Want to make you meals look more professional? It's called plating, and it's all about the way you arrange the food on the plate (obviously... plating). Think about contrasting colours and textures, and your best friend? Height. It's the foolproof way to make any meal look more restaurant-worthy. Here's a recipe I made a friend for lunch last week: Hoisin-glazed salmon rolls, with sautéed pea shoots and a mango salsa. Because, if you're going to work hard in the kitchen, shouldn't your food taste and look good?
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An item you should get for your pantry? Rice paper wrappers. They're round, cheap, and perfect for all kinds of thai-inspired cold salad rolls in the summer. And they have a starring role in this recipe.
hoisin-glazed salmon with sautéed pea shoots and mango salsa
Serves 2, adapted from this recipe in Canadian Living
2 rice paper wrappers (the round kind)
1 green onion, sliced
1 small carrot, shredded
2 small wild caught, pacific salmon fillets, skin removed
salt and pepper
grapeseed oil (or other vegetable oil)
a few tbsps of hoisin sauce
(don't have any? make some! Mix together 4 tbsp soy sauce/tamari, 2 tbsp peanut butter,
1 tsp honey, 1 tsp sesame oil, minced garlic, and a splash of sriracha sauce)
Handful of pea shoots (or other seasonal greens)
soy sauce or tamari
1 atulfo mango, diced
1/2 cucumber, diced
1 tsp sriracha (the rooster brand chinese hot sauce)
juice and zest of 1 lime
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 400. Soak rice paper wrappers in cold water for 10-15 seconds. Lay on a work space. Divide green onions and carrots between the two wrappers, piling them in the centre of each wrapper. Season salmon filets with oil, salt and pepper. Place salmon on top of vegetables. Fold one side of the wrapper over the salmon, then both ends, then roll up the rest of the wrapper. (There's a nice how-to series of photos on this site, but your rolls will be larger and more square.)
Heat a splash of grapeseed oil in an oven-proof skillet. Cook the bundles in the oil, 1 minute each side, until browned and crisp. Turn gently! The rice paper is delicate. Turn off heat, and brush both sides of the bundles with hoisin sauce. Move the skillet to the oven, and bake for 7 minutes.
Meanwhile, rinse off the pea shoots. Heat a pan, and add the pea shoots. The water from washing will help cook the shoots. Sauté for 1-2 minutes, until wilted. Season with sesame oil and soy sauce.
In a bowl, toss together the mango, cucumber, sriracha, lime juice and zest, salt, pepper, and a splash of olive oil.
To plate your delicious meal, start with a bed of pea shoots. Place a salmon bundle on top, then finish with a spoonful of mango salsa.