It's here, the first anniversary for Weekend Herb Blogging, which was created by the lovely Kalyn one year ago. What a success this event has been! And with it comes the chance to vote for my favorite herb. It wasn't hard to come up with my choice. I need only look at the herb I buy the most at the grocery store: Cilantro. I do grow some herbs--oregano, thyme, tarragon, and basil. But, cilantro has always been hard for me to grow here in the hot Central Valley weather. It bolts very quickly. So, every week I buy several bunches of cilantro (or coriander to some people). There's something so satisfying about picking up a bunch of cilantro, feeling the silky leaves, then putting them under my nose to inhale the unmistakable odor.
While I knew I would feature cilantro as my favorite herb, I was very conflicted about which recipe to use. I thought of making cilantro pesto or salsa. But, then I got sick and decided to make something soothing, healing and delicious. And this Asian styled soup with salmon and rice fit my requirements. I love the taste of cilantro paired with soy or fish sauce. This soup also contains ginger root which always makes me feel much better. Cilantro is a good source of folic acid and has a reputation for helping restore good health. To me, just eating a dish flavored with it makes me feel happy. And that's beneficial in itself.
This recipe was very simple, which was a good thing. I wasn't feeling very energetic and wanted something easy and fast. The broth is full of grated ginger and cilantro stems. The stems have a peppery taste, but they can be removed before you serve the soup. The salmon was briefly marinated in soy sauce and sesame seed oil before being add to the broth. Serve the soup promptly because the rice will start to absorb the broth as it sits. I think I'll try this recipe next time using noodles.
Don't forget to visit Kalyn's site to see the WHB roundup on Sunday. Then we'll learn which herb garnered the most votes. I think it will be between cilantro and basil.
Asian Salmon-and-Rice Soup (Food & Wine)
• 3/4 cup long-grain rice
• 1 1/2 pounds salmon fillet, skin removed, fish cut into 8 pieces
• 2 tablespoons soy sauce
• 1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil
• 10 cilantro stems, chopped, plus 1 cup cilantro leaves for garnish
• 1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 2 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
• 4 cups water
• 3 scallions including green tops, chopped
1 Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Stir in the rice and boil until almost tender, about 10 minutes. Drain.
2 Coat the salmon with the soy sauce and sesame oil.
3 In a large pot, combine the cooked rice, the cilantro stems, the ginger, salt, broth, and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.
4 Add the salmon to the pot. Simmer, covered, until the salmon is just done, about 5 minutes. Remove the cilantro stems. Serve the soup garnished with the cilantro leaves and scallions.