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Seared Asian Salmon “Scallops” with Cucumber and Radish

Posted Feb 19 2010 12:00am

Yield: 4 servings

This delicate fish dish uses the traditional Asian flavors of soy, ginger and toasted sesame oil for a mildly-flavored and easy to make entree. A raw salad of cucumber and radish is served on the side.

Cooking Tip: Slice fish fillets before cooking to get a smooth, clean cut. Use the sharpest knife you have, preferably a slicing knife, and try to complete the movement in one long slice, verses “sawing” at the fish that will create rough, jagged edges. Slicing at a diagonal is an attractive cut and will make the portion look bigger.

Cooking Tip: When a recipe calls for “toasted” sesame oil, it’s imperative that you actually use toasted sesame versus plain. The toasted oil is what imparts the dish with a traditional Asian flavor that cannot be replicated with plain oil. Although I generally do not recommend toasted nuts, seeds and oils, toasted sesame oil is used in small quantities and is a staple pantry item for Asian cooking.

2 tablespoons tamari soy sauce
1 tablespoon mirin (Asian seasoning wine)
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon fresh minced or grated ginger
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 pound salmon fillet, skin on
1-2 tablespoons ghee or sesame oil (for searing)
Black sesame seeds (for garnish)

2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
1 small shallot, minced
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
Pinch salt
1 cucumber, optionally peeled, thinly sliced
4 radishes, thinly sliced

In a wide shallow dish, combine the tamari, mirin, honey, ginger and oil. With a thin, sharp knife, slice the salmon into four broad slices. Place the slices into the marinade, flesh-side down. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, up to several hours.

Whisk the vinegar, honey, shallot, oil and salt in a medium bowl. Add the sliced cucumber and radishes, and let marinate for 30-60 minutes.

To sear the fish, heat the ghee or oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Place the fillets into the pan, flesh-side down, and cook for 2 minutes. Carefully flip and cook for an additional 3 minutes.

Transfer the fish to a decorative platter and top with a few of the cucumber and radish slices. Garnish with a sprinkling of black sesame seeds. Serve the remaining salad on the side.

Food photos by Jackson D. Carson

©2010. Alison Anton. All rights reserved.

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