Mark Bittman’s Asian Cucumber Soup

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This recipe is fantastic. I happened to have some really good ingredients for it, which helps, since this is basically a simple, easy recipe for a hot summer day. You can pretty much always trust Mark Bittman to keep it simple, classy and delicious. Get it on the NY Times here.

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium cucumbers
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice-wine orwhite-wine vinegar
  • 1 small chili, stemmed, seededand minced, or 1/4 teaspoon cayenne,or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3 cups chicken stock, chilled
  • ½ cup minced scallions, both white and green parts
  • 1 cup chopped watercress or arugula (optional)
  • 1 cup roughly chopped cilantro, mint, Thai basil or a combination.

Preparation:

  1. Peel cucumbers, then cut them in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds. Slice cucumbers as thinly as possible (a mandoline is ideal for this). Mix them in a large bowl with soy sauce, vinegar, chili and sugar, then refrigerate for about 20 minutes.
  2. Add stock, scallions, watercress or arugula if you like, and stir. Taste, and adjust seasoning. Just before serving, garnish with herb or herbs of your choice.

Et voila! You’re done!! Want to make it veggie? Use vegetable stock! Want to make it vegan? Use shoyu or aminos, agave or honey and 3 cups vegan chik’n stock, chilled (Edward & Sons Not-Chick’n Bouillon) Is that stuff raw? I don’t know. But dang this is yum.

 

 

Cold Spicy Kimchi Noodles

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This recipe comes from the Times. And what a great idea it is. Eat it.

Ingredients:

For the dressing:

  • 1 cup finely chopped kimchi, plus 2 tablespoons kimchi juice
  • 1 medium garlic clove, grated
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)
  • 1 tablespoon Japanese red miso
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • ½ teaspoon gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes)
  • Salt

For the Noodles:

  • 8 ounces flat rice noodles or soba noodles
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled, halved and sliced into half-moons (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 3 or 4 large red radishes, sliced into thin rounds
  • ½ cup scallions, slivered
  • 1 serrano chile, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 3 eggs, boiled for 7 minutes, cooled in ice water, peeled and halved (cook 9 minutes for a firmer yolk)
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • Cilantro sprigs or choppedcilantro, for garnish
  • Lime wedges, for serving

Preparation:

  1. Make the sauce: Put the kimchi, juice, garlic, ginger, brown sugar, gochujang, miso, sesame oil, rice vinegar, lime juice, orange zest, fish sauce and gochugaru in a mixing bowl, and stir well to combine. Taste and adjust salt. Let stand at room temperature for at least 10 minutes (or you can store overnight in the fridge, covered).
  2. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add noodles and cook for about 5 minutes, or until cooked through but still firm. Drain in a colander, transfer to a bowl of cold water to cool, then drain again and set aside, covered with a towel.
  3. Just before serving, put noodles in a large mixing bowl. Add the sauce, along with cucumber, tomatoes, radishes, scallions and chile (if using) and toss gently to coat. Divide among individual serving bowls. Top each bowl with a halved egg, sesame seeds, cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice.

DELICIOUS!!!

Mostly Baked Salmon and Smashed Potatoes

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Well, this meal is fantastic. No, it’s not raw, but I’m on a mini break from that; I went camping this weekend (and everyone knows you need meat on a camping trip), and therefore had no time to prepare massive raw things to consume this week. It’s cool, I think a break was needed anyway, and when I get back to it next week I will be happier to be eating that way.

I think finding good salmon is important, since otherwise it’s supposed to actually be terrible for you. This here is wild Alaskan sockeye from Iliamna Fish Company, and is terrific. If you live in the NYC area you can also find it (seasonally) at Mermaid’s Garden.

Also, this recipe can be customized to whatever you feel like, whatever you have in the house, etc. Get crazy.

Ingredients:

  • 2 salmon fillets, skinned or not
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tbls. smoked spanish paprika
  • 1 tbls. fresh rosemary
  • 1 tbls. orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for cooking potatoes
  • 2 pounds small potatoes (about 20), like Yukon gold
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Coarse sea salt

Preparation:

  1. Season fillets on both sides with salt and pepper.Mix paprika, rosemary and orange zest, and press onto the top of each fillet.
  2. Place a steamer basket in a large pot filled with an inch of water and add the potatoes and salt. Cover and bring to a boil. Steam until the potatoes are just tender when pierced with a paring knife, about 15 minutes. Remove the basket and let the potatoes cool enough to be handled.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  4. Preheat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat for 3 or 4 minutes — I used a comal, which works perfectly if you have one. Add the oil and once it glistens, add the fish, coated side down. Cook about 1 minute, or until the spice mixture forms a nicely browned crust.
  5. Flip your fish and cook about a minute more, then transfer to the oven. Cook about 4 minutes for rare salmon, 5 to 6 minutes for medium rare and 8 minutes for well done.
  6. While salmon is cooking, gently flatten the potatoes, one at a time, between your palms so that they remain in one piece if possible (broken potatoes are also fine). Pour 1/4 inch of oil into a medium frying pan set over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes and fry on both sides until crisp and browned, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Drain on a plate lined with paper towels. Arrange on a platter and sprinkle with sea salt.

You’re done. Totally delicious, and mostly healthy.