Recently, Joe’s had a bit more time off than I have, which is not normal. It seems that, in general, working for a non-profit, the Wrangell Mountains Center (WMC), like he does, means you work many long days. In the last week or so, though, the schedule at the WMC was a little slower, and the staff was able to have some extra off time. However, this also coincided with Kennicott Wilderness Guides (KWG), and therefore my, busiest week of the summer so far.
Joe had Friday & Saturday off, and so I was hoping to get those days off as well (especially since I’d not had an off day for about 8 days previous to that weekend). But of course, two days turned out to be too much to ask, and I just took Saturday off. Which was perfect! Two days would have been great too, but for now, one was enough.
I wanted to get out of Kennicott, for at least a little bit, and we both felt ready for a camping trip somewhere. On Friday I worked until about 6:30 though, so we weren’t going anywhere too far to camp. There’s a great spot here that KWG owns, which we all refer to as ‘Chris’ Knoll’. It’s an hour to an hour & a half hike, all pretty directly uphill, from Kennicott, and it’s a gorgeous, peaceful spot, up above treeline, underneath Bonanza Ridge, looking out over the Kennicott & Root glaciers and towards Donoho and Mount Blackburn. Yup, pretty ideal.
So Friday afternoon, between working as manager, working in the office a bit and shuttling some people up and down from McCarthy, I got online and browsed a few recipe ideas for how I should cook up a lovely piece of halibut that my parents gave me after their day of fishing a couple weeks ago. I had an idea of what direction I wanted to go (basically, that means I knew I wanted to use halibut, cabbage and soba noodles, which felt like an Asian direction to me), and googled from there.
I didn’t find any recipes that fit my qualifications, but I got enough other ideas to put together my own meal, and oh my goodness, it turned out pretty awesome. For starters, circumstances beyond my control played out just right for Joe & I to be able to enjoy a gorgeous rainbow spreading above us right as we got up to the Knoll, around 8:45. It was a glorious evening, still warm from the hot sunny day we’d enjoyed, and after setting up the tent and getting water from Bonanza Creek, I started cooking dinner. I’d put all my ingredients together before leaving the house, and so it didn’t take too much work before we were ready to eat!
Honestly, I don’t think this meal could’ve been much improved on. We enjoyed it with some red wine which came up the hill in a mason jar (and which unfortunately tried to escape, leaving a bit of a stain on Joe’s pack). Maybe something chocolatey for dessert would be a good addition, but I think I may have been too full to eat anything else! So if you have some halibut, you should make this. It uses mostly simple and basic ingredients, and gives you an absolutely delicious, gorgeous, and healthy meal.
Ginger Sesame Halibut
1/4 cup soy sauce (I used Bragg’s natural soy alternative)
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tbsp sesame oil (I didn’t have this, so I used olive oil, but think sesame would be even better!)
1 tbsp grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp chives, chopped
2 servings worth of halibut (I’m sorry this is so obscure! I really have no idea how much my piece of halibut weighed; online it looks like 4-6 ounces is a serving?)
2 tbsp sesame seeds
To make the marinade, in a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients, up to the halibut. Place the halibut in a resealable plastic bag, and pour the marinade over it, turning to coat. Seal the bag and place in the refrigerator (or in my case, in your backpack before you hike up the mountain) for 2-3 hours, turning occasionally. When ready to cook, heat some olive oil in a small skillet. place the halibut, skin side down, in the skillet; sprinkle sesame seeds over the top. Cover and let cook until fish flakes easily with a fork, turning once or twice. Careful not to overcook! When the halibut is almost done, pour the leftover marinade into the skillet, letting the sauce come to a full boil before serving.
Asian Cabbage Salad
1/2 tsp grated ginger
1 clove minced garlic
2 tsp rice vinegar
1/2 tsp honey
1 tbsp soy sauce (I used Bragg’s)
1/4 tsp dry mustard
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp lime juice
2-3 cups sliced cabbage (I used a combination of green cabbage with a little red)
1 tomato, chopped
1/2-1 cup bean sprouts (any kind! I used a mix that had mungs, lentils, peas and chickpeas… YUM!)
1/4 cup dried wakame seaweed
In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients for the dressing. Set aside.
In another small bowl, rehydrate the seaweed by pouring some warm water over it. Let sit for a couple minutes – it doesn’t take long! Combine the rest of the salad ingredients in a medium size bowl. When ready to serve, add the seaweed and dressing; toss to combine.
—Putting it all together!!!!!!—
Cook 2 bundles of soba noodles according to package directions.
On each plate, place a serving of soba noodles. Cover this with some of the cabbage salad, and then mix it together a bit if you’d like. On top of this, place a piece of halibut, and pour some of the sauce over everything. Now, doesn’t that look like a feast?