Salmon & Avocado Poke + Handy things to keep in your freezer

(poe-kay): Hawaiian for “to slice/cut”

Alright. I’ll confess. I’ve been buying super market sushi as of late. But a hungry student’s gotta have her sushi. The Central Market HEB on Buffalo’s got pretty good quality stuff. Brown rice options as well. If I REALLy feel like splurging, I get my sushi at Whole Foods. Quality of fish is a tad better, but it’s almost twice the price. Not worth it, IMHO. I mean, it’s super market sushi for Pete’s sake. I’m getting unagi and spicy tuna rolls, not amaebi and escolar. Does it NEED to be super fancy?…

Anyway, for $6.88 I got half a pound of sushi grade salmon at Central Market. Didn’t know they sold the stuff. The euphoria produced from that transaction will last me well into the end of the week.

And side product of that transaction? –>

Appetizer for 4:

  • 1/2 lb sushi grade salmon, chopped
  • 1 small avocado, chopped to same size as fish
  • 1/3 cup green onions, minced
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbs sesame oil
  • 1 tbs mayo
  • 1/2 tbs Sriracha
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp whole coriander seeds
  • juice of 1 lime

Chop and mix your ingredients. Chill for at least half an hour in the fridge before serving. That’s it!

TIP: Toss your chopped avocados in lots of lime juice. Tastes good. And keeps it from oxidizing.

As I get busier and busier in clinic, I find that my freezer is slowly getting more and more full. Green onions are now on my list of stuff I buy bulk, prep, and freeze. Whenever a recipe calls for it, just break up chunks of frozen diced green onions and use as the recipe calls for. So far, the list of pre-prepped foods in my freezer include and are not limited to:

  1. Chopped green onions
  2. Peppers of all kinds (poblano, red bell) halved, roasted, and skinned
  3. Fish stock, beef stock, chicken stock,…freeze your stocks.
  4. White wine – After using a cup or so in a typical recipe, the rest of a regular size bottle will fill 2 ice cube trays. In the future, just pop out the cubes as you need.
  5. Bread – Freezes wonderfully. Great if you live alone like me and cant finish a whole loaf before it starts growing a mold metropolis. Just defrost on the counter top over night in a ziplock bag to keep moisture in.
  6. Celery – Why. WHY do they sell such ginormous bunches of celery at the super market? I only ever need 1 or 2 stalks at a time. My solution? Yup. Chop ’em and freeze ’em. And buy the Chinese variety. Not only are they smaller and thinner, they are PACKED full of flavor.
  7. Fish fillets – I use to think I was too good for non-fresh fish. But sometimes traffic is a little worse than you expected, or your day ended a little later than you wanted, or perhaps you’re just too damn lazy/tired to run to the supermarket for the fourth time this week. There are good, fresh, all natural brands out there of pre-packaged, flash frozen fish. Plus, a lot of “fresh” fish you get at the market is frozen and thawed anyway… Oh and FYI, shrimp is awesome frozen. Speaking of which:
  8. Shrimp – Shells on! More flavor. Even if you plan on peeling it before cooking, do the extra work. It’ll retain more flavor. And it does it’s job and protects the meat. Mmmm…meat. Oh, and do I need to tell you again? Always make soups/stews with shells on
  9. Coconut Milk  – Those tiny cans are expensive! And not to mention hard to find in a non-Asian grocery store (I only buy one brand: Chaokoh. It’s legit.)  There is some controversy over the effects of freezing on curdling, but I haven’t experienced any problems yet. I mostly use it in soups and curries. Oh, and like all other liquids, freeze in ice cube trays. And since I always add to taste, precise measurement of ONE CAN is not really necessary. You really dont want to waste your time chiseling off slivers of coconut milk while your curry burns on the stove. Believe me. I know.
  10. Nuts – Ok. I just wanted to make the list an even 10 so I thought really hard about this one. But I really do keep nuts in the freezer. Keeps them fresher. Nuts have a lot of oil and CAN go rancid. And who wants stale rancid nuts? Yea you heard me.

Oh, and tonight’s sushi grade salmon? Frozen.

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