I named this dish for my sister for a few reasons. First and foremost I believe it will give me more leeway when I ask to borrow her clothes, or need a spritz of her expensive perfume (flattery does go a long way!). That’s kind of a joke, but nonetheless I’ll test my theory Friday night!
But seriously, I made this to show her how easy it is to cook fish, and how you don’t need to have a set plan before you start cooking. I told her that if you start out knowing you are going to cook the 2 pieces of salmon in your fridge, but are unsure after that, you should not let that stop you from say, chopping an onion while you scan your kitchen for other potential ingredients.
That is how this dish began, that, along with a desire to use anything that was in danger of “going off”, and to make a dish that was so simple it would give her the confidence to “wing it!” now and again. I am a firm believer in the use-whatever-you have notion, and when you begin to think of cooking like this, everything becomes easier.
Mimi is the last of the six kids in our clan and so the responsibility of her having to cook anything was reduced to making cups of tea served with marmalade on toast! It is not surprising then that she never warmed to cooking as an adult. The kitchen was a little alien to her, and she much preferred to sit with me, sipping wine and chatting while I cooked.
Not now however, she has become gung-ho about cooking as much as possible (now if only she could begin to at least attempt to not hate supermarkets so very much!), and I must say my blog has helped her on her way. I think she thinks if I can do it, well so can she! And, I think so too.
Salmon is a great fish to start out with if you have a fear of cooking fish. It has plenty of fat which keeps it moist, even if it is over-cooked a little (common problem with timid fish cookers is overcooking). Also, if you keep stock or bouillon cubes on hand, as well as onions, and 1 or 2 fresh herbs, you have the makings of so many meals.
Everyone should try cooking their dinner. There is no end of satisfaction in eating something made by your very own hands!
* This is a Blood Type A Beneficial Diet Recipe*
(if you are very strict you should omit the Sambal Oelek as it is spicy. I do not deprive myself of condiments like this but if you are an extra-sensitive Type A, it would be best to steer clear or just us a 1/2 tsp and see how you go)
You will need:
2 or 3 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 large sweet or yellow onion, cut into thin 1/2 moon slices
2 salmon fillets (6oz each)
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 to 2 tsp Sambal Oelek (depending on how much heat you like) *Sambal Oelek is a chili-based condiment popular in countries like Malaysia and Singapore, as well as in the Netherlands*
1 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth (or 1 good quality bouillon cube such as Rapunzel and water)
4 cups spinach leaves
1/3 lb buckwheat noodles or enough for 2 servings. (To make sure they are 100% buckwheat you need to check the ingredients list. Sometimes the title says “buckwheat” and it is a combination of wheat flour and buckwheat)
salt and/or black pepper to taste
1 – Put water in pot and bring to a boil. Add noodles and cook for time recommended on package (usually about 6 minutes). Rinse very well in a colander when cooked, and set aside. They will get a little gummy and dry, but don’t worry as that unpleasant characteristic will change when added to the broth.
2 – Put medium/large saute pan on medium/low heat and add the oil. When it has warmed, add the onion slices and rosemary. Saute for about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally and making sure they do not burn. Adjust heat as needed.
3 – Add the sambal oelek (move to next step if omitting) and stir into the onions. Cook for another minute.
4 – Add the broth (or water and bouillon) and turn up heat to medium. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 3 minutes.
5 – Place the fish on top and cover with lid. Cook for about 4 minutes. Adjust heat as needed (you do not want a bubble, but a gentle simmer). Take off lid and baste the fish with the broth. Continue to cook for another 2 or 3 minutes.
6 – Add the spinach and cover until spinach has cooked (about 2 or so minutes)
7 – Add the noodles around the fish and press gently into broth using a fork or wooden spoon. Cover with lid and shake pan keeping contact with stove-top. This loosens the noodles and warms them. Check often and stop when noodles are warmed through, and have separated.
Serve, giving each person a piece of fish, noodles, and lots of yummy fish broth.