November is Zelda month. At least it is to PeanutButterGamer (check out his YouTube channel and subscribe if you aren’t already). I’ve been a fan of his videos for a while now, and I thought I’d get into the spirit by putting together a month’s worth of Legend of Zelda recipes for you all!
The Legend of Zelda series doesn’t have much in the way of food that doesn’t come in the form of a potion. However, in Twilight Princess, making soups is integral to your completion of the Snowpeak Ruins dungeon. The first soup you make is appropriately named ‘Simple Soup’ and it’s made with what’s called a Reekfish from Zora’s Domain.
Although not a real fish, the Reekfish shares several similarities with a real world salmon. Its general shape, strong smell, and the fact that it’s found in cold waters are some good indicators of this. To this end, I’ll be using salmon fillet in the recipe. If your local grocery store happens to have a fresh seafood section, I’d suggest asking one of the fish mongers for a boneless fillet, instead of purchasing something frozen. Skin-on is fine, as I’ll be explaining how to remove it later in the recipe.
Speaking of the recipe, click ‘Continue Reading’ and let’s get to it!
+ Simple Soup +
|Water||4 1/2 cups|
|Dry White Wine||1 cup|
|Lemongrass||2 small stalks|
|Heavy Cream||1 cup|
- 2 Medium Soup Pots
- Cutting Board
- Sharp Kitchen Knife
- Spatula or Wooden Spoon
- Slotted Spoon
:: KNIFE SAFETY ::
Because this recipe starts off with some moderate knife work, I thought I’d take the opportunity to explain something that may seem trivial, but will really help out in the long run: how to properly hold a chef’s knife.
Many people, myself included, grew up using knives with the dominant hand on the handle and index finger extended over the top of the blade. If you happen to fall into that category, don’t worry! This section is especially for you.
i) Go grab a chef’s knife from the kitchen. Seriously, go do it! You got one? Ok.
ii) Take your dominant hand and place it on the handle as you normally would.
iii) Now, slide your hand towards the tip of the knife just so far that your thumb and index finger are resting on the sides of the blade; the rest of your hand should still be on the handle.
iv) Grip the knife blade firmly between your thumb and index finger, and that’s it! You should feel much more in control of the knife now. It may feel strange at first if you’ve never held it like this, but you’ll get used to it and it’s actually much safer.
- In a medium stock pot place the water, wine, salt and coriander and set it to low heat.
- Take your lemongrass, and cut off the ends. With the flat of the blade, gently crush the stalks, to help release the oils, and add them to the pot as well.
- Bundle up the thyme and throw it in the pot. This will be our poaching liquid for the salmon. Keep the heat on low so it’s just below a simmer, as we put together the rest of the soup.
- Now it’s time to use those new knife skills! We need to cut our onion into small dice; which can be daunting at first, but you’ll be sure to impress your friends when you get the hang of it.
- You can think of onions as having a flat side (with the little roots), and a pointy side. Begin by cutting off the pointy side and then cut through the entire onion, length wise. Remove the flaky outer layer(s), so you have something that looks like the first frame up above.
- The first step is to place one hand on top of the onion, to stabilize, and run the knife parallel to the cutting board through it horizontally, but stopping about a 1/2 inch from cutting all the way through it. do this in regular intervals and you’ll end up with something similar to the second frame (it’s important to have a sharp knife for this and to never ‘force’ the knife. If it feels like the blade is stuck, try using a gentle sawing motion).
- Orient the blade, like in the third frame up above, and cut down vertically all the way through the onion (but still leaving that 1/2 inch on the back), in the same sized intervals as you did in step 6.
- Finally slice through the onion perpendicularly to step 7, and you should see the fruits of your labors!
- Next, we will be chopping up our fennel bulb. Remove the long green stalks from the top and cut the bulb in half lengthwise.
- Cut out the hard triangular piece at the base of the bulb with a sharp knife, and chop the bulb into small pieces similar in size to the onion dice.
- Mince the garlic gloves and add it with the onion and fennel to a second medium stock pot, along with 3 TBSP of butter. Set the heat to medium and stir occasionally (we aren’t trying to “brown” the vegetables here, so if you start seeing color, reduce the heat accordingly). Cook the vegetables for about 10 minutes, until softened. After 10 minutes, add 1 cup of heavy cream and remove from the heat.
- While the vegetables are sweating, we can poach our salmon. First, slice off the belly fat from the bottom of the fillet (where the white lines start to get thicker).
- To remove the skin from the salmon (if using a fresh fillet), slide a sharp knife (carefully!) between the flesh and scales on one side, for about one inch. Once you have created a flap of skin, you can grasp it with one hand, while keeping the flesh pinned down with the other, and simply peel it off.
- Cut the cleaned salmon filet into a medium dice and add it to the simmering poaching liquid. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes and then remove the cooked salmon pieces with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Next, remove the lemongrass and thyme and pour all of the poaching liquid into the the other pot with the vegetable/cream mixture.
- Simmer for a minute or two, and then remove from the heat. If serving soup in bowls, place several pieces of the diced poached salmon down first and ladle the soup over top of it. Or, you can always pack it all up in an empty bottle if you happen to have some space in your inventory 🙂
Hey! Thanks for reading all the the way to the end! You’re awesome :D! If you haven’t already and are looking for more nerdy food stuff, consider following me on Twitter, Facebook, tumblr and Instagram. I post a lot of work in progress pictures for the blog as well as some stuff from my real job as a pastry chef. If that sounds like something you’d be into, please check out those links above! Anyway, take care everyone and I’ll see you soon with an all new recipe!