This stellar weeknight meal takes advantage of ingredients you may already have stashed in the cupboard or fridge.
The centerpiece is salmon. The fillets are easy to prepare and quick to cook, making them the perfect protein for easy weeknight dinners. And salmon can take on many different flavors, which explains its versatility and mass appeal.
Miso rice adds a fragrant, earthy pairing for the silky, fatty salmon. The sweet-salty miso is whisked into the rice water before cooking, making the rice super savory, nutty and sticky. The rice complements other seafood, too, like cod, shrimp and scallops. It’s also a great accompaniment to grilled steak and roasted chicken. And if it’s a satisfying plant-based meal you’re after, miso rice is a natural match for delicious tofu-vegetable bowls. Use the versatile ginger-scallion vinaigrette as the sauce.
Mixing in the miso is a simple little technique that results in big flavor, but you could also add unexpected seasonings whenever you make rice. Try mushroom stock in place of water, or whole spices, like cinnamon sticks, star anise and cardamom pods, to perfume the rice. Capers, chopped fresh chiles or minced ginger could all add distinctive pops of flavor and texture to the rice.
The rest of the recipe is just as adaptable. No cabbage? Use whichever vegetable or greens you have on hand: Carrots, celery, mushrooms, avocado and spinach are all great options. Out of ginger and scallions? Add a little garlic, red-pepper flakes or sesame seeds to enhance the dressing. The zesty vinaigrette brightens anything you put it on, so incorporate it into your weeknight rotation. Double it, and keep it in the fridge for up to a week to spoon over greens, beans, eggs and pasta.
Choose king salmon for rich buttery flavor. If you’re looking for something leaner that still has big flavor, try sockeye. Coho is your pick for a milder tasting fish.
Prepare the entire meal while the rice cooks, and you’ll have dinner on the table in 30 minutes or less. You can assemble the vinaigrette and chop the cabbage a few hours ahead of time, if you like, or even the morning of. For fun, set up a simple vegetable fixings bar with assorted sliced veggies, so people can pile on the toppings of their choosing.
This crowd-pleasing dinner makes entertaining a breeze, even if it’s just for your family.
Recipe: Roasted Salmon With Miso Rice and Ginger-Scallion Vinaigrette
Makes: 4 servings
Total time: 30 minutes
1/4 cup white or sweet miso
1 1/2 cups basmati or other long-grain rice
4 (6-ounce) skin-on salmon fillets
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup chopped scallions, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar or unseasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
4 cups finely shredded cabbage, such as green, Napa or savoy (about 8 ounces)
Roasted sesame oil, for serving
1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. In a medium saucepan, whisk miso with 2 1/4 cups water until dissolved. Stir in rice and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook until all of the liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork (it will be a little sticky).
2. On a rimmed baking sheet, rub salmon all over with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and arrange skin-side up. Roast until fish is just opaque and cooked to medium, 8 to 10 minutes.
3. In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, scallions, vinegar and ginger, and season with salt and pepper.
4. Divide miso rice and cabbage among bowls. Top with salmon, ginger-scallion vinaigrette and sesame oil.