Salmon and Tuna Poke Bowl

Poke Bowl Recipe

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy-medium
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Ingredients

  • 1 cup sushi rice
  • 2-4 oz/60-110g tuna, sushi grade
  • 2-4 oz/60-110g salmon, sushi grade
  • 2 Tbsps + 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1-2 Tbsps + 2 tsp + 1/2 tsp seasoned rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tsps sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp + 1/2 tsp chili oil or hot sauce
  • 1 tsp wasabi paste
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice (approximately 1/8 lemon)
  • 3 mini English cucumbers, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup chopped Savoy cabbage
  • 2 Tbsps fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp pickled ginger
  • 1/2 sheet roasted nori, cut into matchstick-sized pieces
  • 1/2 c. edamame beans
  • salt, to taste

Directions

Cook the sushi rice according to package instructions. Once cooked, sprinkle 1-2 Tbsps rice wine vinegar, mixing in and fanning the rice to cool. Once cool, place in two serving bowls. Keeping them separate, cut tuna and salmon into small pieces, approximately 1cm/1/2″. Mix wasabi and 1 teaspoon soy in a small mixing dish, then toss tuna pieces in this mix, placing immediately onto rice in bowls, allowing excess soy to fall back into small dish. Discard excess soy. In a small mixing dish, mix 1/2 tsp chilli oil or hot sauce, 1/2 teaspoon vinegar and lemon juice, then toss the salmon in this mix, sprinkling with a pinch of salt. Place salmon onto rice. Arrange the rest of the ingredients around the fish on the rice: cabbage, cucumbers, ginger, nori, edamame, cilantro. Whisk together 2 tablespoons soy, 2 teaspoons vinegar, olive oil, sesame oil, and 1/2 tsp chilli oil or hot sauce. Drizzle the bowls with the dressing. Serve.

And now for the details…

When I’ve got a protein craving (yes, I get cravings for protein… I am a bit of a protein-aholic), the protein I want most is raw tuna. And so when I was shopping yesterday and walked past the sushi section and saw a dish of tuna and salmon sashimi, I grabbed it, drooling a little, thinking what a delicious treat it would be once I got home. I ended up getting home closer to dinner time, though, and decided to turn the sashimi into the full meal deal, and make a poke bowl.

Poke bowl restaurants exploded in the 2010’s, and you can often find them all over the place. But admittedly, the bowls we get there and what I have created here is not super accurate to its origins. Poke originates from Hawaii, where you can find it everywhere, from poke shops to grocery stores to gas stations. But you won’t usually see the big, colourful bowls, permeated with vegetables and avocados. More frequently, the poke is dished out on its own, or onto rice, in to-go containers and served up with minimal accoutrements. And to be honest, it doesn’t need the accoutrements. Most of the poke we had in Hawaii is so delicious in its own right, it doesn’t need a bunch of stuff to go with it. Knocking my own bowl a little bit? I guess so. The additions I’ve put in do complement the poke, but they are added more to create a balanced meal, rather than be true to origin.

With that, let’s make that bowl!

Start out by cooking the rice. I have used sushi rice, but you could use any rice that suits your fancy. I’ve seen poke restaurants use brown rice, quinoa, or even cauliflower rice. Whichever you are using, follow the package directions to cook the rice. If you are using sushi rice, once it is cooked, sprinkle the rice with 1-2 tablespoons of the rice wine vinegar, carefully stirring the vinegar in, being careful to not break the rice apart. Place the rice in two serving bowls, spreading it so it covers the bottom of the bowl.

Next, we prepare the fish. We are going to use different marinades for each fish, so keep them separate. Cut the fish into small pieces, about 1cm in size. Putting the fish into the freezer for a couple minutes will help make them easier to cut.

First, the tuna: whisk together the wasabi paste and 1 teaspoon soy sauce. Add the tuna pieces, and toss until the tuna pieces are covered. Transfer immediately onto the rice bowl.

Next, the salmon: whisk 1/2 teaspoon chilli oil or hot sauce, 1/2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar, and the lemon juice. Add the salmon pieces and toss to coat. Add a dash of salt to taste, then place the salmon next to the tuna on the rice bowl.

Place the cucumber, cabbage and cilantro around the fish.

Next, whisk the 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar, olive oil, sesame oil, and 1/2 tsp chilli oil or hot sauce with a fork until well blended. Sprinkle the dressing over the bowls, getting it over the veggies and rice. Finally, place the edamame, ginger and nori, then serve!

(No pickled ginger in the house? No problem, neither did I! This recipe from the New York Times is a super fast, super easy way to put pickled ginger together, with only an hour resting time!)

Happy eating.

One Pan Wonder: Roast Chicken with Veggies, Potatoes and Gravy (plus a BONUS)

Roast Chicken with Veggies, Potatoes and Gravy

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: easy-medium
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Ingredients

  • 1-2kg/2-4.5lb chicken
  • 3-5 garlic cloves, peeled, cut in half
  • 10cm/4″ ginger, peeled, cut into 2.5cm/1″ pieces
  • 2 Tbsps dried makrut lime leaves (optional)
  • 1 small onion, cut in large slices
  • 2 Tbsps butter, melted
  • 1/2-1 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup white wine (plus more if needed)
  • 4 small carrots, peeled, and cut in large pieces
  • 15 baby potatoes, halved, tossed in olive oil
  • 1 fennel bulb, cored and cut in sections
  • 1.5 cups asparagus pieces, tossed in olive oil
  • 2 Tbsps bisquick mix or flour
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

Directions

Preheat oven to 425ºF/220ºC. Ensure bird’s cavity is empty. Stuff cavity with garlic, ginger, and lime leaves. Place onion pieces on the bottom of the roasting pan. Place chicken on top of onions. Brush chicken with melted butter. Sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper. Pour white wine into base of pan. Place in oven for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350ºF/175ºC and place carrots, fennel, and baby potatoes. Lightly sprinkle veggies with salt. Cook the vegetables and chicken until the chicken breast meat registers at 165ºF/75ºC, about 20 minutes/lb. If the liquid evaporates off, add a bit more white wine. 10 minutes before the chicken is done, add the asparagus pieces. Once done, removes chicken and veggies from the pan to a serving dish. Set the pan with the juices on the stovetop at medium-high heat (if minimal juices, top up slightly with more chicken broth). While waiting for the juices to start boiling, whisk together the bisquick/flour and broth. Once the juices start to boil, slowly add the flour mixture, stirring continuously, until desired thickness for gravy is achieved. Remove from heat. Serve.

And now for the details…

Roasting a chicken was one of the first recipes I remember learning and being able to do on my own when I was younger. Roasted chicken is a surprisingly easy dinner to cook. And it displays nicely enough to look like it took a lot of effort to put together.

And you may ask, am I going to be a weirdo and name the bird like I did during Mo’s adventure? You know the answer. This little guy’s name is Fisher. He’s named after a recent song we did in RPM class, called “You Little Beauty”, and the artist’s name is Fisher. The moment I pulled the wee, three pound Fisher out of the fridge, I knew he was going to be a little beauty at the end, so the name only seemed right.

I am stuffing the chicken with some added flavour elements, but to be honest, you can do this recipe with nothing stuffed inside, and just some salt and pepper on the bird, and it turns out great! You may need to modify the cooking time a little bit, though, an unstuffed bird cooks in less time.

Let’s get to cooking, shall we?

Before we start prepping Fisher, preheat the oven to 425ºF/220ºC. We start at such a high heat to kinda sear Fisher’s outsides at the beginning to help lock in his juices.

Before stuffing, tie Fisher’s legs together so he can’t run away. Just kidding. Fisher is a dead chicken. He can’t run. But, we do want to tie his legs together to keep them in so they don’t splay out while he’s cooking and get all dried up. Unsure how to truss a chicken? This post provides a great step-by-step instruction to help you out!

Like I said earlier, you can get away with not stuffing Fisher, and just cooking him as is, with a little salt and pepper. But I like the added flavour Fisher will get from adding a few things into his cavity while he cooks. A lot of recipes will call for stuffing the bird with lemons or oranges… Citrus and chicken do go pretty well together. But to be honest, I’m not the hugest fan of the flavour of a roasted bird with lemon… Cooked lemon has a tendency to get bitter, and I don’t love the flavour it passes over to the poultry. I find it almost takes away some of the umami-ness of the meat. And so I’m going off-script with this one, and stuffing the bird with garlic, ginger, and lime leaves. No lime leaves? No worries. Omit them. I added them to play around and see what they added, and to be honest, the flavour addition was marginal…

Stuff Fisher with the chunks of ginger and garlic and leaves, alternating between them so they are spread out throughout the cavity. Before placing Fisher in the roasting pan, lay out the thick cut onion pieces on the bottom of the pan. We lay Fisher on top of the onions. These are going to lift Fisher up slightly so he doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan, or sit in his own juices while he cooks. Next, brush Fisher with the melted butter, making sure to get any exposed bits and pieces of him nicely covered. Sprinkle Fisher with kosher salt and pepper, then pour the white wine in the base of the pan.

Place Fisher in the oven and cook him for 15 minutes. While he is doing his first stint in the oven, get the veggies ready to go. Cut the stalks off the fennel, then quarter and core it, then slice the quarters in half. Peel the carrots, and cut into large pieces. Cut the baby potatoes in half, and toss them with a little bit of olive oil.

Remove Fisher from the oven, and turn the oven down to 350ºF/175ºC. We’ve got the original “sear” on Fisher and now we reduce the heat to roast him all the way through. The lower temp is also going to allow us to cook the veggies in the pan with Fisher, without burning or drying them out too much. Add the fennel and carrots first, stirring them a bit to coat them with whatever juices have collected in the bottom of the pan. Then we add the potatoes to the pan. I like separating the carrots/fennel from the potatoes to give the taters some space to crisp up a bit more. Sprinkle all the veggies with a little bit of salt.

If there was little to no juices in the bottom of the pan, add a little bit of white wine or chicken broth to the pan. Place the pan back in the oven. Now we simply wait. Fisher is going to cook for about 20 minutes/pound. The most important consideration is to make sure that the meat registers at 165ºF/75ºC when measured at the thickest part of the breast, not touching bone. If you do not have a meat thermometer, you can cut into a deep part of the thigh. If the juices run clear, then Fisher is done. If there is still some pink in the juices, Fisher needs a little more time in the oven.

Just before Fisher is done cooking, by about 10 minutes (when the meat is around 10ºF/5ºC under it’s final temperature), add the asparagus into the pan. Again, we are going to check the juices at the bottom. If they are low, top up with a bit of wine or broth.

Put the pan back in the oven and cook for the final 10 minutes, until the chicken reaches the correct temperature. Remove the pan from the oven when everything is done. Move the chicken and veggies from the pan onto a serving platter.

Place the pan, with the juices, onto the stovetop and set the burner to medium-high heat. You might need to tip the pan so the juices tilt to one end of the long pan. Let the juices heat up to start boiling. Yet again… if minimal juices, top up with a little bit of broth.

In a small bowl, place 1/4 cup of the broth, and whisk 2 tablespoons of bisquick (remember the leftover flour mixture we had from the Kraft box? Now’s the time to use some of it! Otherwise, plain flour works just fine) into the broth until smooth with no lumps are left. Once the meat juices start to boil, turn the temperate down to medium, and slowly add the flour liquid, a bit at a time, stirring continuously, until the gravy has thickened.

Remove the gravy to a gravy boat, and serve!

Happy eating.

And now… BONUS TIME!!!

My RPM members groan when I introduce a bonus, since it usually means a “surprise” extra 15-30 seconds of effort after everyone thought the heavy effort was over. Well… at least they used to groan when I was still teaching (waiting for COVID isolation to end so we can make it back to the gym!) Soon… *tapping fingers* soon…

In this case, the bonus is making chicken broth from the leftover carcass after you have devoured the meat of of Fisher’s body. I made the broth using my Instant Pot, but you can easily do this on a pot on the stove, you’ll just need to cook it for about double the time, topping up the liquid if it boils off.

After getting most of the meat off Fisher, remove the ginger, garlic, and lime leaves from inside his cavity. You can leave them there if you would like, but you will end up with a very gingery-flavoured broth. Place Fisher’s carcass into the pot, and fill it with water until the carcass is covered, or you’ve almost reached the “MAX” line on the Instant Pot. Add some onion, carrot, and celery to the pot.

Cover and seal the pot, cooking on the “soup/broth” setting for 1.5 hours. If you are cooking on the stove, heat the liquid up until it starts to simmer, then reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook for 3 hours. Once done, let the seal release if in the Instant Pot, then strain the solids out of the broth. I would suggest using a cheesecloth to getting the little uckies out of there and you’ll have a nice, clear broth. Place the broth into freezable containers and place in your freezer for future use! The broth should keep in your freezer for several months.

Sesame Crusted Tuna Salad with Ginger-Soy Dressing

Sesame Crusted Tuna Salad with Ginger-Soy Dressing

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy-medium
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Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsps + 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp chicken stock powder
  • 2 Tbsps + 2 Tbsps olive oil.
  • 1 tsp + 1 tsp wasabi paste
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp + 1 tsp fresh ginger, shredded
  • Fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 clove garlic, shredded
  • 450g/1 lb ahi tuna
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and shredded
  • 8 cups romaine lettuce, torn into pieces
  • 1/4 cups sesame seeds

Directions

Whisk together 2 Tbsps rice wine vinegar, 1 Tbsp soy sauce, chicken stock powder, 2 Tbsps olive oil, sesame oil, 1 tsp ginger and garlic. Toss the lettuce with the dressing. Whisk together 2 Tbsps olive oil, 1 tsp wasabi paste, and 1 tsp rice wine vinegar. Dip the tuna piece into the olive oil mix, then coat with the sesame seeds. Set a pan on the stove to medium-high heat. Turn, searing on all sides. Remove tuna and slice. Place the carrots over the lettuce. Place the tuna pieces over the salad. Mix the 1 tsp wasabi paste, 1 Tbsp soy sauce, and 1 tsp ginger. Drizzle the soy mixture over the tuna. Serve.

And now for the details…

There is something so right about tuna, sesame, ginger and soy. These flavours just seemed to be made for each other. Add in the slightly spicy kick of wasabi, and it is a match made in heaven.

The best part of this recipe? It can come together fairly quickly, too, so a great option for a weekday evening.

Mix together the other 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 teaspoon wasabi paste, and 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar. Dip the tuna into the olive oil mix, coating the tuna on all sides.

Next we will be mixing together the salad dressing. We are going to whisk the 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1/2 tsp powdered chicken stock, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil, 1 teaspoon grated ginger, 1 grated garlic clove, and some fresh ground pepper. I added some sesame seeds to the dressing as well for added texture.

Sprinkle sesame seeds over all the sides of the tuna. Place the tuna on a pan heated to medium-high heat, and turn the piece of tuna every couple minutes, searing the tuna on all sides. Remove the tuna and slice the tuna into pieces.

Toss the lettuce with the salad dressing in a large serving platter. Place the carrots over the lettuce. Top with the tuna pieces.

Finally, whisk together the 1 teaspoon wasabi paste, 1 tablespoon soy sauce and 1 teaspoon grated ginger, and drizzle over the tuna. Serve immediately.

Happy eating.