding, in the skillet and cook without moving until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Carefully flip cakes and cook without moving until the second side is golden brown, about another 3 minutes. (You should have eight cakes, or enough to serve four people.)
Make the Coconut Rice
Over the sink, rinse the rice in a fine-mesh strainer with cold water, stirring the rice with your fingers until the water runs clear. Put the rice in a medium saucepan.
Add the coconut milk, ginger, turmeric (fresh or dried), and serrano* to the saucepan (if using.) Bring to a full boil over high heat. cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Keep the lid on, and set the rice aside.
Lay down a bed of rice in the center of each plate. Place two cakes on the rice. Top with generous spoonsful of warm mango chutney, and garnish with cilantro, if desired.
The salmon cakes and mango chutney are perfect with Oregon Pinot Gris and other dry white wines, and sparkling whites. All components can be made ahead-- perfect for entertaining. Rewarm the salmon cakes in a hot oven for a few minutes. Warm the rice and the chutney in lidded saucepans over medium-low heat. This, of course, works well for any leftovers, too.Experiment using halibut or other white fish in place of the salmon.*I suggest a pretty wide range of quantity for the ginger, turmeric, and serrano for the rice, as well as an option for dried ground turmeric if you can't find fresh. This rice is stellar with all of these added, but you have the freedom to choose to omit, increase, or reduce the quantity to suit your taste. We like it with its full-flavor, all-in, maxxed out goodness. The rice can be made with full-fat coconut milk, but it will of course have a heavier, oilier feel. If full-fat is what you have, please use it, but to try it once with light coconut milk.
The Oregon season of mist is starting to pull back and make way for our evergreen season. It is uplifting to feel how just three more minutes of sunlight a day warms ones bones. The daffodils and crocus, a little late this year, are poking up their cheery heads. Even the dog beginning to shed in never-ending tufts is a welcome sign of spring. The one true sign it is time to shift from winter foods is when the grasses turn intense chlorophyll green.
Still, mornings are cold and the mist is more present than not. Something lighter than a dense soup or stew but still hot and nourishing just sounds right. Honor the shift in cravings you may have as the grasses and clover green up brightly. This Healing Chickpea + Orzo Bowl in Ginger Broth couldn't be an easier solution. Be sure to check out the Make It Your Own options in the recipe, as this one has a lot of ways to make it work for whatever it is you need.
When you're feeling under the weather-- be it a little (or worldwide proportioned) virus, heartache or disappointment, this bowl is a perfect year-round healer and cheer-giver. The simple ginger-turmeric tea and coconut milk broth is as easy as boiling water, and would make a nutritious snack all on it's own. The whole thing comes together with zero fuss in under 20 minutes. The gingery goodness and light but complete protein will have you feeling as sprightly as a bright yellow daffodil in no time.
1 ½tspAsian fish saucefor vegan option use coconut aminos
215 oz. canschickpeas (garbanzo beans)drained and rinsed
1 lb.GF or traditional orzo, cooked, or see rice Make it Your Own option
Sriracha or spicy Asian chili sauce
In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil and add teabags. After they are fully immersed, add coconut milk, put a lid on the pot, and leave to steep for 10 minutes. Remove tea bags.
Stir lime juice, fish sauce, and salt into the tea/coconut milk broth. Keep at a low simmer.
In a blender, blend together one cup of the garbanzos and a few ladlesful of the broth. Once it is blended smooth, add it back to the broth and stir.
Pile garbanzos and orzo into shallow bowls. Ladle broth around them.
Garnish generously with chopped cilantro and Sriracha to taste. Serve with lime wedges.
Make It Your Own:For a warm restorative to coming in from the cold, forget the garbanzos and orzo. Ladle the hot broth (with or without blended chickpeas) into a cup. Use the cup to warm your hands while the broth warms your soul.Replace the orzo with jasmine rice and replace the garbanzos with tiny cubes of silken tofu.For a non-vegetarian meal, add 4-6 peeled shrimp per person to the broth and simmer 4 minutes until just cooked through. Experiment with various Asian chili sauces to kick up the heat. Add to or substitute thinly sliced spinach whiskers for the cilantro.Makes excellent breakfast or lunch leftovers. Store any remaining broth, garbanzos, and orzo in a jar. Gently simmer to reheat.
You’re in the right place! I’m Pam Spettel, home cooking expert and guide, and I’m here to show you how to break up with cooking and hospitality anxiety, learn how to use recipes as guides rather than strict rules, and let your cooking intuition and confidence soar.
Superpower: Dreaming up recipes that work, serving them to my friends and family, and writing little stories about how cooking them well is the same as loving well.
Inspiration: Ingredients! The fresh, colorful, fragrant, local, seasonal ingredients found in the Pacific Northwest are my creative medium.
Heroes: Local food and wine producers– the people who keep me, my family, and our community nourished and happy.