Thursday, May 2, 2013

Recipe: Seared Wild Salmon in Lemongrass Broth with Pad Thai Noodles

Chef Nora Pouillon of Restaurant Nora, the first organic certified restaurant AND REAL Certified Restaurant in the nation, takes us on a culinary adventure and shares this Thai-inspired recipe. Chef Nora is a big believer in healthy and fresh ingredients and sustainable practices and all of her dishes are prepared with the REAL philosophy in mind. Pick up the ingredients from the international aisle of your grocery store and the local farmer's market and let the inner gourmet chef shine. Can't wait to give this a try!

4 ounces pad thai noodles or rice sticks
3-inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
3 stalks lemongrass, outer leaves removed and thinly sliced
4 kaffir lime leaves or 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1-2 jalapeño peppers or more to taste
6 cups water
2 Tablespoons nuoc mam (Thai fish sauce)
2 large carrots, peeled and thinly sliced diagonally
16 shiitake mushrooms, about 3 ounces, washed, stemmed, and quartered
4 green onions, trimmed and sliced thinly on the diagonal
4 ounces tat soi or watercress, stems trimmed
½ cup cilantro leaves for garnish
4 wild salmon filets, about 6 ounces each
1 teaspoon sunflower oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Soak the pad Thai noodles or rice sticks in hot tap water for 3 minutes or until softened.  Drain.

Mince the ginger, lemongrass, lime leaves, and jalapenos together by hand or in a small chopper. Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan and add the minced mixture to it. Season to taste with nuoc mam. This broth can be made ahead and used later.

Bring broth back to a boil and add the carrots, shiitakes, green onions, and drained noodles. Simmer about 1 minute.

Just before serving, stir in tat soi or watercress so they stay green and crisp.

Heat a sauté pan large enough to hold the four salmon filets. Add the oil and seasoned salmon filets. Sear for 3 to 4 minutes on one side. Turn with a spatula and finish cooking for another minute or two until your desired doneness. 

To serve, ladle the broth into 4 large soup bowls, dividing the vegetables and noodles evenly.  Top with the salmon and garnish with cilantro.

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