Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Lunch Week 6: Broiled Miso Salmon Steaks with Sauteed Garlic Spinach

So every Sunday, I head over to the kitchen to whip up a big batch of food for lunch the next week. Yes, I brown bag. And I almost always do it every week unless I become too busy to even buy cold cuts from the deli. I do it for several reasons being health, finance, and laziness. Now, you may think that spending hours on a day off to prep and cook five meals at once is hardly lazy. But let me remind you, I hate it when the time comes to decide what to eat for lunch every day. I work in Midtown so the choices are endless. My problem, the more choices, the harder it is for me. So it's much easier for me to have my lunch ready and already decided.

So my lunch for the week: Broiled Miso Salmon Steaks with Sauteed Garlic Spinach
I've finally figured out the best way to make a weekly lunch involving fish without all the drawbacks like:
1. The deterioration of flavor and texture as the week goes on
2. Odor bombing the common kitchen pantry and torturing my coworkers
3. The difficulty of cooking fish

First thing is the timing. I am used to cooking a whole batch of food (10 servings normally) on Sundays and eat the same thing every week through Friday. That's difficult with fish because it just deteriorates quicker than meat, poultry, and/or vegetables. So what I started doing is cooking the fish every night for the next day. That seemed to fix a lot of the flavor and texture issues.
Second, the smell. You and I both know that some people eat smelly food. I'm one of those people. I will microwave seafood, kimchi, spices, sesame oil, fish sauce, etc. I'm your worst nightmare unless you like those smells then I'm just making you jealous. Seafood can be one of the most offensive smells coming out of a microwave. However, what I've discovered is that those smelly reheated seafood dishes is usually stemming from overcooked seafood. That or the seafood is not that fresh. So to remedy this, I undercook my fish. No, I'm not leaving it raw. I just cook it enough to be safe. Then when I microwave it the next day, it continues to cook without being overcooked. Get it now? It's really the only thing I've tried that works.
And last, the difficulty of cooking fish. Like many other people, time is a luxury in my life. I don't always want to spend my free time cooking. I do many times but honestly I'm dead tired after work. Luckily for me, fish is a very fast cooking protein. It's relatively safe to eat if it's not completely cooked through (as long as you buy a good quality fish). So for this meal, I didn't even need to whip out the pan. Instead, I broiled it in my toaster oven. Easy cooking, easy clean up. I mean, I just put a miso and soy sauce mixture on my fish, placed it skin side down on a foil lined tray, then broiled it. Once the top gets browned, remove and let cool. Last thing, take a spatula and scrape the meat away from the skin. The skin will remain on the foil to be thrown away. I mean it takes less than 10 minutes from start to finish. It's pretty awesome.

The salmon remained so tender and juicy. The miso and soy sauce gave a real salty touch. Be careful with the amount you use. It can be too salty real quick.

As for the spinach, I used 5lbs of fresh spinach leaves cooked in oil and garlic (2.5 bulbs) to make 10 servings. You can use frozen spinach if you want but it's nice to use the fresh kind.

In the end, I saved my coworkers from a bad fish smell. Instead, they get odeur de garlic. Ha!

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