The Chef’s Take: Jeremy Lieb’s Miso Salmon with Quinoa Cabbage Slaw at Boca
Chef Jeremy Lieb is one of those guys who manage to do it all. He's the corporate chef of the Cincinnati-based Boca restaurant group, which also includes Boca, Sotto, and two Nada locations (one in Cincinnati and one in Columbus). He not only cooks, but also develops the menus and trains the staff. He's obsessed with CrossFit and works out regularly with his wife and two young kids to keep the whole family in shape. Lieb also encourages his staff to stay healthy, promoting good eating, exercise and lots of sleep. "You have to do one thing every day that’s just for you that makes you happy," he says. Now, that's the kind of boss we’d all love to have.
At Boca, his flagship Cincinnati restaurant, Lieb's menu has an Italian simplicity with a focus on great seasonal ingredients. Given his passion for staying fit, he’s also one for incorporating dishes that appeal to his healthful side. "We are by no means a healthy restaurant," he says,"but we do try to offer something for gluten-free diners, or those on a paleo diet, or lighter fare for someone who might want to come more often and not have to splurge."
He'll make a whole branzino with roasted carrots and baby kale with an avocado mousse, or an old-fashioned chicken noodle soup with dumplings made from gluten-free cavatelli, or a pesto sauce from kale. "I try to create dishes that are fun and simple and that people will enjoy," he says.
His Miso Poached Salmon with a cabbage slaw tossed with quinoa and almonds in a champagne vinaigrette is the perfect example: "Nobu did his miso black cod all those years ago, and I loved it," he says. "I wanted to do something that was a riff on that. It's a little out of the ordinary and it’s a beautiful dish. My kids love it too. They call it candy salmon.”
Mix all ingredients together. Place salmon in a sous vide bag with enough marinade to cover and sous vide at 128 degrees F for 8 minutes. If you don’t have a sous vide machine, bring a pot of water to a simmer and then turn off the heat. Combine salmon and marinade in a plastic baggie and place in water for 8 minutes, being sure to clip the bag to the top of the pot so that only the salmon is submerged. Carefully remove salmon from baggie and place on a roasting pan. Spoon fresh marinade on top of salmon fillets and put under a broiler until the fish browns.
Combine quinoa and vegetables in a large bowl. Mix oil, vinegar and honey together, pour over quinoa mixture and toss to combine. Place a cup of the mixture on each plate, top with a piece of salmon and enjoy.
Andrea Strong is a freelance writer whose work has appeared everywhere from The New York Times to Edible Brooklyn. She's probably best known as the creator of The Strong Buzz, her food blog about New York City restaurants. She lives in Queens with her two kids, her husband and her big appetite.