Jan 27-30 A Japanese end to month 1 of the challenge

Jan 27   Miso Salmon with Cucumber-Daikon Relish
Jan 28   Sushi Pizza with Salmon and Shoyu Ramen
Jan 29   Date night and a late dinner at Relish
Jan 30   Bergundy Beef stew from Supperworks

This week Little Shack starts snowboard lessons on Fridays and he has to take a lunch. I promised that I would make sushi for him so that usually means we eat some sort of fish on Thursday so I can have leftover cooked fish for sushi lunch on Friday. I don't like the idea of sending my kid with raw fish in his lunch box and it's not like it's a chore that we have to eat fish the day before.

He really loves salmon and I always make it exactly the same so I thought something with miso would be a nice change. He didn't love the miso marinade so I will have to try something else the next time but Shack and I really enjoyed it. Instead of cutting the recipe in half, I did the whole thing and used the leftover salmon for Little Shack's sushi rolls for lunch and sushi pizza for supper.

I found this recipe on my epicurious app for a miso salmon with a cucumber-daikon relish. I actually followed the recipe pretty closely for once. I did substitute red miso for white because I have red in the fridge and instead of cayenne, I added a couple of tsps of thai chili sauce to the relish. I also didn't broil the fish because the kid had a friend over and I wanted a method that wouldn't require so much attention so I chose to roast it at 350F, on the bottom rack in cast iron skillet, for about 30 minutes. I had to put it under the broiler in the end anyway so if I did it again, I would use the method in the actual recipe. I served it with buckwheat soba noodles that I tossed in a tiny bit of soba sauce but you could also toss it in a tiny bit of the marined from the relish and it would be great.

Makes 6 servings
1/4 cup white miso (fermented soybean paste)* (I used red miso)
1/4 cup mirin (sweet Japanese rice wine)*
2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons minced green onions
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
2 teaspoons oriental sesame oil
6 6-ounce Alaskan salmon fillets, with skin

Nonstick vegetable oil spray

Cucumber-Daikon Relish
1 1/2 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted
1/2 cup radish sprouts
1/2 8x8-inch sheet dried nori,* cut with scissors into matchstick-size strips
Whisk first 6 ingredients in 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish to blend for marinade. Add salmon; turn to coat. Cover and chill at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.

Preheat broiler. Line heavy large baking sheet with foil; spray with nonstick spray. Remove salmon fillets from miso marinade; using rubber spatula, scrape off excess marinade. Arrange salmon, skin side up, on prepared baking sheet. Broil 5 to 6 inches from heat source until skin is crisp, about 2 minutes. Using metal spatula, turn salmon over. Broil until salmon is just cooked through and golden brown on top, about 4 minutes.
Transfer salmon to plates, skin side down. Spoon Cucumber Relish over. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, then sprouts and nori. Serve immediately.
*White miso, mirin, and nori (thin sheets of dried seaweed) are available at Japanese markets and in the Asian foods section or refrigerated section of supermarkets.

   Cucumber-Daikon Relish

Bon Appétit | January 2003
This recipe is an accompaniment for Miso-Marinated Salmon with Cucumber-Daikon Relish.
Yield: Makes 6 servings
2 English hothouse cucumbers, peeled, halved, seeded, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
2 teaspoons sea salt

8 ounces daikon (Japanese white radish), peeled, cut into 2x1/4-inch sticks

2/3 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper ( I used 2 tsp of thai chili sauce)
Toss cucumbers with sea salt in colander. Place colander over bowl and let stand 15 minutes. Rinse cucumbers. Drain and pat dry with paper towels.
Place radish sticks in medium bowl. Cover with water. Soak 15 minutes. Drain and pat dry with paper towels.
Stir vinegar and next 3 ingredients in large bowl to blend. Add cucumbers and radish; toss to coat. Cover and chill at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.

served with buckwheat soba instead of rice

All in all, it was a good week in terms of finding time to cook, finding delicious good things to cook, reusing leftovers and planning ahead. The memory of my lazy asian slaw are beginning to fade as we close the first chapter of this year long challenge and I am still feeling like this is going to be totally doable.