Best friends, I have such a light and lovely meal to share with you.
This is my riff on a Bun cha, a Vietnamese noodle salad. Rather than the traditional fatty pork (drool); we’re gently poaching cod in a savory miso ginger broth. We’re taking the tender ginger cod and serving it with crisp, crunchy vegetables, stir fried vegetables and thin, chewy rice noodles that are perfect for sopping up our incredibly flavorful homemade Mint Lime Vinaigrette. Oooh boy, this is a good one.
Though the ingredient list and steps may seem lengthy, I promise this whole meal came together in under 20 minutes and the presentation is just so pretty as a composed salad. The weirdly organized Gemini-freak in me loves a composed salad.
As a kid (and still pretty much now) I hated my food to touch. Anyone else like that? Like if I was having salad, chicken, rice and green beans, they needed to be on separate sections of the plate and heaven help you if the salad wasn’t in it’s own bowl. I would eat my (separate) salad first then green beans, then chicken, then rice (saving the best aka carbs for last). Always finishing one item before starting another. I know, I’m a spazz. The amount of sighing from my parents at the dinner table in 1985 can still be heard today. While I’ve certainly gotten better about food touching and mixing in my old age, the asethetic and simplistic quality of a composed salad speaks to my (freakish) soul.
I also organize my closet by clothing item occasion. I never said this blog was normal.
Ginger Poached Cod over Hot & Cold Noodle Salad with Mint Lime Vinaigrette
Time: 20 minutes Serves: 2
Ginger Poached Cod
2 8oz fillets of white fish (Cod, Hake, Haddock)
4 c. Miso Ginger Broth (or Pho Broth or Vegetable Broth)
1″ piece of fresh ginger, minced
2 garlic cloves, peeled & minced
Unwrap fish. Pat dry with paper towels. In a wide, deep saucepan (or stockpot), bring broth, ginger and garlic to a simmer (you can see steam, but is not bubbling). Ensure that your liquid is deep enough to cover fillets, this is crucial. Add fish fillets, ensuring that they are covered. Cover the saucepan with the lid. Allow fish to poach, gently turning once. If broth boils, reduce heat slightly. (Poaching rather than boiling keeps the fish tender). Fish is done when completely opaque, about 10-12 minutes at most. Using a slotted spoon, gently remove fish from poaching liquid and set aside. Discard poaching liquid once cool.
Hot and Cold Noodle Salad
4 oz rice noodles (white or brown rice)
1 tbs sesame oil
1 tsp light soy sauce
1 daikon radish, peeled and sliced into half-moons
1 shallot, peeled and minced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 carrot, cleaned and peeled
2 Persian (seedless) cucumbers, ends trimmed
2 c. Romaine lettuce, cleaned, ends trimmed
Garnish: Parsley and/or cilantro, cleaned, roughly chopped
Garnish: Lime wedges
Cook noodles according to package instructions. Rinse in cool water, drain and allow to cool.
In a medium saucepan, heat sesame oil and soy sauce. Add radish, garlic and shallot. Saute until vegetables are soft and have a bit of color, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat. Spiralize carrot (or just slice thinly). Dice cucumber. Roughly chop greens. Set all the cold vegetables aside as well.
Mint Lime Vinaigrette
1 lime, zest and juice
2 tbs fresh mint, minced (1 large stalk of leaves only)
1 tbs sesame oil
2 tbs safflower (or other light oil)
1/4″ tsp Sriracha
light soy sauce (to taste)
Add all ingredients except soy sauce to a small jar, cover and shake until emulsified. Taste here. You may want to add soy sauce for a more salty flavor and/or add more heat. Tinker with it until you have the flavor you’d like. You can’t mess it up, promise. Note: the sesame oil can be rather overpowering so taste before you add more of this oil.
On a large platter or shallow bowl, divide the serving dish into quarters. Spiralized carrots to one corner, cucumbers to another, cooked vegetables to another, mixed greens in the last quadrant. Drizzle each section with dressing.
In a small bowl, toss cold noodles with a bit of dressing so they’re coated. Plate noodles on top of mixed greens. Spoon fish to the center of the serving dish. Drizzle with remaining dressing. Sprinkle with cilantro/parsley. Serve with lime wedges. Serves 2