When I think about Lei Shishak, I conjure up images of delectable sweets.
Caramel Pecan Thumbsters, rich fudgy cookies with salted caramel in the centers sprinkled with toasted pecans. Or oh-so-rich peanut butter cookies enhanced with peanut-butter chips to boost their irresistibility. Or moist coconut macaroons dipped in luscious dark chocolate.
But Shishak, executive pastry chef and owner of Sugar Blossom Bake Shop in San Clemente, takes time off from desserts when cooking at home. At home in her San Clemente kitchen, entrees take an easy-to-prepare turn.
Poached Japanese Salmon with Brown Rice and Baby Bok Choy is a delectable example.
WATCH LEI prepare the oh-so-easy salmon in my kitchen. It’s delicious.
Poached Japanese Salmon with Brown Rice and Baby Bok Choy
Yield: 4 servings
2 baby bok choy, leaves separated
4 (about 5 ounces each) salmon fillets
3 garlic cloves, grated
1-inch piece of ginger, grated
1 bunch green onions
1/3 cup sodium-reduced soy sauce
1/4 cup sake
2 tablespoons mirin, see cook’s notes
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup chicken broth or water
Garnish: pickled ginger
For serving: cooked brown rice
Cook’s notes: Mirin is a sweet wine made from glutinous rice. It is sold in Asian markets and supermarkets with large Asian specialty sections.
1. For bok choy: Place 2 cups water in large saucepan and bring to boil on high heat. Add a pinch of salt and the individual bok choy leaves. Remove from heat, cover and set aside,
2. Thinly slice 2 green onions and set aside for garnish. Thinly slice remaining green onions and add to a medium bowl along with soy sauce, sake, mirin and pepper.
3. For salmon: Pour vegetable oil in a large, deep skillet. Put the salmon filets in and flip to coat on both sides. Rub salmon with the garlic and ginger. Pour half of the soy sauce mixture over the salmon. Bring to a simmer on medium heat; cover and gently simmer for 5 minutes. Turn salmon and add the remaining soy sauce mixture along with 1/4 cup broth or water to pan. Cook for another five minutes, covered. Remove from heat.
4. Portion brown rice onto plates or shallow bowls and put salmon on top. Pour some of the cooking liquid over fish and rice. Place pickled ginger over salmon and lean drained bok choy on fish. Garnish with the thinly sliced green onion.
Source: Lei Shishak, Executive Pastry Chef-Owner Sugar Blossom Bake Shop, San Clemente
Sugar Blossom Bake Shop
(entrance off of Ola Vista behind El Ranchito)