Ginger-Ponzu Tuna Poke

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Remember a few years ago where fast-casual poke spots were opening up in what seemed like every other corner? I liked that. It was a food trend I could get behind. I love poke bowls, especially in the summer, but I’ve started making them at home more often because a lot of those poke restaurants aren’t around anymore (come back please!).

This gingery tuna poke gets its creaminess from the addition of macadamia nuts and an unmistakable herbaceousness from shiso leaves. You can use salmon just as easily as tuna here.

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (preferably Meyer) ponzu
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions, plus more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon finely sliced fresh shiso (Japanese or Vietnamese), plus more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon crushed unsalted roasted macadamia nuts, plus more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil, plus more to taste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger, plus more to taste
  • 1 pound skinless sushi-grade tuna
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Toasted white sesame seeds
  • Cooked short-grain white rice and nori seaweed, for serving


  1. Stir together soy sauce, lemon juice, green onions, shiso, macadamia nuts, sesame oil, and ginger in a medium bowl. (Mixture should be slightly creamy.)
  2. Cut tuna into bite-size (about 3/4-inch) cubes. Add tuna to ponzu mixture in bowl; gently stir together until well coated.
  3. Season with salt to taste. Adjust flavors with additional ponzu, green onions (pungency), shiso, macadamia nuts, sesame oil (velvety richness), ginger, and/or salt to taste. Serve atop individual bowls of rice and garnish with sesame seeds, more shiso leaves, and nori seaweed; serve immediately. (Poke itself can be made up to 1 day in advance and stored in the refrigerator.)

Corn, Okra, and Red Pepper Skillet

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If you’ve know me at all then you know okra is my favorite vegetable, and this blog is a no-okra-slander zone. This easy summer skillet pairs okra with corn and peppers for the ultimate summer side dish. Eat it with rice and chicken or even better, by itself. (I paired it with Iranian dolma here, because why not?)


  • 1 teaspoon avocado oil
  • 2 slices turkey bacon, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
  • 10 okra, stemmed and sliced crosswise
  • 4 ears corn, shucked, kernels sliced off (or one 10-ounce package frozen corn, about 2 cups)
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the turkey bacon, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate; set aside. Do not wipe out the pan.
  2. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in the skillet and add garlic, shallots, bell pepper, and jalapeno and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Increase heat to high, add okra and corn, and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, about 7 minutes. Stir in green onions, reserved turkey bacon, and remaining butter and season with salt and pepper.

Avocado, Mango, and Orange Salad

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This is the perfect tropical-esque salad to bridge that time of spring when the weather is intermittently cool and warm. Got some winter citrus leftover in the fridge? Toss them in with creamy avocados and mangoes and you’ve got a bright, tart and slightly sweet salad that comes together in a matter of minutes.

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 mangoes, peeled, pitted, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 avocados, peeled, pitted and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 orange, peeled and cut into 1-inch segments
  • 2 teaspoons unsweetened shredded dried coconut
  1. Whisk together parsley, oil, lime and orange juices, jalapeno, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add mangoes, avocado, and orange and toss gently to combine. Cover and refrigerate for one hour.
  2. To serve, transfer salad to a serving bowl and sprinkle with coconut.

Butter Chicken

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Butter chicken is ubiquitous on every Indian restaurant menu, but there’s no reason you can’t make it at home. This warming dish is easily made a day ahead and can reheated to be served with rice. I like to serve it with tahdig, sabzi khordan, and torshi on the side for an Indian-Iranian mashup. Trust me, it works.

  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, quartered
  • 3 tablespoons avocado oil or ghee
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons peeled and grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice, plus more to taste
  1. In a large bowl, stir together the garam masala, cumin, turmeric, cardamom, paprika, cinnamon, and oregano. Add the chicken and turn to coat all the pieces. Set aside for 10 minutes.
  2. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil and the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for another minute, stirring.
  3. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan, then add the chicken and any leftover spices and sprinkle with the salt. Cook for 5 minutes, turning the chicken halfway through when it releases easily from the pan, then add the crushed tomatoes, butter, coconut milk, bay leaf, and lemon juice. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let simmer, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through and tender, about 30 minutes. Season with additional salt and lemon juice, if desired. Serve warm.

Salmon and Corn Chowder

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This soup is perfect for the springtime as the weather (finally) warms up. It’s lighter than clam chowder and the addition of corn is like a harbinger of sunnier days. Serve this with some toasted sourdough and a salad and you’ve got a perfect casual seafood meal.

  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 8-ounce salmon fillet
  • 3 slices turkey bacon, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 3/4 teaspoon chopped thyme leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 cup half-and-half, warmed
  • 2 cups fresh corn kernels (from 2 ears)
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 3 Yukon Gold potatoes (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
  • Black pepper
  • Chopped green onions, for serving
  1. Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add 2 teaspoons of the olive oil around the pan, add the salmon, skin side down, and cook until the skin is golden brown and releases easily from the pan, about 4 minutes. Flip the salmon over and continue cooking for another 4 minutes. Transfer the salmon to a plate to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a medium Dutch oven over medium heat, then drizzle in the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and add the turkey bacon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the bacon begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until the onion is translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the carrot, celery, thyme, and garlic. Cook until the vegetables are soft, another 3 to 5 minutes. Add the flour, salt, Old Bay, paprika, and basil. Cook for another minute or two, then slowly add the half-and-half, stirring the vegetables well as you add it so that there’s no clumping. After the mixture thickens and bubble again, add the chicken stock, corn, and potatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender throughout, about 20 minutes.
  3. Remove the skin from the salmon, break it into bite-size chunks, add it to the pot, and simmer for another 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve garnished with green onions. (You can let the soup cool and store it in the refrigerator up to 3 days before reheating to serve.)