The other day I talked about how I figure out a recipe as I’m throwing things together into a bowl. It’s a pretty simple process and I usually measure and add a little of this and that as I go. As part of my birthday dinner the other night, I made an Asian Pear Salsa that was very loosely based on a marinade recipe that I found along with an idea from a local restaurant for a banana tamarind salsa.
The recipe is very much based on your own personal taste, and you can increase, decrease or leave out any of the ingredients as you like. I chopped everything at the start and then just played with the amounts as I mixed it up. The sake was an afterthought as I originally intended to use rice wine vinegar. As I was getting everything else out of the fridge, I noticed the bottle of sake I had in there and changed course.
That’s the great thing about it. You can easily change things up based on what you have. It’s a starting point, not something written in stone. 🙂 If you want to get a small bottle of sake, it really comes in handy. I’ve used it several times in Korean Beef Soup, Cajun Shrimp and Grits, Turkey Stir Fry, and Chicken Teriyaki.
Asian Pear Salsa
- 1 serrano pepper, diced
- 2 medium sized Asian pears
- 1 tsp fresh ginger, minced OR 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 Tbsp sake
- 2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- 1/2 lime
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 green onion, white and green parts chopped
Remove the seeds carefully from the serrano pepper, if desired, and dice it into small pieces. The seeds and membrane are where the majority of the heat from the pepper is so if you like it hot, leave the seeds in. Remove them and just dice the outside part if you want a milder salsa. Peel, core and dice the Asian pears.
Chop up the fresh ginger, garlic, and cilantro. Add them to a bowl with the pepper and pears. Toss with the sake and soy sauce. Slice the lime in half and squeeze one half over the salsa. Salt and pepper to taste and toss well to combine. Garnish with the chopped green onion.
Makes 6 servings at approximately 24 calories – 6g carbs.
I used the salsa as a side for the grilled filet mignon and then used leftovers in salads this week. It made a great mix in with shredded pork in my salad and added a lot of flavor. No dressing required. So be brave with your recipes and keep an open mind. Just because something is included doesn’t mean you can’t substitute.
The important thing is to have fun with your food so that it’s enjoyable and you want to eat it. Life is too short for taste bud boredom.