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Chili sauce adds kick to salmon, bok choy

I'm not a fan of overly spicy food, but I do like a kick now and then. Here, that kick is provided by sweet chili sauce. It is used twice: first as a light glaze for the salmon, then as a flavoring agent in a sauce. Bok choy contributes color, texture and a slight note of bitterness, bringing balance to the dish. It's a beautiful combination of flavors and colors.

Buy fish fillets that are similar in size, either skin-on or skinless.

Note: Sweet chili sauce is available in the Asian section of most supermarkets. The exact amount you'll need will vary based on the flavor of the brand you choose.

Orange-Chili Salmon With Baby Bok Choy

For the salmon:

  • Finely grated zest and freshly squeezed juice of 1 large orange (1 12 tablespoons zest, 13 to 12 cup juice)
  • 14 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 18 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
  • 4 (4 ounces each) salmon fillets, preferably center-cut
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce (see headnote )

For the bok choy:

  • 1 pound baby bok choy, well rinsed and still damp, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
  • 12 cup no-salt-added or homemade chicken broth
  • Freshly squeezed juice of 1 large orange ( 13 to 12 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce

To prepare the salmon: Combine the orange zest and juice, crushed red pepper, salt and brown sugar in a shallow dish just large enough to hold the fillets, stirring until the salt and sugar have dissolved. Add the salmon, turning them to coat all over. Let sit at room temperature for 25 minutes, turning the fillets 2 or 3 times.

Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a small, rimmed baking sheet or shallow dish with aluminum foil, then grease the foil with nonstick cooking oil spray.

Discard the marinade; use paper towels to lightly pat the salmon fillets dry.

Heat the oil in a medium or large nonstick skillet or saute pan over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers. Add the fillets (skin or skinned side up); cook for about 2 minutes, until the salmon is lightly browned, then carefully turn the fillets over and cook for 1 minute more. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Brush with the sweet chili sauce. Bake for 5 to 8 minutes, until the fish is just cooked through; the time will vary according to the thickness of the fillets and your preferred degree of doneness.

For the bok choy: While the fish is in the oven, heat a large skillet or saute pan over medium heat. Add the damp bok choy and the broth. Cover and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, turning the bok choy a few times, until it wilts and is just tender.

Whisk together the orange juice and cornstarch to form a slurry. Add to the skillet or saute pan, stirring until incorporated. As soon as the liquid has thickened to form a sauce, add 1 tablespoon of the chili sauce, stirring to incorporate. Taste, and add the remaining tablespoon of sweet chili sauce, if needed.

Divide the bok choy among individual plates. Top each portion with the salmon. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 230 calories, 10 grams fat (2 grams saturated), 65 milligrams cholesterol, 24 grams protein, 10 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram dietary fiber, 170 milligrams sodium

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