There are oodles of Asian marinades and a myriad of ways to cook salmon. This one was sent to us in our weekly “Make it Tonight” subscription that I wrote about a few blogs ago. If you like big, bold flavors then this recipe is for you—I would not recommend for someone who tends toward the bland. Both the rice vinegar and the mirin impart a slight sweetness in this dish, while the quick roasted mushrooms add an earthy counterpoint. And the grated ginger and tamari kick it up a couple of notches. The real star of this salmon is the glaze.
As a side dish, Five-spice Red Cabbage Salad was suggested, but we were satisfied with just the salmon and mushroom mix for our weeknight meal. And I was highly suspicious of cooking the salmon for only 10 minutes—and I was right! After 10 minutes the fish was still very rare. So I checked after another 10 minutes, and added an additional 5 minutes on top of that to get the salmon to our liking, somewhere between medium and medium-rare. Part of the reason may have been that I cut our fillet into three pieces instead of the suggested four.
Mushrooms brushed with sesame oil on rimmed baking sheet.
After cooling a bit, the mushrooms are sliced down.
The completed mushroom, scallion and red pepper salad.
- 5 cups stemmed fresh shiitake mushrooms, or a mix of shiitakes and oyster mushrooms (about 1 lb. before trimming)
- 1-1/2 Tbs. toasted sesame oil
- 1/3 cup tamari or good-quality soy sauce
- 1/3 cup mirin
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1 Tbs. finely grated fresh ginger (use a rasp-style grater or a ginger grater)
- 1-1/2 tsp. cornstarch combined with 1-1/2 tsp. water
- 1-1/2 lb. salmon fillet, preferably center cut, skin and pin bones removed; cut into four portions
- 1/2 cup finely diced red bell pepper (about half a medium pepper)
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions (both white and green parts from about 1 small bunch)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F. In a large bowl, toss the mushrooms with 1 Tbs. of the sesame oil. Arrange the mushrooms in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until softened, 10 to 15 min. When cool enough to handle, slice the mushrooms into 1/4-inch slices and return them to the bowl.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the remaining 1/2 Tbs. sesame oil with the tamari (or soy sauce), mirin, rice vinegar, and ginger. Set aside 1/3 cup of this mixture and transfer the rest to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add the cornstarch-water mixture and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 30 seconds. Remove from the heat.
- Line a 9×13-inch baking dish with foil. Arrange the salmon portions in the dish, skin side down and evenly spaced. Using a pastry brush, thickly dab the tops and sides of the salmon with the warm glaze. Use all of the glaze and don’t worry if some of it slides off of the fish. Bake until the salmon is cooked to your liking, about 10 min. for medium rare; 12 min. to medium; 14 minutes for medium well. (Cut into the thickest part of a fillet to check.) While the salmon cooks, add the red pepper, scallions, and reserved soy mixture to the mushrooms. Toss to combine and season to taste with pepper.
- Drizzle the fish with any glaze that has pooled in the baking dish and serve topped with the mushroom salad.
A perfect dinner for Meatless Monday!
by Kate Hays from Fine Cooking