Chefs use marinades to make foods tender and infuse them with flavor.
But scientists have discovered marinades also act as a barrier to potentially carcinogenic substances that are created when meat and fish are cooked over flames. Using a marinade before grilling reduces HCA (heterocyclic amines) by 92 percent to 99 percent, according to American Institute for Cancer Research (aicr.org).
features an Asian-inspired soy marinade that gives the heart-healthy salmon a moist, delicious flavor. The fish is paired with a farmers market complement of fresh vegetables, including pea pods, asparagus and tomatoes. A final sprinkling of sesame seeds supplies loads of flavor and phytonutrients.
The salmon for this recipe can be fresh or thawed. Frozen salmon may be smaller, and if so, cook 4 4-ounce fillets in similar fashion, reducing cooking time if necessary. Be sure not to overcook the fish.
Snap ends from asparagus and, if desired, remove scales with a vegetable peeler.
Trim ends from pea pods and remove strings before cooking.
To toast sesame seeds, bake at 350 degrees 4 to 5 minutes or until just golden. Watch closely so they don’t burn.
Makes 4 servings
2 salmon fillets, about 8 ounces each
8 asparagus spears
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
1 1/2 cups fresh snow pea pods, trimmed
6 cups torn salad greens
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
2 Roma tomatoes, sliced
Place salmon fillets in zip-top bag. Trim asparagus spears and place in another zip-top bag. Combine lime juice, brown sugar, sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic and ginger; stir well to combine. Drizzle 2 tablespoons lime juice mixture over salmon; seal bag. Drizzle 1 tablespoon lime juice mixture over asparagus; seal bag. Turn bags to coat evenly, then refrigerate about 30 minutes. Stir vinegar into remaining lime juice mixture; cover and refrigerate.
Preheat grill or allow coals to burn down to white ash. Spray grate with nonstick spray coating or lightly oil it.
Remove salmon from bag; drain and discard marinade. Grill salmon 4 to 5 minutes per side, or until fish flakes easily with a fork.
Remove asparagus from bag; drain and discard marinade. Grill asparagus until just fork tender, 5 to 7 minutes, turning to cook evenly.
Meanwhile, heat a small amount of water to a boil in a covered saucepan. Once water boils, add pea pods, cover and cook about 2 minutes or until hot but still crisp. Drain pea pods and plunge into ice water.
Arrange salad greens on 4 individual plates. Top each salad with 1/2 of a hot, cooked salmon fillet. (If salmon fillets have skin, remove before serving.) Sprinkle sesame seeds evenly over salmon. Arrange asparagus spears, pea pods and sliced tomatoes on each salad. Drizzle with reserved lime juice mixture.Per serving: 257 calories (30 percent from fat), 9 grams total fat (1 gram saturated), 59 milligrams cholesterol, 19 grams carbohydrates, 28 grams protein, 357 milligrams sodium, 5 grams dietary fiber.