Honey and Soy Glazed Salmon

It’s been an entire year since we started this blog! I was wistfully looking back at some of our pictures from our time in culinary school the other day and boy do I miss it. We worked 14 hour days but we had so much fun and learned so much. So many techniques, tips, and recipes we still consistently use today in our every day cooking.

But a picture is worth a thousand words so:

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Honey and Soy Glazed Salmon



  • salmon filet                              1 lb, portioned 6-8 oz
  • soy sauce                                  1/4  cup
  • black vinegar                           1 T
  • cooking wine                            2 T
  • honey                                         3T
  • garlic                                          2 cloves, minced
  • ginger                                         1 in segment, peeled and minced

In a large bowl, combine soy sauce, black vinegar, cooking wine, honey, garlic, and ginger. Mix together thoroughly and pour contents into large Ziploc bag. Place salmon in bag and allow to marinate at least 2 hours.

Heat up some oil in a pan to medium high. After removing your salmon from the marinade, make sure to thoroughly pat dry with paper towel and lightly score the skin with a knife before laying the salmon skin-side down in the pan. This is the difference between nice, crispy skin vs soggy mess that curls as you cook. Allow the salmon to cook skin-side down until you see that that it has cooked about 3/4 thickness and flip it to the other side to finish things off. In a separate sauce pan, you can start reducing the leftover marinade. Stir consistently to make sure it doesn’t burn. Drizzle the final product over your finished salmon for more flavor.




Going Verde

One week of celebrating our anniversary in Mexico City and one week of battling gastroenteritis (unrelated) later, it’s now March 18th. This marks exactly 1 year since Sarah and I discovered via the voodoo magic that is the Match algorithm, that we’d be spending our next few years in sunny recently sleet and snow-covered DC. Yesterday, another cohort of medical students discovered the next destination on their journey. It was also of course St. Patrick’s Day! So we’re going green.

Unfortunately, I’m not sharing any traditionally Irish recipes, but allow me to reminisce a little about our Mexico City trip and share some good pictures. I’ve mentioned before that one of my food heroes is Andrew Zimmern, host of Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods. So I have a rule that on any international trip, I actively seek out “bizarre” foods. Sarah has half-joked that she should start a photo album of “Dennis Eats Things.”Mexico City definitely did not disappoint. I ate/drank an assortment of insects in various forms, ant larvae, fresh coconut water, and pulque (fermented agave drink) in addition to consuming a small-child’s-weight worth of all the typical tacos, quesadillas, tlacoyo, huaraches, tamales, elotes that dotted the streets.

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One delectable and inescapable element of Mexican cuisine is the sauce or salsa. If you’re lucky, you may stumble upon a taqueria that offers a dizzying selection that you can shameless slather on your platter of tacos. I haven’t yet started trying to recreate every single one we encountered, but here’s a twofer to get started.


Roasted tomatillo salsa (back) and Avocado cream salsa

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

  • Tomatillos                 4, remove outer husk and rinse well
  • Jalapeno                     1, remove seeds to reduce spice level
  • Garlic                          2 cloves
  • Cilantro                      1/4 cup
  • Olive oil
  • Salt                              To taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place tomatillos, jalapeno, garlic cloves on a large foil sheet. Drizzle on olive oil and sprinkle of salt. Fold foil so that all contents are nicely wrapped in foil package. Place foil package into oven for 30 minutes. This should be enough time to lightly char the tomatillos and jalapeno. Afterward, quarter the the tomatillos. Remove the stem from the jalapeno and seed if desired. Add tomatillos, jalapeno, garlic cloves, and cilantro to a food processor and blend until desire consistency. Add salt to taste. My favorite part of this recipe is that you can taste the change in flavor as the salsa cools. I recommend waiting at least 30 minutes before serving but letting it rest for even longer results in the best flavor.

Avocado Cream Salsa

  • Avocados                 2, pitted
  • Jalapeno                   1, remove seeds if desired
  • Tomatoes                 2, medium
  • Garlic                        3 cloves
  • Cilantro                    1/4 cup
  • Lime                          1, juiced
  • Plain yogurt            1 cup
  • Olive oil
  • Salt                             To taste

This particular salsa is probably one of my favorites. It is the nice cooling and refreshing foil in the myriad of spiciness. Start off exactly the same as the previous recipe (or do both at the same time). Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a large foil sheet, place jalapeno, tomatoes, garlic and drizzle in olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Wrap contents in foil and place in oven for 30 minutes. In the meantime, prep the avocados by removing the pit and cutting the flesh into cubes. You can cut a cross hatch pattern while it is still in the shell and scoop contents into a food processor. Remove foil package from oven when ready. Quarter tomatoes and remove stem from jalapeno (seed if desired). Add tomatoes, jalapeno, garlic, and cilantro into food processor.  Blend until smooth. Add plain yogurt. Blend until smooth. Add salt and lime juice and blend once more. That’s all.*


*You may have noticed in the picture that my avocado cream salsa has some red specks of seasoning sprinkled on top. Sarah and I can home with a small jar of sal con chapulines aka grasshopper salt 😉



We’re back! 75% done with the first year of residency. But even more importantly…

2 days away from our first wedding anniversary!

And of course it’s a new year on the Lunar calendar. While this may seem like a bit of a side note, Lunar New Year has meaning for Sarah and I in addition to all the values, tradition, and culture that I grew up with. Because I proposed to Sarah on Lunar New Year.


a quick snap for our parents on that day

For those unfamiliar with the story, Sarah was on her surgery rotation at that point in time in medical school. I had come home and began preparing a fairly traditional new year’s dinner consisting of dumplings, noodles, and fish (each dish with its own symbolism). In true surgery fashion, she ended up being delayed in the operating room that day. When she did arrive home, we had dinner together. Afterwards, there still remained the tradition of red envelopes. I had purposely made a show early on that evening about stuffing a few red envelopes with chocolate. While Sarah took a shower, I had wrapped up her wedding ring in chocolate foil and shaped it into the form of the other chocolates and stuffed it in a red envelope. So when Sarah opened her red envelope that evening, she discovered the ring. In a day already full of symbolism, why not add one more symbol to the list and start the year off right. We announced our engagement to our friends a few weeks later at a belated Lunar New Year gathering.

Being away from home on New Year’s is always tough for a day that is supposed to be spent with family. We’ve made the most of it the past few years by having our friends over to celebrate as in many ways, they’ve become members of our new family. This year in DC was no different (although we greatly missed our NOLA family). A few weeks ago, we hosted a bunch of my co-interns and friends at our annual Lunar New Year party. I’ve posted a lot of the recipes that I use already including peanut noodles and dumplings. But I have been holding out on my steamed fish recipe.

Steamed Fish with Ginger and Green Onions



  • Fish                                          1 whole, cleaned
  • Green onions                        6
  • Ginger                                     6 large slices
  • Cooking wine                        3 T
  • Salt
  • Soy sauce                                1/2 T
  • Black vinegar                        1/2 T
  • Sesame oil                              1 t
  • Sugar                                        1/2 t

We’ve been pretty spoiled living in New Orleans and having access to some really tasty and cheap fresh fish. For best flavor, try to get whatever local fresh caught white fish is available to you. I used rockfish for my most recent iteration.

To prep your fish, trim off the fins/spines, get rid of the insides, and descale (all this can be done at the store for you if you ask). Slice 3 evenly spaced slits on each side of the fish. Rub cooking wine onto the entire fish including the inside cavity and the slits. Lightly sprinkle some salt on the fish. Place your slices of ginger into the slits on each side. Smash 3 of the green onion stalks with the flat side of your knife. Place it on the bottom of a dish to line it. Place your fish on top of the green onions and place entire dish into a steamer. Depending on the size of your fish, it should steam for about 10-15 minutes.

As the fish is steaming, make a simple sauce to drizzle over. Combine soy sauce, black vinegar, sesame oil, and sugar. Mix well in small bowl. Also slice remaining 3 stalks of green onion longitudinally into thin strips. If you want them to curl for added prettiness, place the strips into a bowl with water and ice.

When the fish is done, carefully remove in from the dish and place it onto a clean plate. If you put our green onions in ice water, make sure to dry them off on some paper towels. Sprinkle your green onions generously over the fish. Pour over the sauce. Serve.