Thursday, February 4, 2010

State of Mind - Pan Seared Salmon with Wasabi Mashed Potatoes

"What do you think says more about you, the things that are under your bed, or what's on your bedside table?" - Overheard on the 51 bus today

I'm skeptical about this one. First of all, I cleaned out the contents of what was under my bed when Amber gave me my birthday present this year (like a Saint, she deep cleaned my apartment, which of course meant I had to clean it first to save myself embarrassment) and now all that remains are a couple old magazines, computer boxes and a printer.

Does that mean I'm boring?

Also, I think I heard Oprah say once that the contents and organization of your closet reflects your overall state of mind. So if it's cluttered and messy, your inner life probably is as well. Now that I think about that, it seems really depressing. What if the same goes for whatever's under the bed? I have a printer clouding my peace of mind?

Let's move on to the bedside table.
  • Several candles and candle holders
  • matches
  • lamp
  • 3 giant white hydrangeas in a vase
  • an antique bottle
  • enamel tray
  • half empty glass of wine...or is it half full...
Hmmm. That's more like it. And I hope it's a bit more informative than whatever is under the bed.

Tonight I made one of those dinners that made me exclaim, "Oh hell yes," upon taking a bite. This, is what it's all about my friends. I improvised, knowing that I wanted wasabi mashed potatoes, I bought a beautiful piece of salmon from Ver Bruges down the street, and whipped up a sort of asian sauce to pan sear it with.

If you've never had wasabi mashed potatoes, you should really remedy that immediately. It's the kind of thing that might sound a bit strange at first, but then you take a bite and you wonder where they've been all your life.

This one is going to be in the repertoire for a good long time. Hell, yes.

Pan Seared Salmon with Wasabi Mashed Potatoes
For the Salmon

1 Large Salmon Fillet, about 1 lb, cut into 2, or 2 8 ounce fillets
1/4 cup plum sauce
1 tsp chili sauce (such as siracha)
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
3 tbsp red wine
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp fresh ginger, minced
2 tbsp canola or olive oil

Pre-heat the oven to 350. Season the salmon fillets with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tbsp canola oil or olive oil in an oven-proof saute pan over high heat and sear the salmon on both sides until golden brown, about 2 minutes for each side. Combine the plum sauce through the ginger in a small bowl, and whisk together with a fork. Generously brush the sauce onto the fish. You might have a little sauce left over. Put the pan into the oven to finish cooking. Baking time will depend on the thickness of your fillet. Check for desired doneness.

For the Wasabi Mashed Potatoes

1 lb russet potatoes, scrubbed, peeled and quartered
1/2 cup cream or milk
2 ounces of butter
2 tsp wasabi paste

Fill a large pot with cold, salted water. Add the potatoes and bring to a boil over high heat until done. Check with a fork for desired doneness. Use a ricer to mash. Add milk or cream, butter, and wasabi. Add salt to taste.

Serve fish over wasabi mashed potatoes.


  1. Your post doesn't say what to do with all the salmon glaze ingredients. I'm guessing you combine everything and pour it over the fish before you put the saute pan into the oven, but I'd be guessing. Wanna update the recipe?

  2. You're right, sorry about that! Updated now!

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. quick question, I'm not an experience fish-cook as I've been vegetarian my whole life till now... how will I know when my salmon is perfectly done? And without a saute pan that's oven proof, can I just use a fry pan and transfer to a bake dish? Thanks!

  5. Hi Aqua,

    The salmon should flake when you stick a fork into it. It will be firm, and opaque in color.

    A baking dish will work just fine!