“Salmon? Tacos? Teriyaki? What’s there to NOT like?”
I used to live in Washington, D.C. – “the big city” – and in the city it can be very hard to cook every night. Whether you’re getting home at 9 p.m. or you can’t bring home enough fresh vegetables on the metro, sometimes you’re just not in a position to cook. When Foots and I lived in the city – we usually ate out at restaurants (notice how most of my Best Things I’ve Ever Eaten are in D.C.) or we eat instant noodles.
Now-a-days, there are a whole bunch of “food delivery services” – such as Plated, Blue Apron, HelloFresh, and more – that will send you all of the ingredients as well as a recipe. Since Foots and I have started cooking ourselves more, we haven’t really paid any mind to them. But my friend, Christine, still lives in D.C. and has given them the gamut. The other day, she offered to send me a free box from one service, Plated – her favorite (for now) and I took her up on it. For $72 dollars, I got three days worth of meals for two people – so that’s $12 per person, per meal, or a little less than an average restaurant meal.
Now I’ll be honest. We are usually pretty frugal with our shopping (being millennials and what not) and so this service is not saving us any money. But that’s not why I was willing to try it. Plated offers a whole bunch of different recipes and ingredients that I wouldn’t often try – so I thought this might be a good experiment to see how much I liked being hand-fed a recipe.
I’ve got three days worth of pre-packed – yet somehow fresh – food in my fridge, and I’m ready to let you know what I think of them – and what modifications I would make if I had to do it all again.
I should make a note that I am in no way being paid by Plated to give a review. I’m just doing this out of the kindness of my heart. It’s for you guys.
So without further ado – Recipe #1: Salmon Teriyaki Tacos with Seaweed Salad
Recipe Review // Salmon Teriyaki Tacos from Plated
Warning: I found this recipe and tried it – and this is my experience. This recipe has been adapted, paraphrased, and annotated by me. All credit goes to the original owner.
Makes: 6 tacos
Time: about 10 minutes of prep time, 10 minutes cook time
Survives: eat immediately
Bang for your Buck: $24 for two servings from Plated.
1 // Prepare
– Combine 1/4 cup of teriyaki sauce [they provided some, but you could make your own or use store bought] and 1/4 teaspoon of salt
in a medium bowl [a flat bottom Pyrex]. // I found the medium bowl to be quite clumsy. I used a flat bottom pyrex that was just just big enough for the salmon to include.
– Gently press the salmon skin and flesh with a paper towel until quite dry and then place in the teriyaki marinade. Set aside.
– Chop 1 cucumber [they require English, I say either could work] into
thin quarters halves, like this. // I thought the quarters were a little redundant – but you’ll see why in a minute.
– Chop 2 green onions fine.
– Chop 1 clove garlic fine.
2 // The Accoutrements
– Put the cucumber slices, green onions, and garlic into a single bowl. Add 2 tbsps of soy sauce to the bowl and mix with chopsticks to integrate. Set aside.
– Combine 1/3 cup of mayo with 1 squirt of Sriracha. Mix. Taste. Repeat until you find a spiciness that you like // We usually do 3 – 5 squirts of Sriracha, depending on how fiery we’re feeling. Mix well and set aside.
– OPTIONAL // If you like avocado, slice up an avocado and set aside. I’m not a huge fan of the Cado, so I didn’t.
3 // The Main Deal
– Now comes the cooking. Get an easy to clean pan and warm it to medium-high heat. Once it’s reached the heat (you can tell by sprinkling some water over the pan and seeing if it sizzles) add a taco-sized tortilla. Heat for 30 seconds, then flip and cook on other size for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and keep them warm in some foil. Do this for 6 tacos.
– When the tortillas are done, add in one tbsp of canola oil to pan and reduce the heat to medium.
– When the oil begins to shimmer and moves freely, it’s ready. Place 2 salmon fillets skin-skin down into the middle of the pan. Once you hear them start to sizzle, add the teriyaki marinade into the pan. It should start to bubble and reduce.
– Cook for salmon 3-4 minutes on each side – or until the fish becomes opaque and the internal temperature of the fish reaches 145°.
4 // Get the Claws Out
– Remove the fish from heat, and separate the skin from the flesh. // I do this with a fork, slipping a tine of the fork underneath the skin and then pulling it backwards to separate.
– Shred both fillets with a fork or two.
– GUBS’ NOTE // Okay. Now here’s where me and the recipe really differ. In their version, they sent me some seaweed salad that was to be used as the side and the cucumber salad was to be used inside the taco. But I’m going to mix it up here.
5 // Plating like a Champion
– Plate in this order: tortilla, salmon shreds,
cucumber salad, avocado, [instead of cucumber salad, chop up some napa cabbage, red cabbage, or green cabbage – whichever is your favorite, and put beneath the salmon] & Sriracha mayo. Plate with seaweed salad on the side. Scrap the seaweed salad and serve with the cucumber salad on the side.
// Why? You ask. Here’s why. The salmon is teriyaki seasoned (which is salty sweet soy) and the cucumber salad is salty juicy soy. I love the flavor of the cucumber salad outside of the tacos, but inside the taco you lose the flavor. To replace the crunch that is lost by taking out the cucumber, replacing with cabbage will add that texture. In addition, the seaweed salad is pretty on the side but as far as flavor and substance goes, I think the cucumber salad pays off more.
Eating Now // Serve immediately in order listed above.
Eating Later // Only good fresh. If you want to save for later, save each individual portion and assemble when ready to eat.
Scorecard // I’m not angry, just salty
EASE TO MAKE ★★★★☆ – These are pretty easy. The scorecard has only 6 steps and they are very straight forward. The hardest part is not overcooking the salmon. So keep your eye on it.
TIME TO MAKE ★★★★★ – Under 30 minutes for a meal for two. You can’t go wrong!
LEFTOVER-ABILITY ★☆☆☆☆ – This recipe is really something that should be eaten at once and doesn’t leave any leftovers. So unfortunately that’s a low score for that.
TASTINESS ★★★☆☆ – I’m going to tick off some marks for this because, honestly, I was a little disappointed with the flavor combination. The individual parts were delicious, but I felt they could have a better combination of flavors. You get the salty of the teriyaki that overshadows the salty of the cucumber. Everything else plays well together – but that was a big no-no for me.
Foots liked the seaweed salad alright (not enough to save the leftovers – but enough to eat most of it), but I felt it was a little lackluster.
REDO-ABILITY ★★★★☆ – I would love to try this again and the recipe is pretty easy. I’ll just knock a point because I feel it a bit hard to get my hands on the quality salmon again – and a lot of the ingredients aren’t what I would usually have in the house.
FINAL JUDGEMENT: ★★★★☆
I really do like this recipe. I honestly do. Salmon? Tacos? Teriyaki? What could you NOT like? My problem is a just a couple of issues with the way the ingredients work together. But I will be trying this again sometime to really get the recipe just the way I like it!