Dinner P(art)ies

One of my biggest non-professional life goals is to become The Dip Mom.

Let me explain. The Dip Mom (henceforth, TDM) is usually an older, white woman living in New England who is happily married (at least, outwardly) with two to three children who recently graduated from Ivy Leagues and have since successfully launched their professional careers in New York and Boston. She enjoys gardening, long walks to the grocery store, and reality TV shows with low energy and slow pacing.

Most importantly, TDM is a virtuosic dinner party host. Presiding over her dinner table, she unveils the main course. Today, it is a full salmon, perfumed with lemon and dill, and anointed with a drizzle of olive oil. Her guests cue into her every blink, every head turn, and every slight smile. Her artfully-selected T.J. Maxx candle lights flicker and dim periodically, as if to breathe joyously with her performance. After taking a brief moment to admire her own work, TDM addresses her adoring fans: “Sweet joy befall thee.” Dinner is thereby served.

Oh, and she’s also really good at appetizers. That’s why she’s called The Dip Mom.

However, it is quite likely that I will not be serving this marital WASP fantasy in this iteration of reality. On the other hand, I somehow don’t trust myself to recreate the truly authentic experience of the Chinese-American dinner party, with its requisite college admissions conspiracy theory-crafting and manic dumpling-folding. 

I do, however, know that I want to be the type of person who can serve twelve different kinds of dips that endlessly replenish themselves. I want to be able to serve excellent dinner, drink, and conversation. And finally, I want to see my guests off, satisfied and warm.

I guess this recipe is a start. 

Ginger-Soy-Miso Foil Salmonimg_1239
feeds 2-3 dinner party attendants

4 salmon fillets (480g)
1 lemon
2 coins ginger, minced
1 scallion, optional
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp shiro miso
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp hot water
1 tbsp mirin
25g sugar
2 tsp salt
aluminum foil

1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
2. If needed, descale salmon. Pat fillets dry and season with salt.
3. Squeeze out juice of half of the lemon. Chop the other half into thin slices.
4. Dissolve miso in hot water. To the mixture, add soy sauce, mirin, sesame oil, ginger, lemon juice, and sugar.
5. Add salmon to the mixture, and marinate for 15-30 mins.
6. Remove salmon fillets and place on a large sheet of aluminum foil. Brush on excess marinade on each fillet. Place slices of lemon on each fillet.
7. Fold edges of the foil sheet over the salmon so that it is fully wrapped and sealed. Place parcel on a baking sheet, and bake for 20-25 minutes.
8. Garnish with scallion, and serve with rice.
9. Serve your guest(s), accidentally drink the entire bottle of mulled wine, and spend the next two hours talking at your audience. They laugh emphatically(?) with/at you.

Music Recommendation:
Gema 4 – Piel Canela

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