For this week’s recipe, we continued diving into healthy Asian cuisines, this time with healthy salmon recipe using miso glaze from the Japanese diet. With this meal, I touch upon many key aspects of a Japanese diet: noodles, fish, vegetables, and miso. The recipe for the glaze was another one that I learned recently at work; it can work with either fish or chicken, vegetables or tofu… the possibilities are endless! We’ll also be using the healthy yam noodles that we had preciously discussed in the Sukiyaki article. The noodles are perfect for any dish that has a sauce because they absorb all of the flavor.
Japanese Diet – The Basics
On average, you won’t find a location where people live as long as the Japanese. The average Japanese woman lives to 87 years old and the average Japanese man live to 80. A big part of their longevity is the Japanese diet. The average Japanese diet is filled with plants, fish, and vegetables. Here is a list of the average diet of a Japanese citizen:
Their diet mostly consists of fresh, unprocessed foods. The only real preserving method that they use is pickling of vegetables, as well as salting, drying, or fermenting of fish. A big difference between a Japanese diet and a Western diet, besides the quality of the ingredients, is their portion control. In Okinawa, the residents practice “hara hachi bu” or eight parts of 10. Japanese people stop eating when they are 80% full. Their diet isn’t really based on restrictions; it’s about mindful eating.
The Japanese use the same word, “gohan,” to mean cooked rice and meal. Prefixes are attached to gohan to form words for breakfast, lunch and dinner: asa-gohan, hiru-gohan and ban-gohan. In other words, a meal without rice is not a meal at all. Cooked white rice is low-calorie, low-fat and surprisingly high in protein with more than 4 grams per cup. White rice is also an excellent source of folate — a nutrient that helps to prevent birth defects. Brown rice has more protein than white rice and is a good source of heart-healthy fiber. -LiveStrong.com
Rice is Japan’s primary carbohydrate, and fish is the protein source of choice. The average Japanese person consumes 154 pounds of fish per year (for most of them, they literally eat their body weight in fish). The most common varieties of fish that they eat are: tuna, trout, salmon, and shrimp. Seafood is an excellent source of vitamins A and D, omega-3 fatty acids, phosphorus and selenium. With all that seafood, you have to be careful of eating too much of fish most commonly linked to mercury contamination, such as yellowfin and canned albacore tuna, grouper, sea bass, swordfish, and mackerel. These fish primarily eat the bottom feeder fish that consume the most amount of mercury.
Soybean based products are not considered to be a staple in the Japanese diet, but they are usually consumed with every meal. Products such as soybeans, tofu, fermented soy sauce, and miso are some of the most common.
Recently my girlfriend has started taking food photography classes at UNLV, and she has agreed to come on as my photographer. The main picture for this article was the one that she shot. It was a pretty amazing picture for someone who had only taking three classes thus far. I hope you enjoy the recipes and pictures from this article as much as we do.
Miso Glazed Salmon with Stir Fried Noodles
Mix together the orange juice, mirin, sake, and miso paste in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Constantly whisk and reduce until the sauce thickens.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. On a sheet pan sprayed with PAM, place the salmon and glaze it with miso glaze.
Bake Salmon to the internal temperature of 120 degrees F. Switch your oven to broiler on high and broil until the exterior of the fish is slightly charred.
In a large frying pan over medium high heat with sesame oil, saute the onion until slightly translucent. Add in the shiitake mushrooms and saute, add in a splash of water to help the mushrooms cook faster without charring. Add in the Napa cabbage and continue to saute. Add in the enoki mushrooms. As the mixture is completely sauted and wilted, add in the noodles. Using kitchen sheers, cut the noodles into smaller pieces. Mix in shiso sauce.