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We’ve heard about the heart-healthy benefits of fatty fish like salmon. They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce inflammation and lower blood pressure, and are a good source of essential vitamins and minerals. In grocery stores or even fish markets you’ve walked past icy shelves of layered pinks and oranges, pieces of salmon large and small that stare out at you, beckoning you to bring them home to enjoy the flavor bomb within.
But not all of us know how to cook a piece of salmon.
My husband is not a huge fish fan but he’ll eat the occassional salmon, provided it is flavored the right way, so I was happy to discover this ginger and soy glaze adapted from Food52 that’s easy to assemble. It’s savory, with the right level of lifted notes in the ginger and lime. If you can’t find mirin then use rice vinegar, or omit both entirely if you just want it simpler (white wine is another good alternative.) Red wine is not typically used in Asian-inspired cooking but it lends a richness to the glaze, so keep it in the mix. The key with salmon is to not overcook it, so make sure your oven is at a low setting (this recipe calls for a preheat to just 250 degrees F.)
Salmon can be pricy, so regard it as a once-every-so-often meal. Wild salmon, salmon caught in its natural environment, is superior to farmed as it contains fewer contaminants and boasts brighter, more pigmented flesh, but it if it is a budget-buster then stick with farmed.
You may find you have lots of leftover glaze, which is a boon because you can use it on pork chops, meatballs, scallops…you name it. The finished product is great served alongside a rice dish, couscous, or even some mashed potatoes and some sautéed garlicky greens. And don’t forget a glass of wine, perhaps a Pinot Noir (also heart-healthy.)
- 1 pound wild salmon, such as King, Sockeye, or Coho, with skin on
- 4 inch piece of ginger, grated
- 1 garlic clove, grated
- 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar, or mirin (rice wine)
- 1-2 tablespoons brown sugar (depending upon how sweet you like it)
- 1/2 lime, juiced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 scallion (green onion), minced or sliced for garnish
- Sesame seeds for garnish (optional)
- Combine the soy sauce, red wine, mirin, brown sugar, garlic and 3/4 of the ginger in a sauce pan. Cook for 8 minutes, until it reduces by half. Remove from heat and add the remaining ginger and the lime juice. Let cool.
- Rub the bottom of a baking dish with the olive oil and place the salmon in it, skin side down. Spoon a tablespoon of the glaze over the fish and wait 5 minutes. Spoon another tablespoon of the glaze over the fish.
- Bake for 10 minutes at 250 degrees. Spoon another tablespoon of glaze over the fish and return to the oven for another 10 minutes. Continue to do this until the fish is cooked to medium rare (gives a little more resistance when you push it).
- Garnish with the minced or sliced scallion and seseame seeds and serve.