There are days when I get back from work feeling so tired that all I really want is a quick and easy meal for dinner. To me, this is something that can be ready in around 30 minutes. This is one of things I turn to on those days, as it is simple and requires hardly any prep whatsoever.
Polenta is an ingredient I discovered a year ago, and I fell in love with it the first time I tried it. Polenta is basically cornmeal, which means corn ground into a fine powder. It has a amazingly deep and rich yellow colour, which may account for my affection for it. Polenta can be used in both sweet or savoury dishes – my favourite way to use it is as a substitute for mash potatoes. It’s much less tedious compared to mash, as it only takes about 5 minutes to cook. It’s also healthier than mash (as there is less butter involved).
I know it may seem strange to pair a seemingly Asian dish with polenta, but I think it works well together. Definitely agrees with my tastebuds anyway!
Teriyaki salmon with polenta
- 4 salmon fillets (skinless or skin on is fine)
- Kikkoman teriyaki marinade (thick)
- 4 bunches pak choi (a Chinese leafy vegetable), washed and separated
- Oyster sauce
- Shaoxing cooking rice wine
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped finely
- Boiling water
- 1-2 tablespoons butter (optional)
- Garlic infused olive oil (optional)
- Chicken stock granules (optional)
- Black pepper, to taste
- Pour a liberal amount of teriyaki marinade on the salmon fillets. (Liberal = just make sure it covers most of the salmon). Leave for 5-10 minutes.
- In the meantime, start cooking the polenta. Again, I’m completely useless when it comes to measurements, and I just eyeball this. More specifically, I pour the polenta in a pot, and add boiling hot water as I see fit…. I have however, heard that it’s roughly 4 parts water to 1 part polenta. A handy tip is that most polenta packages give clear instructions on how it should be cooked.
- I usually add butter to the polenta, along with a sprinkling of chicken stock granules. I also sometimes add a splash of garlic infused olive oil to the polenta.
- Heat oil in a pan over high heat. Cook the salmon fillets in the pan, roughly 2-3 minutes on each side. Take care not to overcook the salmon, it is ready when the fish has a nice “bounce” to it when touched with a finger.
- Whilst waiting for the salmon to cook, fry the chopped garlic with some olive oil. Add the pak choi leaves to the pan, followed by the oyster sauce and Shaoxing rice wine.
- Serve: place polenta on a plate, top with the pak choi and salmon. Add black pepper to taste, and the dish is ready to be eaten!