Asian Salmon

With the beginning of a new year comes the inevitable push for a healthier diet: more fruits and vegetables, less junk food, exercise, and all the rest. One of the issues that come along with the goal of fostering a healthier lifestyle is finding recipes that are also flavorful. One of my go-to recipes is a riff on teriyaki salmon. While there is sugar in the teriyaki sauce, it contains other flavorful ingredients that pack tons of flavor into the salmon (or chicken, shrimp, or pork). The recipe begins with a marinade. Most of the marinade doesn’t end up being consumed, so the sugar is minimal. I pair the salmon with roasted vegetables, which can be prepared on the same tray as the fish, depending on how many servings you intend to make. Typically, I will use asparagus, green beans, brussels sprouts, or broccoli, either individually or mixed. It is delicious with some red bell pepper, carrots, and onions if you like some color and variety. The sky is the limit as far as variations go.

 

¼ cup soy sauce

¼ cup sake

¼ mirin

1/8 cup brown sugar

1 tsp fresh minced ginger

1 tsp fresh minced garlic

1 tsp chili paste

 

4-inch salmon filet (should serve two)

2-3 heads of broccoli

1 carrot

1 small onion

1 red bell pepper

Sesame seeds

Vegetable oil

Sesame oil

Salt and pepper

 

The first step is to combine the soy sauce, sake, mirin, and brown sugar in a small saucepan, over medium heat. After the liquid comes to a boil, add the ginger, garlic, and chili paste. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. In a shallow dish or bowl, pour in the marinade and place the salmon in meat side down. Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes and up to 3 hours. The next step is to prepare the vegetables. Cut the broccoli into small pieces, leaving an inch or so of stem. The pieces should be about a ½ inch in thickness generally. The goal is to allow for relatively quick cooking. Cut the bell pepper into ½ inch strips. The onion and carrot should be cut into ¼ inch slices. Combine all of the vegetables in a bowl and put in 2 tbsps. of vegetable oil, 1 tsp of sesame oil, salt, and pepper, and toss to evenly coat. This will allow for better caramelization of the vegetables.

Preheat an oven to 450 degrees. On a baking tray spread a tbsp. of oil in the middle of a tray, remove the salmon from the marinade, and place skin side down. Arrange the vegetables around the salmon on the tray. Sprinkle the salmon and veggies with sesame seeds. Dress the veggies with some of the marinade if you like, a couple tbsps. Place in the oven and roast for 15 to 20 minutes.

 

 

 

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