Adapted from America's Test Kitchen's Menu Cookbook.
- Servings: 4.
I easily get tired of eating salmon. I know it's good for us and it's often on sale, but there's something about its familiar meaty sweetness that can easily feel like I'm eating the same thing over and over again.
But this recipe will make you fall in love with salmon all over again. It's from America's Test Kitchen's The Menu Cookbook (which I think is the best book they've ever done, and they do many excellent cookbooks) as the centerpiece of a menu that includes edamame with sea salt, sesame sushi rice, cucumber, radish and watercress salad, and sake-stewed cherries on vanilla ice cream.
While this recipe is absolutely impressive enough for company, when I made it, my simpler menu was for a weeknight supper. I served the fish with plain basmati rice and a crispy salad of baby English cucumber, radishes, and scallion, all sliced very thin on my mandolin. I dressed the salad with a quick dressing of salty fish sauce, lime juice, rice wine vinegar and canola oil that complimented the sweet miso glaze on the fish.
I've included the original instruction to marinade the fish for 5-to-24-hours, but the first time I made this recipe I only had 3 hours before I needed to start cooking and the result was still outstanding and extremely flavorful. Also, if you are familiar with the rather famous black cod served at the Nobu restaurants, you'll see some similarities.
The most important part of making this dish is buying excellent salmon. Look for a center cut fillet, about 1 1/2 inches thick, and with the skin left on.
- 3/4 cup white miso
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup sake
- 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger (use your Microplane rasper)
- 1 pound skin-on salmon fillet, about 1 1/2 inches thick
- Whisk the miso, sugar, sake, and ginger in a large measuring cup to dissolve the sugar and the miso; it will form a thick, loose paste.
- Cut the salmon fillet into 4 equal pieces and place in a 1-gallon zipper-lock plastic bag. Pour the marinade into the bag; seal it, pressing out as much air as possible. Place the bag in a bowl (in case there's leakage) and refrigerate for at least 5 hours and up to 24-hours, flipping the bag occasionally to make sure the fish marinates evenly.
- Adjust your oven rack to 6 to 8 inches from the broiler heat source. Line a rimmed sheet pan or your broiler pan with aluminum foil. Top with a rack or the slotted broiler pan top.
- Remove the fish from the marinade, using your fingers to wipe off most of what stays on the fish. Lay the pieces on the rack or broiler pan top, skin side down. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the marinade on top of each piece of fish and spread in a thin coating; discard any remaining marinade.
- Broil the salmon until the center is still translucent when checked with the tip of a paring knife and registers 125 degrees for medium-rare, about 7 to 10 minutes.
- Transfer the salmon to a platter or individual plates and serve.
Cucumber and Radish Salad
4 small English (seedless) or Kirby cucumbers, peeled
10 to 12 radishes, washed and trimmed
4 to 6 scallions, trimmed of all but the white and light green parts
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (about 1 lime)
1 tablespoon canola oil
- Using a mandolin or Japanese slicer, slice the cucumbers and radishes into uniform and very thin slices. Toss together in a serving bowl. Your goal is to have about 3 cups in total.
- Using a knife, slice the scallions into very thin slices. Add to the cucumbers and radishes and toss.
- In a small bowl combine the fish sauce, rice wine vinegar, lime juice and canola oil. Whisk to combine and just before serving, pour over the sliced vegetables and toss. Don't dress in advance or else the salt in the fish sauce will draw out moisture in the cucumbers and make the salad watery.
- Serve with the salmon and basmati rice.