Jan has been working 70-80 hour weeks lately—if only she would get paid for some of that overtime. It is hardly surprising that she has ended up working on our anniversary. Today is Jan and my 33rd anniversary. We are having the major celebration with cioppino tomorrow with the kids, but there is still tonight’s dinner to make special.
I suggested salmon salad—thinking something like the salads I have been making lately. Jan countered with lettuce wraps. This lead me in an entirely different direction.
A lettuce wrap is basically a low carb taco. A lettuce shell filled with something—usually meat based, but not necessarily so—and topped with a salad-y salsa.
While I am a whole hearted proponent of a good slab of meat—even fish in a pinch—Jan likes her meat broken up and mixed with vegetables. For the filling, I decided to simply broil the salmon. I would then cool and flake it. Mixing the fish flakes with fresh green onions would prevent the dish from being too heavy.
Note: I had originally planned to mix some of my new favorite green, arugula, into the salmon. I test ran it by Jan before I stirred them into the fish. She thought they were too peppery and over powered the salmon flavor.
For the salsa topping, I thought a slaw of lightly pickled radishes would be a nice contrast to the oily fish. I had planned a simple dressing—a la Pica Slaw, mostly vinegar, sugar and yellow mustard seeds. Of course, in my kitchen it is more a case of “if you give a mouse a cookie.” “Maybe some raspberries would be nice…”
Note: I finally made it to Pica-Pica last weekend. When I tried to make arepas last time it was purely from Jan’s description and what I could find in the internet. Next time, I will have a much better idea of what the dish should be like.
After Dinner Note: Jan thought this dish would be Google approved—fish and mostly vegetables.
Karl’s Salmon Lettuce Wraps with Raspberry Radish Slaw
6 raspberries, crushed
1½ tsp. peanut oil
1½ tsp. sugar
1 tsp. white wine vinegar
1 tsp. red wine vinegar
⅛ tsp. yellow mustard seeds, whole
pinch white pepper
½ cup red radishes, cut into matchsticks
½ cup daikon, cut into matchsticks
½ cup jicama, cut into matchsticks
2 Tbs. green onion, white parts only, minced
½ cup flat-leafed parsley, chopped finely
1 lb. salmon
pinch kosher salt
1 Tbs. peanut oil
½ cup green onion, sliced finely
1 head Boston lettuce
1. Put the dressing ingredients in a small lidded jar, shake well, and let it meld for 15 minutes.
Tip: If you wish, you may remove the raspberry seeds by pressing the berry pulp through a fine meshed sieve.
2. Cut the radishes, daikon, and jicama into matchsticks.
Tip: A mandoline with a shredder plate makes quick work of this task.
Note: Most mandolines come with a vegetable holder that is very hard to use with small radishes. I much prefer a cut proof glove that gives you the control that you need, while still protecting your fingers.
3. Put the matchstick vegetables and green onion into a bowl and pour the dressing over them.
4. Let the vegetable slaw pickle for 2-3 hours.
Tip: Toss occasionally to redistribute the dressing.
5. Pat the salmon dry and sprinkle it with salt.
6. Brush the oil over the salmon and broil the fish for 20-30 minutes, until cooked through.
7. Let the salmon cool completely and then break the fish into flakes.
8. Toss the salmon flakes in a bowl with the green onion.
9. Rinse, separate, and dry the Boston lettuce.
Tip: Break the larger leaves in half or even thirds. Filed they should be one or two bites.
10 . Serve the lettuce wraps, salmon filling and pickled slaw separately.
Note: Diners fill the lettuce with the filling and then top it with the slaw.
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