If you’re looking for a delicious and filling meal with heart healthy omega 3 fats, complex carbohydrates, and nutrient rich veggies, then I’m happy to share this recipe with you.
I used wild sockeye salmon, and glazed it with a mixture of miso paste, soy sauce, and sugar before baking. Much of the flavour of this dish comes from the miso paste, which is quickly becoming one of my favourite ingredients.
Miso paste is a Japanese condiment, it may be made from any combination of fermented soybeans, rice, barley, and other grains. You may be familiar with miso in miso soup, but did you know miso can also be used as a part of sauces, spreads, and pickles? Like many fermented foods, miso paste is salty, but it also has a rich “savory” taste, also known as umami. Just as sweetness comes from sugar, umami comes from glutamic acid. Some foods naturally contain a higher concentration of this savory flavour, including kelp (seaweed), Parmesan cheese, tomatoes, and you guessed it, miso paste. In addition to pairing well with salmon, this miso glaze would work with firm tofu or tempeh for a vegetarian/vegan option. If the high sodium content in miso is a concern for you, check the nutrition tables to find a brand that has the least sodium. You can also use less miso than what I’ve suggested, or try using water in the glaze instead of soy sauce.
Nutritionally speaking, salmon is a great source of omega-3 fats, which has been shown to reduce the risks of heart disease, and may help lessen the symptoms of depression. Health Canada recommends 2 servings of fish a week for adults and seniors, with each serving being the size of a deck of cards (75 g, or 2.5 oz). However, increasing global demand for fish is leading to declining fish populations and the steady destruction of the ocean habitat for all marine life. If you have the privilege to, consider purchasing fish from sustainable sources, such as those certified Ocean Wise. The rest of this dish packs a health punch as well, including vitamins A & C from dark leafy greens, fibre from the soba (buckwheat + wheat) noodles, and protein from the edamame beans. Go ahead, give this a try!
Eat This Mindfully:
- Prepare: Take a few deep breaths and assess your hunger and fullness levels before eating.
- Look: Check out the colours, shapes, and sizes of the salmon, noodles, and veggies. What do you notice about about their textures? What looks most appealing? Least appealing?
- Smell: Can you smell the soy sauce? Miso paste? What about the salmon?
- Taste: This is a dish with many components, how does each part taste by itself? How does it taste altogether? Does its taste meet your expectations?
- Check in: What changes do you notice in your hunger and fullness? How do you know when you’re ready to stop eating?
- 1/2 lb salmon fillet, cut in half (~4 oz each)
- 1 tsp miso paste
- 1/4 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 2 tsps water
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds for garnish
- 3 cups water
- 120g dry soba noodles
- 1 tsp miso paste
- 1 tbsp water
- 1/4 tsp sugar
- a few drops of sesame oil
- 1/2 cup shelled, cooked edamame beans (about 1.5 cups of pods)
- 4 radishes, thinly sliced
- 1 medium carrot, thinly cut into matchsticks
- 1 cup pea shoots or other leafy green vegetable
- Sliced green onion for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Run your finger along the side of the fish to check for any bones. Remove if needed.
- In a small microwavable bowl, mix together miso paste, sugar, soy sauce, and water. Microwave for 10 seconds and stir to dissolve the miso paste and sugar.
- Glaze salmon with miso mixture, and bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes.
- Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.
- Bring 3 cups of water to boil, add soba noodles and cook until tender, about 4-6 minutes.
- Once cooked, rinse noodles under cold water and drain.
- Combine miso paste, water, sugar, and sesame oil in a microwavable bowl, heat for 10 seconds to dissolve the sugar, mix well to form a dressing.
- Toss together noodles, miso dressing, and chopped vegetables. Divide between two bowls, top with salmon and garnish with sliced green onion.
- Feel free to experiment with different vegetables: sweet peppers, bean sprouts, shredded lettuce, mushrooms, daikon, cucumber... the possibilities are endless!
- Miso paste may be available in different varieties, each has a unique flavour and colour due to differences in the production and fermentation process. I used red miso and enjoyed its slightly sweet and nutty taste.