January 26, 2009

Salmon fillets are easy to work with. If you’re in a hurry or nervous about handling sea creatures, this fish is for you. Pretty in pink, its sturdy in both texture and flavor. Use my recipe and you’ll have a tasty main course that’s easy to make.

Serving possibilities are endless…

Try this salmon with a scoop of rice or quinoa, or a bowl of noodles.

Sliver it and toss some flavorful chunks into a green salad or pasta dish.

Besides the fish, all you need is a sweet, thick, dark brown hoisin sauce. To be honest, there’s not a single healthy thing about hoisin. This brown goo is mostly sugar lolling around in fermented bean paste — and it’s a Chinese kitchen staple. I grew up with the Lee Kum Kee brand. A 14-ounce jar sells for $1.89 at my local Asian market.

You can also get it online. And, many major supermarkets carry hoisin sauce in their ethnic food sections. If you can’t find it, try substituting teriyaki sauce or any sauce that’s got body and enough sugar in it to carmelize during the the broiling process. As long as it’s not runny, it should work fine.

That’s all I have to say about the ingredients for this dish. Beyond that, the directions are simple. Okay. Here we go:

Place raw salmon fillet on baking pan. Smear with hoisin sauce.

(Note: Broiling gets messy. I line my baking pan with aluminum foil. Makes for easier cleanup later.)

Preheat broiler then broil salmon until sauce chars to a burnt black. Stick knife in thickest part of the fillet to check for done-ness.

Slice fillet into serving portions. You’re done!

Doesn’t this look good?

If you can’t broil, baking your salmon at a high temperature works too. So does pan frying your salmon in a saucepan — let it cook until crusty on the bottom, then flip it over and cook some more, until the sauce side gets crusty too. Grilling is yet another option (although it can really stink up your grill).

No matter what method you use, keep checking your salmon every five minutes or so. You want it done but not dry. Once, I forgot to check my salmon and it seemed to be burned to a black crisp. But when I sliced, it, the fish was moist and delicious.