Welcome to On Board in 20: a recipe series where we share wholesome, 20 minute meals that are shared family style. The recipes always contain whole food ingredients and are intended to be brought to the table for family members to build and construct their individual plates as their senses guide them. Along the way, we bring you tips and tricks for speeding up prep and clean up for those busy weeknight meal times.
Who doesn’t love food on a stick? Shish kebabs, skewers, satays, brochette or grill stick — whatever you call it, it's hard to deny the fun factor that comes with eating dinner off a stick. (Especially mid-week after a crazy day of school, work and activities.) This month's On Board in 20 recipe features fresh Pacific salmon on a stick, complete with coconut rice and some broiled feta and garlic green beans.
Fish is always a great choice for a fast-cooking protein. With its mild flavour and tender texture, it's also a great choice for young kids. It's always important to check for pin bones, though and the easiest way is to just run your fingers over the fish and feel for them. If you find one, there's likely a row of them. A pair of needle nose pliers works best to give them a quick tug. To minimize pin bones, you can always ask for a tail piece of salmon filet as there tends to be little to no bones in that part of the flesh. That said, a thicker centre cut will make for a better kebab.
Rice is another kid favourite but can get a little boring with the usual accompaniments of butter and soy sauce. A great way to change that up is to throw in a handful of unsweetened coconut flakes. If you have more time, you can even substitute coconut milk for half of the liquid when cooking the rice. The nutty flavor of the coconut pairs great with the salmon.
The other pairing with this dish is the green beans (which could be easily swapped out for asparagus or zucchini). I normally would not pair fish and cheese, but just a little salty, briny feta on the beans works very well. The broiler is always one of my best friends in putting together a quick weeknight meal.
So the next time you find yourself reaching in the freezer for frozen fish sticks, I hope you give these “fish sticks” a try.
- 1.5 cups jasmine rice
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened coconut flakes
- 3 cups water
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 8 wooden/metal skewers
- 16 oz fresh salmon filet, deboned
- 2 to 3 lemons (16 thin lemon slices, plus a few quarters for serving)
- 2 cups fresh green beans
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup feta cheese, crumbled
- several sprigs of fresh dill
- salt and pepper to taste
- Garnish: microgreens, sliced radish, quartered lemons, fresh dill
- Combine the rice and coconut in a heavy saucepan and turn to low heat. Pour the water into a kettle and bring kettle to a boil. Once boiling, add the water to the saucepan and turn to high for about one minute (or until rice starts to boil again). Once boiling, reduce heat to low and cover pan with a tight-fitting lid. Let cook as per package instructions or about 13 minutes.
- Preheat oven broiler and place a heavy cast iron grill pan over med-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to the cast iron pan.
- While rice is cooking and oven is preheating, prepare salmon skewers. Cut salmon into about 1.5 inch chunks and set aside. Slice lemons into 16 very thin circles and set aside. Wash green beans and pull out about 8 and cut them in half.
- To assemble skewers, thread a piece of salmon through two parallel skewers, then fold a lemon slice in half and slide onto skewers. Follow this with half a green bean. Repeat until you have about 5 pieces of salmon per skewer pair, and four (double) skewers total.
- Place skewers on grill pan and turn several times. If not all of the salmon is touching the grill pan, you may want to place a heavy plate on top of the salmon to ensure contact with the grill. The skewers will take about 8 to 10 minutes.
- While the salmon is cooking, toss the remaining green beans with oil, sliced garlic and feta cheese on a baking ban. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Place under broiler for about 5 to 7 minutes.
- To assemble the board: Scoop the rice into a small bowl and place bowl on the board. Top with a garnish of micro greens, radish and/or fresh dill. Lay the salmon skewers on parchment and place the green beans directly on the board. The salmon can be garnished with fresh dill and the beans with an extra dash of salt and pepper.
Looking for More Twenty-Minute Meal Ideas?
- Steak Quesadilla with Mango Avocado Salad
- Mini Ricotta Meatballs Over Lemon Rice and Peas
- Turkey Dogs, Corn Relish & Mexican Street Corn
Lisa Bolton is the creator, writer and photographer behind Food Well Said, her blog about bringing thoughtfully prepared, whole food recipes. She lives in the Lower Mainland of BC and you can reach her on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook.