Today’s my first birthday in the second quarter of a century in my life.
That was really a convoluted and disguised effort in saying that I’m turning 26 today. While regretfully getting older every year, I’m hopefully getting wiser perhaps? Some say that guessing East Asian women’s age is a difficult task given our naturally youthful elastic skin or in other people’s cases, the layers of skincare products we lather on during every nightly routine. But I have also heard recently, that botox works terribly in Asian women for forehead wrinkles because we have less prominent eyebrow contour. So the injected botox ends up dripping down our foreheads to sit in the eyelids, and we end up with heavy eyelids that we can’t lift, and as a result, even smaller eyes- a nightmare for Asian gals! *Shudders in horror*
Anyhow, I digress. While I’m turning 26 today, June 1st also happens to be the International Children’s Day celebrated around the world by kids (except for the US). Growing up in China, I had the luxury of getting free birthday cakes every year just because it was also Children’s Day. At school, the teachers would organize all the students to put on an annual show for the occasion, and I used to get all dolled up in a pink ballerina outfit and blend in a group dance as a 1st grader. When I got older, the teachers would assign me to be a “model” in the fashion show since I was one of the tallest girls in class, and I remember adorning all these ridiculously mismatched dresses and wearing unnatural blush and scarlet red lipstick as a 10 year old, strotting down the aisle showing off my “fashionable outfits”. Oh…what memories.
Another fact about my birthday that many don’t know about is that, my Chinese name actually correspond to June 1st in Chinese characters. This I give full credit to my mother, who saw that the character for music in Chinese is composed of a six on top, one in the middle and day on the bottom. So together, my Chinese name is a puzzle for the birthday. How about that!
Today on this special day, I’ll be sharing a special recipe with you all. I love seared salmon, but I’ve always struggled with coming up with a more interesting marinade than just salt and pepper or some chipotle raspberry sauce because salmon by itself is already amazing. Now I think I’ve found the new favorite- a nori crust made from toasted seaweed and garlic.
Nori Crusted Salmon
- 2 salmon fillets, with skin one
- 2 seaweed sheet, broken into small pieces
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 tbsp pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1 pinch of salt
Heat oil in a pan on medium high heat. Season the salmon fillet with salt on both sides. Sear the salmon skin side up then skin side down, with 2 minutes for each side.
Meanwhile, in a separate small pan, toast seaweed, paprika, salt and pepper, garlic and sesame seeds with canola oil on high heat for 2 minutes until fragrance of seaweed and sesame comes out.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Transfer the seared salmon to a baking tray with skin side down. Pat the toasted nori on top of fillets. Bake salmon in oven for 7 minutes.