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…
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.
Woodsy. Earthy. Deep.
This is one intense vegan soup that offers full epicurean contentment.
meaty shiitake mushroom, robust kale, subtly sweet ocean-y wakame seaweed,
toasty sesame oil, tangy hot sriracha
heady, intense, wet forest, earthy
steamy broth, chewy kale, silky shiitake, slippery wakame, spongy tofu, crunchy sesame seed
deep dark broth, midnight-green wakame and kale, spring-green scallion, electric red sriracha
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.
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.
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.
Pan-Seared Copper River Sockeye Salmon, Pink Peppercorns
Blistered Shishito Peppers
The celebration continues! Taste With The Eyes is 4-years-old and we’re splurging with Copper River Salmon. The most expensive fresh salmon is only available for about four weeks of the year, from mid-May through mid-June, when the King salmon swim up the Copper River in Alaska to spawn. At our local Bristol Farms Market, Copper River King Salmon was selling for $50/lb.! At $50/lb. the 8 oz. filet in the photo above would have cost $25. Market factors such as commercial harvest, supply and demand, plus the cost of oil have pushed the price from $40 last season to this all time high of $50.
Even for the crème de la crème of salmon, this price is out of range for most people (myself included). In fact, after speaking with the fishmonger at the market, I learned that they were unable to sell their entire shipment of Copper River King at that price, and some had tragically gone to waste. The good news was that Copper River Sockeye sales went way up, as folks were introduced to this smaller, more plentiful species of salmon. Some say that sockeye has the truest pure salmon flavor and is preferred by aficionados.