After all those overindulging in anything sweet and delicious food, I also look for something light and guilt-free. For any reason, salmon always pop in my head. It feels like a holy grail, especially when many touted salmon as a powerful superfood and I just believe them – light, healthy, nutritious, delicious, easy to prepare, and you can eat with anything except for chocolate cake of course. Above all, aside from its spectacular taste; the best part that I like about salmon is how they link to improve brain function. I think this is something that I need the most hoping to make me smarter and smarter every time I eat it.
Preparing salmon in different ways always gives me that magic surprise. Sometimes, I just lightly dust it with salt and pepper and sear in a hot frying pan until the skin is crispy and all the sides are all nicely brown, really delicious. Except, do not overcook or you will suffer from dry, chalky, and a waste of hard-earned cash. Two ways to know you have perfectly cooked your salmon is by using a food thermometer that ranges from 125F(Chef’s recommendation, flakier, more moist and tender) to 145F(FDA recommendation). Two, it is ready when you slightly press with your finger or fork and it flakes easily with an opaque center.
At this time of lockdown, the best place to be adventurous is in the kitchen. Turning ingredients to more complex, adding and learning the importance of what we put in it is what we need the most. Marinades are very easy to make and add so much flavor. No chopping, stirring of the saucepan, and no elaborate steps to lock-in that deliciousness and flavor; not too expensive either into the grand scheme. During my younger days of cooking, I did not understand truly what turmeric is all about. I treat it as a pure curry ingredient. Until I went home to my parents and I was amazed how beautiful fresh turmeric is. I dug them gently in clusters out from the earth – a pure sight of gold for good health that exists within. This gives me that sense of direction to learn more, deepen my curiosity about why so many people talk about it. Why it became very popular among health-conscious people?
Turmeric, curcumin, in particular, blocks several different inflammatory pathways; countering inflammation throughout the body. Piperine, the one that is responsible for the black pepper’s distinct quality is traditionally taken with turmeric to help the body absorb curcumin – Encyclopedia of herbal medicine, Andrew Chevallier, FNIMH.
To make dinner complete and memorable: Wheat, barley and oat blend with mushroom soup is wonderful to start, Grilled turmeric salmon with mango and cucumber salad for entree and finish with a slice of Cinnamon coffee cake to call it a night. A simple menu that only needs a little time of planning.
Grilled Turmeric Salmon with Mango and Cucumber Salad
- 4 (6-8) oz salmon fillet
- 1/2 cup Plain greek yogurt
- 2 tbsp Grated turmeric or 2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 1/2 tsp Freshly grind black pepper
- 2 tsp Garam masala or store-bought See notes for link to the recipe or visit my post for the MUSHROOM AND GROUND PORK GARAM MASALA STIR FRY SERVED WITH ROASTED SWEET POTATOES for its recipe
- 1 tsp Chili flakes
- 1 tsp Grated ginger
- 1 tsp Minced garlic
- 1 medium Lemon, zest and juice
Cucumber and mango salad
- 1 large Mango, ripe but firm; peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 medium Cucumber, peeled and thinly slice using a peeler
- 1/4 cup Mint, finely chopped
- 6 tbsp Plain greek yogurt
- 2 tbsp Lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp Ground cumin
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Extra mint leaf or cilantro
- Sliced fresh chillies
- Combine all the marinade in a deep dish. Add the salmon and the rest of the marinade and put it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- When ready, lightly coat a bunched-up paper towel with oil and wipe the clean grill grate. Prepare two cooking zones: medium-high heat(375°F-450°F) on one side and low heat (250°F) on the other side. Close the lid, Pre-heat for 15-20 minutes. Remove the salmon from the marinade leaving a thin coat of the marinade.
- Open the grill and place the salmon skin-side down on the high heat zone, cook for 4-6 minutes. Use a flat spatula, gently flip to the other side and continue cooking for another 3-5 minutes depending on the thickness and your desired doneness. It is ready when it is opaque at the center and flakes easily when pushing with a fork or knife. Transfer on a plate and let it rest for a few minutes before serving.
Salmon in the oven (option)
- Preheat the oven to 425°F convection/450°F standard. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly brush with aluminum foil. Place the fish on the prepared sheet and bake for 10 to 15 minutes depending on their thickness or until opaque at the center and flakes easily
Cucumber and mango salad
- Combine all the ingredients thoroughly.
- Pile the mango and cucumber salad on a plate, place the grilled salmon on top, sprinkle some garnish and serve immediately.