So, have I told you about my crazy $212.80 seafood experience? Read on..it's not as crazy as you might think. A month or so ago, I happened to be at one of my favorite grocery stores in Seattle, Central Market. All I really wanted was some milk and cheese. Before I even laid my foot in the store, a sign beckoned me - "Fresh Wild Alaskan King Salmon". Let me begin by saying that I am a HUGE salmon lover, and snob too. I only want the wild stuff. This farmed crap just will not do. I better be careful though, because we all might be forced to eat the farmed stuff if we keep consuming like we do. In any case, I'll enjoy the good stuff while it lasts (I hope I am offsetting my bad karma by all the good things I am doing for Mother Earth).
There are many varieties of Salmon in the Northwest - Sockeye, King, Coho, Chum. Of all these, King (aka Chinook) Salmon is my favorite. I love the deep orange flesh, the meatiness, the texture, and the flavor. It also happens to be the most expensive (you know, beer budget, champagne taste). Well, lets just say -- I had to get some. It was flown in just that morning from Alaska - it looked really really good. But I promise, I wasn't quite planning on buying the 'whole' fish. All 18 pounds of it. But it was such a good deal. And it was way cheaper to buy the whole thing instead of fillets. Lets do the math: $212.80/18, so that is approx. $12 per lb. Awesome! The friendly seafood guy did a beautiful job filleting the fish, and I carried my bounty home *very* carefully. Don't laugh but I actually strapped the huge package in A's car seat (uh oh!). Gosh, I'd love to have seen the look on the cop's face If I had been pulled over :-). In any case, I spent a good few hours that day cutting, wrapping, vaccuum sealing the fish, but all that had paid off. We have been eating lots of that yummy Salmon recently. Lucky us!
Back to dinner. I had some delicious Gai-Lan (aka Chinese Broccoli) in the CSA bin, so I really wanted to use that up when it was still so fresh. J cut out the Food and Drink section of the WSJ on June 8 for me - it had a feature on Summer Foods recipes courtesy of my absolute favorite local chef, Tom Douglas. This guy rocks!! I have never been dissappointed with any dish in any of his (now 5? ) Seattle restaurants. That is a great record considering I have eaten at his restaurants a lot. Tom had featured Sake poached Salmon, but alas, no Sake in the house (but fear not. I have saved this recipe for later). He paired it with Aromatic rice which sounded so so yummy, I had to make that. See here for the Aromatic rice recipe. Seeing the Asian turn dinner was taking, I decided to treat the salmon with a Miso Glaze. Oh so good. And a perfectly respectable way to treat a delicious (no make that 4 delicious) hunks of King salmon.
Miso Glazed Salmon
Serves 4 to 6
4 Salmon fillets, skin on (6 to 8 oz each)
3/4 cup Shiro Miso
1 tbsp soy sauce
4 tbsp Mirin
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp finely grated ginger
2 tsp olive oil
1. In a small glass bowl, combine all the ingredients above (except the salmon). Whisk to incorporate.
2. Smear the glaze over the salmon and refrigerate 1 hour (you could probably get away with another hour, but I would not go beyond that. You want to be able to taste the salmon, not just the marinade).
3. When ready to cook, turn the broiler on to high. With your fingers, scrape some of the excess marinade off the salmon fillets. Reserve the excess marinade.
4. Add the marinade to a small saucepan and thin with a bit of water. Cook 5 to 10 minutes to ensure that the raw marinade is cooked well (and safe to eat). You are looking for a sauce-like consistency. Thin with water if it is too thick.
5. Place the oven rack 4 to 5 inches from the heat elements. Place the salmon skin side up on a broiler pan lined with heavy-duty aluminum foil (will greatly assist in clean-up). Cook 5 minutes. If the skin begins to burn, lower the rack by an inch or so.
4. Gently flip the salmon and cook 3 - 4 minutes longer (depending on the thickness of your fillets and how you like your salmon cooked). We like ours a little pink on the inside. Be careful not to overcook the fish.
4. Top the salmon with a tablespoon or so of the sauce. Serve with your favorite vegetable and grains. We had ours with Aromatic Rice and stir-fried Gai-Lan.
Note: This would also work well with other meaty fish like Halibut, Sea Bass, Black Cod.