Spicy Salmon and Couscous Bowls

Happy 2021! If you're like me, you've been enjoying a lot of glorious holiday food of late. That said, there are days when I'd get up in the morning and still feel full from the night before! Right about then, a quick, tasty, simple, and lighter dish like this one is just what you crave to break the holiday habit of feasting night after night.

There are a couple of ingredients that might not be familiar in this recipe. Israeli couscous, also called pearl couscous, is similar to regular couscous in that it's a small, whole grain-like food made from semolina or wheat flour. It has a slightly chewy texture that readily accepts sauce. Speaking of sauces, the Thai chili-garlic sauce is a spicy-sweet option that I really like, but you can use teriyaki, oyster, or another other similar sauce. I happen to appreciate the heat this one offers. As for the veggies in this dish, use any that you have on hand, fall into your favorites category, or otherwise suit your needs. Something a bit on the crunchy side helps keep them from getting lost in this dish and bright colors are just cheerful.

This dish can serve as dinner on its own, though a light cucumber salad can also be a nice accompaniment. Chilled iced tea, a hard cider, or a crisp white wine will all complement it well. Enjoy!

Spicy Salmon and Couscous Bowls

  • 1 c. Israeli couscous
  • 1 ¼ c. chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp. cooking fat of your choice (I used toasted sesame oil)
  • 8 oz. boneless, skinless salmon fillet(s)
  • 2-3 turnips, quartered and sliced thin
  • ¼ c. shredded carrots
  • 2 T. sliced green onions
  • ⅔ c. Thai chili-garlic sauce or similar finishing sauce

Toast the couscous in a nonstick saucepan over medium heat for 1-2 minutes (you can add a little sesame or olive oil to the skillet if desired, but it is not necessary). Add the stock and stir lightly. Simmer the couscous, covered, for about 10 minutes or until the grains are softened and the liquid is nearly absorbed.

While the couscous cooks, prepare the salmon by heating the cooking fat of your choice in a nonstick skillet and adding the fish. Cook for 3-4 minutes per side and then, using a spatula, break the fish into bite-sized pieces. Add the turnips and cook another 1-2 minutes until the salmon and turnips are cooked to your tastes. Add the carrots, onions, and sauce; stir to combine.

When the couscous is done, toss it well with the sauced fish and vegetables and serve immediately.

  • Yields: 3-4 servings
  • Preparation Time: About 20 minutes

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