Let me preface this review with the words "I HATE SALMON!". Really, I only ever liked smoked salmon with tons of red onion, capers and cream cheese on a bagel and even then, the other flavors had to overwhelm it to get it down. But, in an effort to eat more superfoods, and because this had chili and garlic and sake, three of my favorite ingredients to cook with, I tried it and one word -- DELICIOUS! I cannot get enough of the sweet/tangy sauce and how it takes the "salmonness" out of the salmon leaving the fish tasting mild and flaky and the texture wasn't at all the "slimy" texture I've always equated with salmon -- maybe something to do with the curing. Just two recipe adjustments. I cut both in salt/sugar rub and in marinade times in half because I was pressed for time. Instead of baking, I just put a lid on the pan and kept reducing, reducing, reducing the liquid, adding water to keep it "poach/steaming.". I think this made my glaze much richer, which may be why I liked it so much.
Quick-Cured Sake Salmon with Quinoa
Sake's nutty flavor complements the quinoa and helps tenderize the salmon. This method is a quick way to cure the fish.
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 3 ounces salmon and about 3/4 cup quinoa)
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Amount per serving
- Calories: 519
- Calories from fat: 23%
- Fat: 13.5g
- Saturated fat: 2.9g
- Monounsaturated fat: 6.3g
- Polyunsaturated fat: 3.4g
- Protein: 30.3g
- Carbohydrate: 41.7g
- Fiber: 4g
- Cholesterol: 60mg
- Iron: 3.4mg
- Sodium: 717mg
- Calcium: 53mg
- 1 (1-pound) salmon fillet
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons sugar, divided
- 1 1/2 cups sake, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon chili paste
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
- 1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
- 1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
- 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- Place salmon, skin side down, on a plate. Combine 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1 teaspoon sugar; rub salt mixture evenly over skinned sides of salmon. Cover with plastic wrap; chill 2 hours.
- Remove plastic wrap from salmon. Rinse salmon under cold water; pat dry with paper towel. Combine 1 cup sake, remaining 1 teaspoon sugar, chili paste, and garlic in a zip-top plastic bag. Add salmon; seal and marinate in refrigerator 1 hour, turning occasionally.
- Place quinoa in a fine sieve; place sieve in a large bowl. Cover quinoa with water. Using your hands, rub grains together for 30 seconds; rinse and drain. Repeat procedure twice. Drain well.
- Heat butter and 1 teaspoon olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until butter melts. Add pepper, carrot, and onion to pan; sauté 2 minutes or until onion is tender. Add quinoa; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in 1 cup water, remaining 1/2 cup sake, juice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender. Remove from heat; fluff with a fork. Stir in parsley. Keep warm.
- Preheat oven to 450°.
- Remove salmon from bag, reserving marinade. Place marinade in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, and cook until reduced to 2 tablespoons (about 7 minutes).
- Brush skinned sides of salmon with remaining 1/2 teaspoon oil. Heat an oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Add salmon to pan, skin side up; cook 3 minutes or until golden brown. Turn salmon over, and baste with reduced marinade. Place pan in oven, and bake at 450° for 5 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Serve immediately with quinoa.
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