The first time you cook for a guy is kind of important — you need to find the delicate balance of making something impressive and delicious without it seeming like you’re trying to hard. If its at his place, you want to show up with as few ingredients as possible. If its at your place, you want to spend less time at the stove and more time plying him with wine. You also want to make sure its nothing that can get your “causally perfect” outfit messy and you need to avoid anything that produces steam since your “I woke up like this” make up and fresh blowout need to stay perfect.
Well — look no further than Miso Salmon with Bok Choy. The flavors are complicated enough to be interesting and make you seem like a great cook, but the main ingredient is something everyone knows and likes. The ENTIRE recipe only has six ingredients and you can make it all with only about 10 minutes actually spent in the kitchen.
I have shared this recipe with at least half a dozen of my girlfriends when they’ve asked me what to make for that first dinner date at home, and it has never failed to be easy and impressive. For my friends that are accomplished cooks its a fun recipe because they get to experiment with miso and mirin, which they might not have the opportunity to use very often, and for my friends who hate the kitchen and are faking the funk to impress a new guy its perfect because its impossible to screw up.
A couple of quick tips:
1) Use the best, freshest salmon you can find. This is a simple recipe where the fish really shines.
2) Salmon should flake gently and be incredibly moist when it is done. Cook this on low heat and make sure you don’t overcook it. For a 1/2 pound fillet the cooking time is about 25 minutes.
3) The skin of the salmon will be soggy and will probably stick to the baking pan. To serve the salmon, gently pry a spatula between the skin and the flesh and lift the fillet off onto a plate.
4) You can usually find miso in the refrigerated section near the eggs and dairy.
- 2 large fillets of fresh salmon
- 2 tablespoons of red miso paste
- 2 tablespoons of honey
- 1 pound of bok choy, chopped
- 2 tablespoons of mirin
- 1 teaspoon of sesame oil
- Pre-heat your oven to 300 degrees and cover a baking sheet with tin foil.*
- In a small bowl, mix the miso paste and honey very well.
- Lay the fish, skin side down, onto the baking pan and spoon the miso mixture over it. Make sure to spread it over the top and the sides.
- Bake the fish for 22-28 minutes depending on the size of the fillet.
- When the fish is out of the oven, 5 minutes before you are ready to serve, heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the sesame oil, mirin and bok choy. Cook, stirring, for about 2-3 minutes until the bok choy leaves are wilted but the white stalks are still crispy.
- Serve on its own or with rice.