Edible Monterey Bay

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Salmon with Soy & Ginger

From At Home in the Kitchen by David Kinch

This simple gingery and garlicky salmon is unassuming, but sneakily delicious. It’s one of those dishes you learn to make once—and it sticks with you for life. Be sure to use a low-sodium soy sauce or the salmon and bok choy will both be too salty. Kinch guarantees, “If you make this for your friends, they’ll see it come together in 20 minutes and then ask for the recipe.”

6 heads baby bok choy
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely diced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
½ cup “lite” or low-sodium soy sauce
1½ pounds salmon fillet, cut into four equal portions

To prepare the bok choy, remove any tough outer leaves. Trim off the bottom stem and tops, being careful not to trim the stem too high or it will fall apart. Cut each head in half lengthwise.

Heat the sunflower oil in a large pan on medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, place the bok choy, cut-side down, in the pan. Cook, nudging the bok choy every so often to prevent sticking, until the bok choy has browned and caramelized at the bottom, about 5 minutes.

Turn the heat to low and add the ginger, garlic and soy sauce. Gently stir to combine, keeping the bok choy cut side down. Cover the pan and simmer until the bok choy has cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Remove the bok choy and set it aside. With the heat still on low, place the salmon, skin-side down, in the pan and cover. Cook for 5 minutes, then uncover the pan and tilt it so the soy sauce pools at the bottom.

Use a spoon to ladle the soy sauce, garlic and ginger over the top of the salmon to baste it. Return the bok choy to the pan, cover and continue to cook until the salmon is cooked through, 5 minutes more.

Transfer the salmon to a cutting board. Carefully remove the skin, if desired. Serve the salmon with a spoonful of the soy ginger sauce and a head or two of bok choy. Serves 4.

Pairs well with “Elevator Operator” by Gene Clark with The Gosdin Brothers.

  • Reprinted with permission from At Home in the Kitchen by David Kinch, copyright 2021. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC. Photographs copyright Aya Brackett

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At Edible Monterey Bay, our mission is to celebrate the local food cultures of Santa Cruz, San Benito and Monterey Counties, season by season.