Notes: This striking dish comes from chef Matt Mulder, formerly of Di Sopra (upstairs at the Fiddlehead in Juneau, Alaska). Black rice, packaged by Lotus Foods under the name "Forbidden Rice," is sold in the Asian-foods section of well-stocked supermarkets and in Asian grocery stores (as is wasabi powder).
1 tablespoon Asian (toasted) sesame oil
1 ripe mango (1 to 1 1/4 lb.), pitted, peeled, and coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
About 1/4 cup dry white wine (optional)
4 jasmine tea bags
1 cup black or jasmine rice (see notes)
About 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 tablespoons wasabi powder (see notes)
1 tablespoon honey
1 1/3 pounds boned, skinned wild salmon fillet, cut into four equal pieces
2 teaspoons olive oil
Chopped fresh cilantro or parsley (optional)
How to Make It
Pour sesame oil into a 10- to 12-inch ovenproof frying pan over medium heat. When hot, add mango and stir often just until heated through, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Scrape into a blender and add vinegar; whirl until very smooth, then whirl in enough white wine or water to give mixture a very thin, pourable consistency (about 1/4 cup). Pour sauce into a small, microwave-safe pitcher. Wipe pan clean.
In a 3- to 4-quart pan, combine 2 cups water and the tea bags; bring to a boil over high heat. Remove tea bags and add rice and 1/2 teaspoon salt; stir, cover, and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until rice is tender to bite, 45 to 55 minutes (about 20 minutes for jasmine rice).
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix 2 1/2 tablespoons water, wasabi powder, and honey until blended. Rinse and dry salmon.
Pour olive oil into the 10- to 12-inch ovenproof frying pan over medium-high heat. When hot, lay salmon pieces in pan, skinned side down; cook, turning once with a wide spatula, until lightly browned on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes total. Remove pan from heat and brush wasabi-honey mixture over tops of salmon pieces, using it all.
Transfer pan with salmon to a 350° regular or convection oven. Bake just until fish is opaque but still moist-looking in center of thickest part (cut to test), 7 to 10 minutes.
Heat mango sauce in a microwave oven at full power (100%), stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes total. Transfer a piece of salmon to each of four warmed plates; spoon rice equally alongside (or set salmon on rice). Drizzle mango purée around salmon and rice. Garnish with chopped cilantro, if desired, and add more salt to taste.
Di Sopra, Juneau, Alaska
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I like the concept of this recipe, but the instructions for the wasabi sauce are *way* off. If you make it as written, you end up with a thick paste. If you put all of that paste on the fish, as the recipe tells you to, the wasabi is overpowering. I scraped all the paste off after cooking the fish, and the residual wasabi was just enough to flavor the fish. Judging by the picture, you should end up with more of a liquid sauce than a paste. I would reduce the ratio of wasabi to water in the future.
I also plan to salt and pepper the fish before cooking.
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