We finish our journey into the Avatar universe with a stop in Zaofu to visit Sue Beifong and her family (much to Lynn’s displeasure). I’ve always wanted to recreate the fascinating and delicious sounding meal Sue treated Team Avatar to upon their arrival to the city: seared elephant koi with a hibiscus root salad and ginger infused pea tendril.
Speaking of Zaofu: of all the places we’ve witnessed in Avatar, the metal clan city most certainly is the coolest destination. With its metal petal protection, it’s not only the most secure city in the world, but definitely the prettiest too. I’ve day dreamed about how much fun it would have been to live in this city.
Anyways…BACK TO THE THING
Of course, I had to get a little creative when it came to these recipes and I had to work with what is actually available in the real world. Unfortunately for us non-benders, elephant koi don’t actually exist, so I used salmon in its place. As for the hibiscus root salad and ginger infused pea tendril, I went for actually edible, close-enough-to-the-picture counterparts to what is seen in the show: an orchid blossom salad and a ginger infused baked potato with snap peas. Close enough, right?
Using some fresh skin-on salmon and a few other simple ingredients like spicy ginger sauce, mustard, and mayonnaise, I was able to recreate the delicacy as (almost) seen in Zaofu.
Begin by whisking together the mayonnaise, ginger sauce, and mustard to create a simple but spicy tartar-type sauce.
Then sear the salmon, skin side down, for 2-3 minutes or until the skin has browned and become crispy. Season the fish with salt and pepper. If you were an earth bender, you’d likely be cooking this dish in some form of clay pot – and if you were lucky enough to be a lava bender, you could probably provide your own heat source for the dish too!
When the skin is nice and crispy, flip the fish and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Let the salmon rest on a plate for a few minutes prior to serving to really enhance the natural flavors of the fish. The salmon should flake when gently touched with a fork and should be just past translucency. Do some fancy spoon-work on metal plates if you are true to Zaofu’s metal style. I garnished my seared salmon with a sprig of fresh dill.
I like to think Korra and Asami returned to Zaofu at some point in their lives to visit with Sue, Opal, and the rest of the metal clan. With the series now over and Korrasami is official, we only have the graphic novels to look forward to. But my hope is that these recipes will keep the spirit of Avatar alive in us all!
Seared Elephant Koi | Legend of Korra Inspired Recipes
- Whisk together the mustard, mayonnaise, and spicy ginger sauce. Let the sauce chill while preparing the salmon.
- Season the salmon with salt and pepper. Heat a tablespoon of hot in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the salmon to the pan skin side down. Sear the salmon for 2-3 minutes or until the skin is crispy and starting to brown. Flip the fish and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes or until the fish is cooked through.
- Let the salmon rest for a few minutes prior to serving. Garnish with fresh dill and serve to your favorite Avatar!