Simple Meals for Non-Cooks: Pan-Seared Salmon and Bok Choy

A cast-iron pan is a handy tool for cooking up quick, easy, healthy meals of all kinds.

Salmon and Bok Choy by Heidi Wachter

As mentioned in previous blogs, I don’t consider myself a “cook.” Lately, I’ve been re-evaluating why I don’t don that term easily: Perhaps it’s because I have no official training or that I simply don’t like labels.

I’m exploring these notions, and learning a lot of cooking tips, for an upcoming article for Experience Life. You’ll be able to read all about my cooking-class experience in our October “Food” issue.

During each of the classes in my six-week course, we learn a cooking technique and then we have to try to utilize what we learned on our own.

This week’s “homework” was to pan fry a meal in a cast-iron pan.

Here’s my recipe for pan-seared salmon, bok choy, and fried rice.

Pan-Seared Salmon and Bok Choy With Fried Rice

  • Dust off that cast-iron pan you have in your cabinet — yep, the one you might be intimidated by.
  • Put it on the stove on medium heat. Once warm (this happens in a few minutes, trust me),  add the olive oil. The amount depends on how well seasoned your pan is.
  • Once the pan starts singing, add some bits of chopped garlic and onions. As they begin to simmer together, add the rosemary sprigs. Once the mixture is cooked, push it to the side of the pan.
  • Add the salmon, skinned side up, and salt and pepper to taste. Top with some of the garlic, onion, and rosemary mixture, and squeeze with lemon. (The fish gives off its own oil so you may or may not need to add more oil.)
  • Cook until brown and then flip. At this point, you can easily remove the skin. Turn down the heat a bit and cook until done.
  • Once your flip your fish, add the your bok choy to the skillet — it will pick up the seasonings you added and get a nice smokey flavor. Remove the salmon and bok choy, and add some rice to the pan if you wish; stir-fry until brown, and then mix in the remaining garlic and onion mixture.
  • Top the rice with the salmon and bok choy, and enjoy.

If you are a vegetarian or a vegan, you can try this dish with a tempeh steak or some mushrooms and it will taste delicious, too.

If you follow a grain-free diet, the salmon and bok choy are just as tasty without the rice.

Now here’s your assignment: Get a cast-iron pan, some of your favorite ingredients, and cook up a one-pan meal of your own. Then let me know how it turns out. If I can do it, you can do it!

 

Heidi Wachter is the Community Engagement Specialist for Experience Life.

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