Eating healthy doesn’t have to mean spending a ton of money. And it also doesn’t have to mean spending a ton of time in the kitchen. In this week’s installment of Date Night Dinner, a weekly column focusing on simple-to-prepare, flavorful dinners that will impress your partner (or any guest, for that matter), New York City’s Natural Gourmet Institute shares a fantastic fish dish that you will make time and time again.
Ah, Artic char. A good swap for farm-raised salmon, this protein-packed trout offers a mild flavor, which helps make it endlessly versatile for different cultural infusions. Here, it takes on an Asian flavor with ginger, garlic, rice vinegar, and more, but you can also give it a different flavor profile by playing with the seasonings and herbs. In the summer, try grilling Arctic char and serving it with some lemon wedges and freshly cracked black pepper.
Protein-rich and dairy-free, this healthy dish contains a variety of super nutritious foods like fresh ginger, garlic, and sesame seeds, which are brimming with copper and manganese. Do yourself a favor and make a double batch of the vibrant bok choy to serve throughout the week with grains or other proteins. Vegetarian? This dish also works well with firm tofu, as it soaks up the flavor of the marinade quite nicely. Warning: After tasting this dish, your sweetheart might want you to start cooking dinner more often.
Sesame-Crusted Arctic Char with Sautéed Bok Choy
(Yield: 2 servings)
For the fish:
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- Pinch of dried chili flakes
- 2 4-ounce skinless Arctic char fillets (or wild organic salmon fillets)
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 3 tablespoons sesame seeds
For the bok choy:
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 heads baby bok choy, whites sliced on a diagonal, greens left whole
Directions: In a shallow dish, combine garlic, ginger, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and chili flakes. Add fillets to marinade and refrigerate for 1 hour. Pat fillets dry with paper towels and discard marinade. Pour sesame seeds into a shallow dish and press fillets into seeds to coat on one side. In a large bowl, combine white wine vinegar, canola oil, maple syrup, and black pepper. Toss in bok choy; set aside.
In a large skillet, heat coconut oil over a medium-high flame and add fillets sesame-side down (stand back and keep exposed skin away from the skillet as sesame seeds may pop in the oil). Cook until crisp, about 2-3 minutes.
Using a fish spatula, gently flip fillets, turn heat down to low, cover with a lid, and cook for another minute. Carefully transfer fish to a platter. Drain excess fat from skillet and return to medium heat. Add bok choy with its marinade. Cook, tossing frequently with tongs, until wilted, about 2 minutes. To serve, divide bok choy among two plates and top with fish.