Hot Spicy Fish Soup (Maeuntang)

korean fish soup
Fresh Local Swordfish over Spicy Fish Soup with Gochujang and Gochugaru
Doenjang Braised Beech Mushrooms, Red Jalapeño, Scallion, Cilantro

This version of Korean Maeuntang, a hot spicy fish soup is bright, fresh, and fiery. Chili paste, chili flakes, and fresh chilies layer on the heat while beech mushrooms add slightly crunchy slightly nutty texture and flavor to the fragrant fish broth. Pan-seared fresh local swordfish sits atop the soup, retaining its crispy exterior. Fresh cilantro and scallion add verdant sparks. The flavor comes from the various forms of red chili, not from a long simmer, so this mouthwatering red-hot meal can be on the table in about 20 minutes…

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Quite Possibly The Best Salmon Ever?

Morro Bay King Salmon, troll-caught hook and line

Crispy-Skin Morro Bay King Salmon, Miso-Braised Buna-Shimeji
Diced Daikon Sautéed in Sesame Oil, Vietnamese Herbs, Bonito Flakes, Dashi Broth

Being a salmon aficionado and curious about the unusually complex rich flavors of this particular fish, I called the fishmonger at Bristol Farms. Salmon from Morro Bay, just like her famous Northern sister, the Copper River King, has unique qualities that come from “lifestyle” – the environment where they hatch, what they feed on, the temperature and strength of the currents they swim in and against, and finally how they are harvested and brought to market.

LL: “I purchased Wild California King Salmon from you yesterday. Can you tell me more about it?”

FM: “Oh yes! They are troll fishing for King Salmon in Morro Bay right now, using hook and line, bringing one fish at a time on board the boats. The fish are handled with the utmost care.”

LL: “I think it is quite possibly the best salmon I’ve ever had.”

FM: “We think so too. It’s extraordinary.”

Morro Bay King Salmon is the star of this dish. All the other components play a supporting role while creating an ethereal experience. Unlike the super-fatty Copper River chinooks, the Morro Bay is perhaps more balanced? While Morro Bay kings are still very rich in the omega-3 fats, there is also a depth and complexity of flavor that is unmatched by any salmon I’ve ever enjoyed. Unwittingly, I chose a light preparation for the dish, so glad I didn’t overshadow the bright character of the fish with heavy sauces or competing ingredients.

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Woodsy Shiitake & Black Kale Soup

shiitake soup
Shiitake, Black Kale, Tofu & Seaweed Soup
Sesame, Scallion, Sriracha Garnish

Woodsy. Earthy. Deep.
This is one intense vegan soup that offers full epicurean contentment.

Flavor profile:
meaty shiitake mushroom, robust kale, subtly sweet ocean-y wakame seaweed,
toasty sesame oil, tangy hot sriracha
Aroma profile:
heady, intense, wet forest, earthy
Texture profile:
steamy broth, chewy kale, silky shiitake, slippery wakame, spongy tofu, crunchy sesame seed
Color profile:
deep dark broth, midnight-green wakame and kale, spring-green scallion, electric red sriracha

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Crispy-Skin Cod, Ginger Braised Bok Choy

sustainable black cod
Crispy-Skin Local Sustainable Black Cod
Ginger Braised Baby Bok Choy
Garlic Chive Blossom Garnish

This simple preparation of Black Cod is a welcome respite between all the rich lavish holiday foods. Wild-caught locally, off the coast of Santa Barbara, this species is relatively abundant and harvested with methods that cause little damage to habitat and other marine life. The cod needs only to be seasoned with salt and pepper and cooked over high heat with olive oil to let the fabulous textures of crisp skin and silky flesh with a buttery flavor shine through.

The bok choy cooking method is equally straightforward. Flavored with ginger, soy, sesame, and  a bit of brown sugar – the braising liquid infuses the vegetable with umami flavors, a hint of sweetness and a note of ginger spiciness. This cod & bok choy make a delightful pair, especially when one is in the mood for a clean and uncomplicated yet satisfying meal.

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WANTED: Tofu Salad à la Provençal

Tofu Salad à la Provençal

Tofu Salad à la Provençal
Heirloom Tomato, Tofu, Olive, Sweet Pepper, Scallion, Anchovy, Mitsuba
Garlicky Tamari Vinaigrette

WANTED:  Colorful summer salad recipes with flair! Drab dull ordinary salads need not apply. Does your salad have what it takes?  One that incorporates esoteric flavors and uses summer crops at their peak. Will it make us feel satisfied on the hottest dog days? We’re looking for salads that go well with cold-dry-pink-wine. Must be full-flavored, nothing wimpy! Willing to experiment. Unlimited opportunity. Apply soon, before summer passes us by.

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Hey Dads! The Perfect Complement To Your Grilled Fish

grilled mahi mahi
Grilled Wild-Caught Mahi Mahi
Cannellini Bean, Meyer Lemon Confit, Kalamata Olive, Italian Parsley, Scallion Salad

Hello Dads. Hello Grilled Fish. We want our beautiful grilled fish to be the star at the table. No heavy sauces, no overpowering seasonings. Light, fresh, and fabulous. Here mahi mahi filets were brushed with olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper, then grilled over medium high heat until just cooked all the way through.

They’re served over this bright fresh salad that takes only a couple minutes to prepare. The highlight is the Meyer lemon confit which adds a deep sweet-salty-lemony component. Whole Italian parsley leaves are vibrant and intense, great paired with the creamy cannellini beans, sliced green onion, and Kalamata olives.

And Dads, we know most of you love thick juicy steaks, but perhaps you’re planning to eat a bit lighter this summer? Well, this heart-healthy, very satisfying dish is for you. Happy Father’s Day.

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