From fish to dark leafy greens, our spin on a light Japanese lunch is loaded with brainy ingredients. Sprinkle with peanuts—another smart food—and you’ll love the added crunch.
Blanching green veggies in heavily salted water retains their colour. Don’t worry about the accumulated sodium in this method, as it is drained and rinsed then squeezed, leaving you with a beautiful deep rich green gomae—without the salt—to offset the colours in the dish.
1 cup (250 mL) water
1/2 cup (125 mL) apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp (15 mL) raw cane sugar
1/2 tsp (2 mL) kosher salt
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into matchstick-sized pieces
1 medium daikon radish, peeled and cut into matchstick-sized pieces
Swiss chard gomae with fish
1/4 cup (60 mL) coconut cream
3 Tbsp (45 mL) creamy natural peanut butter
1 large garlic clove, smashed and very finely minced
1 Tbsp (15 mL) peeled and grated gingerroot
1 Tbsp (15 mL) tamari soy sauce
1 Tbsp (15 mL) apple cider vinegar
2 tsp (10 mL) coconut or cane sugar
Generous pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1 lb (450 g) Swiss chard, about 3 bunches
4 – 3 oz (85 g) sablefish fillets, skinned
1 Tbsp (15 mL) grapeseed oil
1 Tbsp (15 mL) unsalted butter
Toasted sesame seeds (optional)
In small saucepan, heat water, vinegar, sugar, and salt, stirring to dissolve sugar. Pour into large glass canning jar. Add carrot and radish and press into liquid until covered. Set aside for 1 hour at room temperature. Then cover and store in fridge for up to 3 weeks.
In medium bowl, make peanut sauce by combining coconut cream, peanut butter, garlic, gingerroot, tamari, vinegar, sugar, and crushed red pepper flakes. Whisk to blend. Add a splash of water if a thinner consistency is desired. Add more seasonings, to taste. Transfer to glass jar, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use. Sauce can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.
Cut ribs from chard and reserve for another dish. Chop chard leaves into bite-sized pieces. You should have about 12 cups (3 L). Fill large bowl with ice water ready to shock the chard following cooking.
Bring large stockpot filled with generously salted water to a boil. Add chard and boil for 1 minute or just until wilted. Drain and plunge chard into ice water. Stir to cool. Thoroughly drain. Gently squeeze chard with your hands to remove as much water as possible. Place on cutting board and chop into slivers. In medium bowl, add half the peanut sauce, then add chopped chard, folding in until lightly coated. Set aside.
In large nonstick frying pan, add grapeseed oil and butter over high heat. Tilt pan to spread evenly. Just as it begins to smoke, add fish fillets in single layer. Cook until seared on bottom, about 3 minutes, then gently flip fillets and sear other side, about 3 more minutes. Reduce heat to medium and cook for a minute longer, depending on thickness of fillets. Cook only until centre of fillets are just opaque and fish flakes easily.
Serve fish on single-serve dishes with a scoop of chard gomae and some pickled carrot salad. Drizzle fish with a little peanut sauce and sprinkle with some toasted sesame seeds, if using. Add salt and pepper to taste, if you wish. Garnish further with chives or cilantro as desired.
Each serving contains: 299 calories; 22 g protein; 18 g total fat (8 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 14 g total carbohydrates (6 g sugars, 5 g fibre); 569 mg sodium