Red-Cooked Salmon with Sesame Asparagus, a box

‘Red-cooked’ refers to a Chinese technique of poaching or braising in a soy-sauce based liquid. Salmon is not a typical fish in Chinese cuisine but it worked well for this.

As to the Sesame Asparagus….. We’ve been making this for years and it’s always a favorite. It’s great at room temperature or cold.

This is a spring dish – when it’s too cold to use the grill but we have asparagus.

Red-Cooked Salmon with Sesame Asparagus

Total time: 35 minutes


  • 2 salmon fillets,  12oz (360gr) total weight
  • 1/4 cup (2oz, 60ml) soy sauce
  • 1 tbs minced ginger
  • 2 tbs red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup (4oz, 120ml) water
  • 3 tbs peanut butter
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • 2 tbs sherry
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 12oz (360gr) green asparagus, roll cut asparagus in 1 inch (2.5 cm) lengths
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds, divided

Red-Cooked Salmon with Sesame Asparagus Instructions:

  • Add the soy sauce, ginger, vinegar and water to a skillet just large enough to hold the salmon easily.
  • Add the salmon, flesh side down, cover and bring to a simmer.
  • Simmer slowly, bubbles barely breaking the surface, for 15 minutes, carefully turning the salmon half way through.
  • At this point salmon should be cooked through, flesh opaque.  If not simmer another 3 – 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and let rest, covered until ready to serve.
  • Asparagus: While salmon cooks, heat a large saucepan half-full of water to boiling.
  • Drop in asparagus and blanch for 2 minutes.
  • Drain and immediately rinse with cold water.
  • Spread them on paper towels and pat dry.
  • In a bowl big enough to nicely hold the asparagus mix soy sauce, sugar and sesame oil.
  • Add asparagus and toss lightly to coat.
  • Sprinkle with 1 tsp sesame seeds.
  • Peanut Sauce: Combine peanut butter, sherry, 1 tbs soy sauce, garlic and chili powder, mixing well.
  • When ready to serve, remove salmon to plates.
  • Sprinkle with remaining 1 tsp sesame seeds and add a bit of peanut sauce..
  • Add asparagus to plates and serve.

Print Recipe

My computer is on a desk, tucked under the stairs. Tucked further under the stairs is my small file cabinet, then the printer (which I have to be on my knees to use) and then, way back against the wall, behind everything, underneath the bottom steps, totally inaccessible, is a box.

It was raining the other day and I decided to clean the computers. When one heats with wood and lives in farm country with 2 big dogs, one has to periodically take the computers out to the barn, take the side panel off and blow the dust out with the air compressor.

I do it every few months.

I have found spiders.

Anyway, since I had everything un-cabled (so I could dust the cables) I decided to pull out the printer and clean behind it.

Which brought me closer to the box….

I don’t think it’s been opened since we left the US…. Just moved from place to place. I decided have a look.

As was expected it was bits of my life, starting with my first doll.

I couldn’t believe that I could name everyone one of my 3rd grade classmates from their photos. Why I kept the photos from 3rd grade and not any other grade I have no idea.

On the other hand I couldn’t even find myself in the first communion class photo. Maybe I didn’t go….

I found book reports from 5th grade, my high school trigonometry book and papers I wrote in college.

One photo I found really made me pause.

I worked in sales in the early years. I don’t know if companies still send their recruits to ‘sales school’ – or, for that matter, if there are still corporate sales people, but when I started it was the norm.

Normally, there would be a beginning, general, sales school, then more product specific or technical schools. As I was selling computers, I attended a few schools. They were usually two or three weeks long and held at ‘headquarters. For NCR that was Sugar Camp in Dayton.

I digress….

The photo I have is a group photo of one of the classes. There were 18 of us; 17 men and me.

When I looked at it today I thought ‘how unusual, only one woman’. But I remember, at the time it seemed perfectly normal. I remember going to conferences with 150 attendees and being the only woman. I remember, once, seeing another woman in a large meeting and my first thought wasn’t ‘Great, another woman’ but ‘How weird, I wonder who she is.’

But that was then…. Why oh why are we still seeing photos of meetings and important events with no women present?

When I posed for that photo, back in the late 70’s / early 80’s, I just assumed that I was part of the first wave of a new era of equality.

Apparently, it’s a very slow moving wave.

On the other hand – I never had to share a hotel room….

Last update on April 28, 2017

2 thoughts on “Red-Cooked Salmon with Sesame Asparagus, a box”

  1. kate, very true – when I think back about all the lawsuits I could have filed…. At the time we just dealt with it all and hoped it would change.

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