I sprained my ankle at the beginning of June. I was hiking and the sandals I was wearing didn’t hold my left foot very comfortable. As a result of all that walking + weak hips, I twisted it just a little bit. It was enough for me to tear a ligament but not as badly as if I fell right on top of it. I managed to catch myself (thank you shoulders) and it was all good.
For the next few weeks, I rested, iced and did all the things I was supposed to. I knew it wasn’t broken because I walked with no discomfort. It did swell from time to time, which made me cautious and concerned. Eventually I decided I could not live this low-activity life anymore so I went to get the green light from a doctor to go to physiotherapy.
Currently, that’s what I’ve been doing with my body. I have high hopes that I will be back to my ways with minor adjustments. But there are exercises and they will only work if I work at them.
When I made the choice to become more physically active, it was 2011. On my first day at a gym, I couldn’t even walk down stairs after 10 minutes of whatever it is I did. My friend was sitting at his laptop in the lower level of my parents’ house and I was groaning about how much it hurt to walk. But I went back to the gym and kept going until I got sick of it two years ago.
Now I have an indoor activity aversion. So if it’s outdoors, I’ll do it. Indoors at a gym after an exchange of money? My face turns sour. (“WHY WHEN THE OUTDOORS IS FREE!!”). I know what I like for now. The fact that I can’t pursue any of it at a level I’m used to has given me a lot of anxiety.
“Level”: I’m not sure how to define this. It has changed so much over the years. Right now, the level is mostly walking, stretching and riding my bicycle. These are all physiotherapist approved until my ligaments get stretchier.
This is the first time I’m even writing about exercise and reading all these words that I’m typing is making me cringe. I feel like (social media rant coming up) SOCIAL MEDIA has turned us into such 1-dimensional versions of ourselves that I desperately cling to whatever sense of self I have in terms of sharing my interests. How did we get here? I am even wondering why I cared whom someone voted for.
We can be many things in our bodies. We can stretch, run, bounce or fly all the little ligaments and nerves as time goes by. Some might not be as limber but that’s a level and levels change.
Salmon cutlets with a yogurt-mayo dipping sauce
For the salmon
- 226gms or 1/2 lb fresh salmon
- 1 cup + 3/4 cup panko (Japanese style breadcrumbs)
- 2 tbsp. low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 green onion, cut into rounds along the vertical
- 1 tsp fresh garlic, grated
- 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
- 2 tbsp + 2 tbsp. black sesame seeds
- A dash of cayenne pepper
- 1 egg
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Cooking spray or neutral tasting oil like safflower
- Fresh lime, to squeeze on top
For the dipping sauce
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 garlic clove, grated
- A pinch of salt
Take the salmon and lay it flat on a cutting board. Ideally, your salmon should still have its skin on since this helps to keep it in one piece while you cut.
Using a sharp knife, cut the salmon horizontally into 1-2 inch thick slices and then further cut them vertically into smaller pieces. Gather the salmon into the centre of the cutting board and run your knife through it. What you end up with should look almost like ground meat with a few sizeable chunks dispersed through it.
Preheat the oven to 205C/ 400F
Put the salmon in a bowl and add 1 cup panko, soy sauce, vinegar, green onion, garlic, ginger, 2 tbsp. sesame seeds and a dash of cayenne. Mix all of it together making sure the panko is nicely spread throughout the salmon mixture. Break an egg stir it into the salmon mixture until everything is combined. Set the bowl in the fridge for about 30 minutes while the oven is heating.
Take a baking sheet and coat the bottom with cooking spray or oil.
Take a plate and scoop out about 3/4 cups panko and 2 tbsp. black sesame seeds onto it. Mix well.
Remove the salmon mixture from the fridge and add about 1 tsp of salt to it and mix using one of your hands. If you need more, then go for it. I usually taste just a tiny piece of the mixture to decide if it’s good.
Set up an assembly line of 1) salmon 2) breading 3) baking sheet. Form about 9 small balls from the salmon mixture. Taking one salmon ball at a time, gently press it down into the panko-sesame mixture to flatten it into a cutlet. Coat the other side with the breading as well. Set it on the baking sheet. Repeat with all of the salmon.
You can also make a lesser number of salmon cutlets and make them bigger instead.
Place the baking sheet with the salmon cutlets into the oven and cook for 10 minutes on one side. Take the sheet out of the oven and lightly drizzle more oil onto the bottom of it around the salmon cutlets. Let them cook for 5-10 more minutes and they’re done.
While the salmon is cooking, mix all the ingredients for the dipping sauce together. This can be made 3 days ahead and kept refrigerated.
Serve with the a generous squeeze of lime of top + the dipping sauce.
More salmon recipes:
Cedar plank grilled salmon
Salmon noodle salad with chilli lime dressing
Steamed clams and salmon in a tomato and white wine broth
Spicy salmon kebabs with a creamy cilantro yogurt sauce
Salmon cakes with jalapeno aioli