I Eat, therefore, I Am: Panko-Breaded Salmon in Sweet Chili Sauce

The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”― Julia Child

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Right on, Julia! Ms. Foodie loves Salmon, but is always looking for ways to “spice it up” so to speak. Only so much baked, broiled, and grilled Salmon one foodie can stand. So, this epiphany came to me today: Panko and Sweet Chili Sauce.

Trader Joe’s has a wonderful Sweet Chili Sauce that I have decided to buy in threes, because it’s not only great for dipping, but for cooking too. And the 10.1 oz. bottle gets used up fairly quick!

Ms. Foodie sliced her Pacific Salmon into quarter-inch strips, basted them in a mixture of egg and milk, with a bit of ground black pepper, salt, turmeric, and thyme, then lightly coated them with the Panko breading.

Be on your guard: Not all Panko is created equal: I recommend Trader Joe’s brand, or one from your local Asian market.  Panko should not taste like run-of-the-mill bread crumbs. There’s a lightness to the texture which balances out the weightiness of the fish.

Ms. Foodie then heated one to two tablespoons of Sesame Oil in a skillet until it was a bit smoky (Sesame is a wonderful oil for stir fry) and placed the breaded Salmon pieces in the oil, lightly browning on both sides; about 2-5 minutes.

Once the breaded Salmon was sufficiently colorful, I used about three-quarters (maybe 8 oz. give or take) of the Trader Joe’s Sweet Chili Sauce (you could use the whole bottle, depending on how much spice you like) and coated the pieces with it, poured some Sweet Peas (about a cup) on top, covered this, and turned the heat to a low simmer.

While the dish was marinating in heat, I put Jasmine Rice in the Rice Cooker–one of the best inventions ever created–I kid you not!

About 15 minutes into the simmer, I gently stirred the Salmon pieces to sufficiently let the Sweet Chili Sauce cover and coat every piece, as well as to spread the Sweet Peas throughout. Then, I chopped up two green onions, sprinkled them on top of the Salmon-Chili Sauce-Sweet Pea combo, covered it again, and let it simmer for about 5 minutes more. After that, I turned off the heat, and let the dish sit for about 5 minutes.

Once the Jasmine Rice was perfectly steamed, Ms. Foodie spooned it into a dish, and served the Sweet Chili infused Panko-breaded Salmon over it.

Ms. Foodie put her foot in this–Mr. Foodie’s second helping was the proof!

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