I have a secret talent.

Really, it’s not so secret.  And it’s not really a talent.

More like…a burden on society?

And on our kitchen.  Mostly on our kitchen.


It’s not even really a good party trick.

And what use is a secret talent if it doesn’t involve being able to tie a cherry stem into a knot with your tongue or knowing the words and dance moves to N’SYNC’s Bye Bye Bye?

Yeah, I’m not really sure either.

But those are the things they should teach you in med school.

Or at least in undergrad, instead of all those other things that you’ll never use again ever in your life.  Differential equations?  Electricity and magnetism?  I barely even remember that those exist.  Total waste of time and performance anxiety.


However, if someone could have taught me how to not spend an hour cooking dinner when the recipe really specifies that it should take exactly twenty minutes?  That would be something to brag about.


This recipe for salmon, for example?  Total cook time: 10 minutes.  Add on an extra 4 minutes for mincing garlic and ginger (though if we’re being honest, I threw those babies in my slap-chop for all of 30 seconds).  And we’re talking 14 minutes until dinner.  Is. Served.

Unless you’re in my kitchen.

In which case.  You should probably pour yourself a cocktail.  And, uh.  Maybe get yourself a snack.  Cause it’s gonna be an hour.  Whether the recipe has one step or twenty-five.

See what I mean.  Talent?  Uh.  Not so much.

But it sounds so much better than a “secret inability to be efficient at all in any way whatsoever”.  That just doesn’t have as nice of a ring to it.

Nor does it make anyone want to marry you.  I really should just focus on that cherry stem thing.


If you are not me, this salmon will take you all of 14 minutes to prepare and will be quite delicious, especially if you’re craving salt and Asian food, like I do.  Constantly.  I used mizuna and mustard greens since that’s what I was delivered in my CSA, but feel free to substitute in collards, kale, swiss chard, or spinach!  Really, any green will do.

Steamed Wild Salmon with Mizuna, Mustard Greens, Soy Sauce and Ginger
Serves 2, adapted from In the Kitchen with A Good Appetite

1 tbsp peanut oil
1 tsp toasted sesame oil, plus additional for drizzling
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-inch thick slice peeled fresh ginger, minced
1 bunch mustard greens
1 bunch mizuna (or another bunch mustard greens)
1 tbsp soy sauce, plus additional for drizzling
2 wild salmon fillets, 6-8 oz each
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat the oils in a very large skillet.  Add the ginger and garlic and saute until fragrant and translucent, about 2 minutes.  Add the mustard greens, mizuna, soy sauce and 3 tbsp water, and saute until the greens start to wilt, 2 minutes longer.

2. Spread the greens out in the bottom of the pan.  Season the salmon with salt and pepper.  Place on top of the greens.  Cover the pan, reduce the heat to medium, and let the fish steam until just cooked through, about 6 minutes.  If the pan dries out before the fish is cooked, add a little more water, a tsp at a time.

3. Uncover the pan and transfer the fish to serving plates.  If the greens seem wet, turn the heat to high to cook off any excess moisture.  Serve with rice, drizzled with a little more sesame oil and soy sauce, if desired.

Looking for more salmon recipes?  Try these:
Roast Salmon with Sweet Chipotle Glaze and Hominy Puree
Salmon in a Lemon Caper Sauce
Salmon Baked in a Foil Parcel with Green Beans and Pesto


You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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87 Responses to Steamed Wild Salmon with Mizuna, Mustard Greens, Soy Sauce and Ginger

  1. Sam says:

    This is a talent that you and I share. I’ll never understand how it is that I get started at 6:30 on a dinner that should take 20 minutes and end up eating around 7:45…But this meal seems well worth the wait (even if it was an unnecessary one). It looks delicious!

  2. your killing me! An hour? that is so funny. I wish I had been in the kitchen with you that night to see exactly what you were doing! But hey 15 minutes or an hour it doesnt matter the salmon looks incredible!

    P.S. I can’t do the cherry stem thing either- nor can I whistle or snap my fingers!!!

  3. If it were me it would take twenty minutes and that poor salmon would most likely be setting off a smoke alarm! Looks perfectly done!

  4. Danielle says:

    I share some of your talents – I can tie a cherry stem into a knot and I can take a 10 minute prep time and turn it into an hour. I always start my prep by turning on some pandora and pouring a glass of wine – then its not so bad.

  5. I just bought three whole salmon yesterday and have them cut into fillets and in the freezer. Another bookmarked.

  6. Marla says:

    Love you, love this salmon!! This is my kinda lunch or dinner. I could eat salmon like this every day for the rest of my life.

  7. You made the slow cook version. I heard that food cooked long and slow can taste more delicious, especially if there is a cocktail or two involved along the way:)

  8. Love love love salmon! It’s always great to have new ideas for ways to cook it. 🙂 Thanks for the delicious recipe!

  9. It always takes me more time than it should to make dinner! I’m going to have NSync in my head all day now lol

  10. At least you can console yourself knowing you’re having fun! This dish looks wonderful and I love that it used mizuna. I don’t have enough uses for it and it’s making a very regular appearance in my CSA.

  11. tinytearoom says:

    I love wild salmon. This looks so fresh and healthy as a weeknight dinner.

  12. Amy says:

    Meals without the kids “helping” me take 30 minutes. Meals with the kids helping can take up to 3 hours. But always more fun with Backstreet Boys or Weird Al playing in the background.

  13. I love salmon but never steam it myself! I usually bake it or even pan-fry. This sounds delicious. Oh and I can totally tie a cherry stalk in my mouth. Always under one minutes 🙂

  14. Never heard of mizuna, this looks good though. I need to eat more salmon. Keep working on that cherry thing. 🙂

  15. moniluvsya says:

    its been so long since i have prepared salmon at home! I love a good, tasty, quick meal.
    Curious about your CSA. Is it really costly? My roommate and I are venturing out into the city to the farmers market for fresh greens but i like the idea of a CSA…

  16. sofia says:

    i blame the photos. food bloggers are always slower chefs/ dinner-party-throwers as a result of the documentation obsession.

  17. girlichef says:

    I love the sound of those greens..with the salmon- that is a totally satisfying meal. And thanks for the heads-up, I will be sure to show up at least 45 minutes late when I head over for a meal ;P

  18. Big Dude says:

    As I’m sure you’re aware we eat very differently, but this is a meal I could really enjoy.

  19. Shannon says:

    ooh, i’ve never tried mizuna! crazy 😉 yum. and i’d wait two hours 🙂

  20. That Girl says:

    What’s the word that means the opposite of talent?

  21. I agree, sometimes the most minute tasks seem to take forever… like yesterday when I was destemming and ripping 60g of wakame. I must find out if they sell pre-destemmed wakame because THAT was torture!

  22. Nice job on the salmon. It looks delicious. EVen if it took you an hour. Besides, cooking should be an enjoyable, relaxed experience. Heck throw in a cocktail and it’s a party for one. No need to send out invites, cause I’m pretty happy on my own. A cocktail, the kitchen and a salmon. Not a wild party but my kind of party.

  23. Another proud N’Sync fan here 🙂 the salmon looks delish!

  24. Shannon says:

    I don’t care how long it takes you to cook if that’s the final product. So gorgeous, per usual.

  25. Juliana says:

    Joanne, you are so funny describing yourself in the kitchen…I am like you, before I start making dinner, I pour myself a glass of wine and then the process of cooking turns into a fun time…
    The salmon looks perfect paired with the green, and cannot agree more with you that this is perfect when you crave Asian food. Have a great week ahead 🙂

  26. I have that same talent when I try cooking while someone else is there. I just can’t cook and chat at the same time. At least you didn’t burn anything! It looks delicious.

  27. Deborah says:

    Just wait until you are trying to make dinner with a 2 1/2 year old pulling on your leg and a 4 month old crying for you – then a recipe takes 4 times as long!! But this does look delicious. You always make eating healthy look so good.

  28. Faith says:

    Oh wow, that flaky salmon is cooked to perfection and calling my name! That happens to me a lot in the kitchen too…I like to pretend it’s because I enjoy cooking so much that I deliberately draw out the process, lol!

  29. Nadji says:

    J’aime beaucoup ce plat.
    See soon.

  30. Ada says:

    woah that salmon looks like pure perfection! I also see it steamed in restaurants but have never actually tried doing that myself. Thanks for another fab recipe:)

  31. You are so multi talented and I have too say this salmon looks magnificent.I would expect nothing less from you!

  32. tigerfish says:

    Hahha…it is a fact that those so-called 20-30 minute meals/recipes take longer because they did not account for rinsing and prep. of ingredients, which often takes longer than the cooking.

  33. Kim says:

    The salmon may take 14 minutes, but cooking up that rice definitely takes some time, right? I have a feeling that you’re anything but inefficient.

    This seriously looks like the perfect meal to me right now. It’s about 100 degrees outside and this seems nice and flavorful, but light and filling at the same time. Love those greens!

  34. OK, I just had to Google ‘mizuna.’ Thanks once again for broadening my culinary horizons!


  35. Julie says:

    stop this. you can steam salmon! what’s up with that!!! i’m still kind of confused. and tonight i used the microwave for the first time in a long time and i gotta say it’s pretty cool hahaha i’m so used to using the oven or barbeque!

  36. Cam says:

    no cherry stem talents this way either. i think i need to google mizuna too. 🙂

  37. Mary says:

    However long it took, you came up with a glorious entree. I’d wait drinkless to try it. Have a great evening, Joanne. Blessings…Mary

  38. Wow..what a beautiful meal..Love the grain,fish and green combo.Such simple entrees are most sought after by me. Aww..whatever time it takes- the point is that the meal should come out perfect!And it sure did!

  39. Charissa says:

    Looks amazing…I wish this was what I had for supper tonight! I’m such a salmon fan…and I love how you serve it on a bed of greens (at least, I had those!). Beautiful!

  40. Can’t believe that I haven’t steamed salmon before and I live in the land where steamed fish rules the dining table 😀

    I never mastered the cherry thing but I can pick up stuff with my toes, does that count as a “talent”? hehehe

  41. Swathi says:

    This plate of meal looks scrumptious, salmon, green and rice awesome.

  42. Victoria says:

    You crack me up! Whether you are being inefficient or not, the result is all that matters 🙂 What a well-balanced and healthy (and beautiful and colorful) dish! I miss you!! Hope to see you soon 🙂 PS I was away in LA for week which is why I was SUCH a lame friend, just saying.

  43. Nice and healthy. I love skinny food like this.

  44. Natalie says:

    I’ve never even heard of Mizuna!…but I am ALL about quick meals, so I’m adding this to my to make list!

  45. I’m sure that extra time is well worth it and is spent enhancing the meal in subtle, or even obvious ways. Or perhaps its the beautiful photographs taken at the end of preparation? LOL, I think I have that not-so-talent as well. 🙂

  46. Pam says:

    I take my time when cooking… and so do you it seems. This entire meal looks healthy, flavorful, and delicious.

  47. Little Inbox says:

    Hmm…Asian food this round. Simple and nutritious!

  48. Viv says:

    you’re a talented girl so im sure you would be able to learn the words and moves to ByeByeBye in no time 😛 this salmon meal looks like what i need for dinner tonight! thanks for sharing!

  49. A healthy and refined tasting dish! Yummy.



  50. Yum! I love salmon cooked this way! I just love this! 🙂

  51. Barbara says:

    What a healthy plateful! I always poach my salmon…going to try it this way next time.

  52. Beautiful Joanne! I always take more time to cook than the “official” time. Welcome to the club!

    Camila Faria

  53. Angela says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  54. Angela says:

    I share this talent. I often tell my husband dinner will be ready in fifteen minutes only to have him still waiting an hour later.

  55. Doesn’t matter how long it takes to whip up a perfect and delectable meal such as yours, tempting clicks as well…

  56. I remember seeing this on I believe FoodGawker yesterday and knowing it sounded good. Turns out it was your creation! I love greens and salmon. Sometimes I can be speedy in the kitchen, but usually I mosey around until a 20 min. recipe takes an hour too.

  57. Looks fabulous, and it’s a perfect meal if you ask me! And don’t feel alone…I always take longer in the kitchen than most people! 🙂

  58. Peggy says:

    I definitely can relate to your “talent”. I tend not to even pay attention to the “time” part of a recipe anymore, because I know it won’t be how long it takes me!

    But this salmon would be well worth the wait in my opinion – it looks perfectly done!

  59. Chris says:

    “Electricity and magnetism? I barely even remember that those exist.”

    Don’t worry, you’ll meet the right guy soon! (ha ha)

    I am SO freaking glad I am not the only one who has the time space continuum difficulties when cooking. The simple peppers and grits thing the other day took an hour instead of the 30 minutes proclaimed by the magazine. I thought it was just moi.

  60. Indie.Tea says:

    I am a slow cook too…I keep wanting to wash dishes and put them away and I constantly, constantly wash my hands. And recipes always take a lot longer! Apparently, when you dont have to do dishes or clean up yourself, things move faster.
    The salmon sounds very delicious. Lovely photographs too.

  61. I know what you mean by “talent” 😀 I am the same too!!! If I say an hour, A says “Oh ok.. so its 2”!!! Huhhh! 😀

    Awesome combination you have got there 🙂 Yummm

  62. Dawn says:

    I have been all about Asian flavors lately but haven’t been posting too much as I have to get them when I dine out. Hubbs isn’t a huge fan. Can I come over for dinner?

  63. daphne says:

    yum. my kind of meal with salmon and rice- what else can one ask for??

  64. Nicole says:

    ok ,wow! even i – chicken of all things fish – could do this – and maybe i will! 🙂

  65. I know all the words but shamfully, not the dance moved to Bye Bye Bye lol.
    Who cares how long the meal takes – more wine time and by the looks of this, its totally worth it!

  66. Carolyn Jung says:

    Whether it takes 14 minutes or an hour — it looks definitely worth it! Nothing beats wild salmon. Yum. 😉

  67. Perfect summer meal – I am totally craving salmon now. And I have two volunteer kale plants!
    I’m like you, I linger. But then I drink… 😉

  68. Amy says:

    Total sympathy on my part–I’m so glad I’m not the only one who suffers from “perpetual Eeyore of the kitchen.”

    Ahhh Eeyore…

    Looks delicious, Jo!

  69. Reeni says:

    Maybe it’s a stress reliever? I know for me it is – I like to take my sweet little time and revel in it. In any case I wouldn’t mind waiting a bit for this! Asian food has taken a back seat lately which is a shame ’cause I love it. P.S. I have the same exact place mats!

  70. sophia says:

    I’ll TELL you what your talent is, my dear friend. It’s having ESP with me. Because this is exactly what I’m craving right now. Or maybe it’s because I’m seeing this pic that I crave it. Whatever, I wants it!

  71. Katie says:

    Joanne, I definitely understand. I always end up taking longer to make food than the recipe specifies. I think I’m just so relaxed when I’m cooking that I don’t want to rush. This salmon dish looks just delicious!

  72. Monet says:

    Ryan brought home 30 lbs of wild alaskan salmon last week. We are in fish heaven! Thank you for sharing this recipe with me. I hope you are having a blessed week, my friend. Much love!

  73. Johanna GGG says:

    oh that just sounds like having kids about – though maybe I was like that even before sylvia was born – I think it is something to do with multi-tasking – well that is my excuse

  74. Nicole, RD says:

    I need to learn how to make dinner magic happen a lot quicker, as well. Even though the daylight is long right now, I’m not seeing enough of it! My goal for the rest of the summer is quick and easy, so this is perfect…hopefully 😉

  75. Stephanie says:

    I think Asian flavors and salmon were made for each other. They pair so perfectly. This looks delish, 14 minutes or not. 🙂

  76. Ah well, the extra time is more relaxing. This looks light and delicious and full of flavor too.

  77. Lynn says:

    Mmm, this sounds yummy, Joanne. And I am so, so proud of you for going on those dates!! If these young men ever taste your food, they will be popping the question in a heartbeat 😉 And big congratulations on doing so well on your boards. Wow. What an accomplishment.

  78. Catherine says:

    Dear Joanne, Salmon is my favorite fish to eat. Looks like a delicious and healthy way that you have prepared this fine fish. Blessings, Catherine xo

  79. Cara says:

    You have other talents, too, like always introducing me to something! I confess that I had no idea what mizuna was before reading the recipe.

    I’m so bad at estimating how much time a recipe I develop would take for a “normal” person because I spend way more time than even seems possible. There’s just so much time that goes into making it blog-worthy. But my *real* talent is using every single dish we registered for, every single time I cook. Just ask my husband!

  80. Hahaha, I love that it takes you 4 times as long as it’s supposed to! Sounds delish

  81. Are you for real, Joanne? I mean you’re a med student that must be so super busy and you prepare awesome dishes such as this wild salmon entree with tremendous photog talent! When I was in grad school, I was lucky to open a can of soup! THis looks outstanding and I just love a good salmon recipe!

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