Seared Salmon With Chilies, Pickled Ginger, and Snap Peas
Makes 4 servings
The sharp notes of sliced fresh chilies and pickled ginger (the type served with sushi) offset the fattiness of the fish. Snap or snow peas turn this into a one-pan meal. When shopping, try to choose salmon fillets of the same thickness so they cook at the same rate.
This recipe yields medium-rare salmon (the centers are 115 degrees to 120 degrees); if you prefer yours a little more cooked through, after flipping the fillets, leave them in the pan for a minute or two longer.
4 6-ounce center-cut salmon fillets (1 to 1¼ inches thick)
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon soy sauce
Ground black pepper
1 tablespoon neutral oil
8 ounces sugar snap peas or snow peas, trimmed
2 Fresno or jalapeño chilies, stemmed, seeded, and thinly sliced
½ cup chopped fresh mint or thinly sliced scallions
¼ cup drained pickled ginger, chopped
Toasted black or white sesame seeds and/or chili oil, optional, for garnish
In a pie plate, marinate the fillets, skin up, in ¼ cup soy for 15 minutes. Remove the fillets, then pat dry and sprinkle with pepper. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat, warm the oil until barely smoking. Add the salmon skin up, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until well browned, about 6 minutes. Flip, cover, reduce to low, and cook for 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a platter.
Add the peas and chilies to the pan and cook over high, stirring, just until the peas are blistered. Off heat, stir in the mint, ginger, and remaining 1 tablespoon soy sauce, then pour over the salmon. Garnish with sesame seeds and/or chili oil, if using.
Snap Pea and Radish Salad With Olive-Oil Tuna
Makes 4 servings
Northern Italian tonnato, a silky, savory sauce made with tuna, is typically served with veal. But we like to balance the puree’s rich, meaty flavor with sweet snap peas and peppery radishes; flaked tuna tops off the salad. Asian fish sauce may be a surprise ingredient, but just a couple of teaspoons of the savory liquid bolster the flavor of the tuna.
Be sure to use tuna packed in oil; the variety in water lacks the flavor and richness of oil-packed tuna and has a drier, mealier texture.
Kosher salt and ground white pepper
1 pound sugar snap peas, trimmed and strings removed
2 5-ounce cans olive oil-packed tuna, drained and flaked into bite-size pieces
7 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest, divided, plus 4 tablespoons lemon juice, divided
2 teaspoons fish sauce
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 bunch radishes, halved and thinly sliced
1 cup packed fresh basil leaves, torn if large
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
Fill a large bowl with ice water. In a large saucepan, bring 2 quarts water to a boil. Stir in 2 tablespoons salt and the snap peas. Cook until bright green and crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Drain, then immediately transfer them to the ice water. Let stand until completely cooled, about 2 minutes, then drain again. Slice half the peas in half on the bias, then set aside.
In a small bowl, toss half (about ¾ cup) of the tuna with 2 tablespoons of oil, 1 tablespoon of lemon zest, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and white pepper. Set aside.
In a blender, combine the remaining tuna, the remaining 1 tablespoon lemon zest, 1 tablespoon of the remaining lemon juice, ¼ teaspoon white pepper, the fish sauce, and the mayonnaise. Blend until a smooth paste forms, about 45 seconds, scraping the blender jar as needed. With the machine running, drizzle in 3 tablespoons of the remaining oil and blend oil until creamy and thick, about another 45 seconds. If needed, drizzle in up to 1 tablespoon of water to achieve the proper consistency. Taste and season with salt and pepper, then set aside.
In a large bowl, toss together the peas, radishes, basil, and poppy seeds. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice, the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and white pepper. Toss well. On a serving platter, spread about ” cup of the tuna sauce in an even layer. Top with the vegetables, then sprinkle with the flaked tuna. Serve with the remaining sauce on the side.
Stir-Fried Chicken With Snap Peas and Basil
Makes 4 servings
Inspired by Thailand’s popular chicken-and-basil dish known as gai pad krapow, we follow the Thai approach of using herbs by the fistful. Chopped basil leaves are added to the freshly cooked chicken; the leaves gently wilt, their flavor mellowing and seasoning the meat. Just before serving, 3 cups of lightly torn leaves go into the dish to add fresh, peppery flavor. The sugar snap peas bring crunch and sweetness.
To prepare the chicken, cut each breast lengthwise into ½-inch strips, then cut the strips crosswise into 1-inch pieces. Have the chicken and all of the other ingredients prepped before you start cooking — the stir-fry comes together quickly, so make sure everything is ready and close at hand.
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon soy sauce
3 tablespoons fish sauce, divided
Ground white pepper
3 tablespoons peanut oil, divided
¼ cup chopped fresh basil leaves, plus 3 cups torn and lightly packed
2 tablespoons white vinegar
4 ounces sugar snap peas, strings removed, halved on the bias
8 scallions, white and light green parts finely chopped, dark green tops cut into 1-inch pieces
2 or 3 serrano chilies, stemmed and thinly sliced
4 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon white sugar
In a medium bowl, stir together the chicken, soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of the fish sauce, and ½ teaspoon white pepper. Let sit for 15 minutes, then drain and pat dry with paper towels.
In a 12-inch nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat, warm 1 tablespoon of the oil until just smoking. Add the chicken in an even layer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned and cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a clean bowl, then stir in the chopped basil and vinegar. Set aside.
Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the skillet and heat over medium-high until barely smoking. Add the snap peas, scallion whites/light greens, and the chilies. Cook, stirring, until the peas are lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the sugar. Add the scallion tops and the chicken with any accumulated juices and cook, stirring, until most of the juices have evaporated, about 1 minute.
Off heat, add the remaining 2 tablespoons fish sauce and the torn basil. Stir until the basil is wilted. Taste and season with white pepper.
Christopher Kimball is the founder of Milk Street, home to a magazine, school, and radio and television shows. Globe readers get 12 weeks of complete digital access, plus two issues of Milk Street print magazine, for just $1. Go to 177milkstreet.com/globe. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.