A popular Korean dish, Bulgogi is typically made with thin strips of beef marinated in soy sauce, sesame oil, and other seasonings, but is equally delicious when used as an aromatic marinade for salmon, chicken or even pork. Served with a light, healthy and fragrant Asian-inspired Sesame-Shiitake Bok Choy with ginger, garlic, sesame oil and oyster sauce, the combination of flavours and textures are outstanding. Reserving some of the marinade for the Salmon Bulgogi, makes for a rich and fragrant syrupy glaze for the fillets, once they've been removed from the grill. Served with a Cold Soba Noodle Salad, this is a sensational light meal for a hot summer evening.
Salmon Bulgogi with Sesame-Shiitake Bok Choy
4 6-ounce center-cut salmon fillets
1 tbsp olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, peeled, divided
1/3 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tbsp Chinese rice wine or dry Sherry
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp Asian sesame oil
3/4 tsp chili-garlic sauce
Sesame-Shiitake Bok Choy:
1 tbsp oil, canola
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 lb bok choy, trimmed and thinly sliced
4 cups shiitake mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
1 pinch crushed red pepper, optional
Blend one garlic clove and remaining marinade ingredients in mini processor. Arrange the salmon in a glass baking dish, spoon the marinade over top and let marinate 10-15 minutes.
Preheat and outdoor grill to medium-high or indoor oven to 500°F. Arrange the fish, with some marinade still clinging, on rimmed baking sheet, or on the heated grill. Transfer any leftover marinade into to small saucepan. Roast/Grill the fish until just opaque in the centre, about 8-12 minutes. Bring the marinade in the saucepan to a boil, then set aside and reserve for a finishing glaze.
Meanwhile, start the sesame-shiitake bok choy by heating one tablespoon of oil in a large saucepan oven over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant but not browned, about 30 seconds. Add the bok choy, mushrooms and ginger, and cook, stirring, until wilted, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking, stirring often, until just tender, 3 to 5 minutes more. Stir in the oyster sauce, sesame oil and salt. Garnish with sesame seeds, crushed red pepper and serve immediately.
To serve, place the vegetables on a decorative platter or divide among warmed dinner plates, and top with the salmon. Brush the fish with the glaze and serve immediately.
Cold Soba Noodle Salad
2 bundles (3.5oz) of soba noodles (Japanese buckwheat noodles)
3/4 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 lime, zest and juice
1/4 orange, juiced
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp sriracha chili paste or similar, to taste
1/4 cup scallions, chopped
1 tsp sesame seeds
Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook soba noodles for 5-7 minutes, until tender but not mushy. Drain and rinse with cold water until cool. Add all of the ingredients together in a medium size bowl and stir to combine. Add the cold noodles, cover and refrigerate one hour. The flavours will meld and the noodles will absorb the flavourful liquid. Serve with an extra scattering of chopped scallions and sesame seeds.