Mar 12, 2008

Salmon Rice Bowl with Meyer Lemon Dressing

This rice bowl we've come to know and love. It was inspired by the rice bowl recipe in Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Cooking. (This book is a great resource for exciting new ways to eat healthy.) Her citrus-soy dressing is becoming my favorite Asian salad dressing and get this, it doesn't even have any oil. Guilt free! She uses a combination of orange and lemon, which would be a great substitute when you can't find Meyer lemons. But loving all things Meyer as I do, I can't help but use Meyer lemons here.

I use a lot of champagne vinegar and rice vinegar in dressings. I like their lighter, softer flavors. But I'd never tried brown rice vinegar before. It has just enough zing to have body, without being too sour. I keep it in my pantry all the time now.

We make our rice bowl with barely roasted salmon, avocado, mango, sweet bell peppers, baby bok choy and cucumber. Very clean, fresh flavors with big textural and visual sex appeal. This meal IS virtuous, but it's also sensuous. We usually make it with brown rice, but this last time (in the photo), we tried it with basmati rice. I love the delicate scent of basmati, but next time, I think I'll go back to brown rice. I like it's toothiness. You could make endless variations on this.

rice bowl:
1/2 pound wild salmon filet
2 cups cooked rice (brown rice, basmati, whatever you like)
1/2 avocado
1 ripe mango
2 heads baby bok choy, cleaned and sliced
red or orange bell pepper, chopped
1/2 English cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks
cilantro for garnish

2 tablespoons sugar (or agave nectar)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
zest and juice of 1 large Meyer lemon
(or substitute zest and juice of one orange and 1/2 lemon)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roast salmon until it's just done on the outside and still pink inside. (This took 6-8 minutes in our convection toaster oven.)

While the salmon is roasting, combine sugar/agave, soy sauce and brown rice vinegar. I usually pop this in the microwave for about 20 seconds to make sure the sugar dissolves into the liquid completely. Let cool for a few moments, then add the citrus. Whisk together. Set aside.

Prep your veg: mango, bok choy, pepper, cucumber. (Leave the avocado til the last minute so it doesn't start browning.

Take a few spoonfuls of dressing and toss it or drizzle it into the rice. Make a bed of rice on each of your two plates. I like to serve the salmon sitting on a bed of the boy choy, but assemble this however you like. You can toss all the veg. together and tumble them out onto your rice, or style them all aligned. Channel your inner food stylist.

When the salmon is ready, set it on top. Slice and chop your avocado, sprinkle with the remaining dressing, top with a bit of cilantro and serve.

Serves 2.

Adapted from Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Cooking.

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