Teriyaki Salmon

As I have spoken about here in the past, I have a deep affection for Asian flavours. Teriyaki is a supremely classic dish and deservedly so. Salty and umami from soy, sweet from sugar, rich from mirin, and balanced acidity from rice wine vinegar gives this sauce a real depth of flavour and ticks all the right taste bud boxes. While it works with chicken, or tofu, for me it’s with salmon that this dish really comes alive. Sufficiently simple and quick to enjoy as a mid week supper and yet elegant and sophisticated enough to serve at a dinner party, this is a meal that I keep going back to cooking. It delivers. Don’t be put off by some of the ingredients, such as the mirin and Japanese rice wine vinegar. They are readily available in most large supermarkets or Asian markets. If you still can’t source them, try a simple 2-2-2 marinade; 2tbsp light soy, 2tbsp dark soy, 2tbsp honey.

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Teriyaki Salmon

A few notes before you begin. It’s important to make sure that you start with a base of ginger, garlic, and an onion of some kind, preferably spring onion but thinly sliced shallot, red onion, or brown onion in that order of decreasing preference are acceptable too if you’re stuck. Beyond that what vegetables go into the stir-fry is entirely up to you but I think that greens like tenderstem broccoli, pak choi, mangetout, sugarsnap peas etc. work particularly well. Make sure that you don’t marinade the salmon for more than the recommended 20 minutes as the rice wine vinegar will begin to cure the salmon if left for longer. You can of course leave the vinegar out of the marinade and leave the salmon for 2-4 hours. The vinegar is an important part of the sauce though, so make sure you add it when reducing down the glaze later. This is important for balancing the flavours by bringing some acidity to counteract the overt saltiness of the soy and the sweetness of the honey and sugar. Lemon juice or white wine vinegar are possible substitutes if you don’t have rice wine vinegar.

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Marinade for 20 minutes

Many people are put off from cooking fish at home as they seem to lack confidence with it. If you are new to cooking fish or unsure for whatever reason, this is an excellent, pretty fail safe way of cooking it. The foil parcel not only locks in all the flavours, it also steams the fish in its own juices allowing for moist, succulent fish. It’s a method that you can try with other fish such as cod or hake, combining it with classic flavours like lemon, butter, and dill.

Finally, I have given two methods of recreating this dish here. One is the standard ingredient list followed by method. The other is a countdown time guideline incorporating my recipe to cook rice in the oven, which you can find by clicking hereWhen the 18 minutes are up and you remove the rice from the oven, place the salmon in straight away. About 5 minutes before the salmon is ready, start stir-frying the vegetables and everything will be cooked and come together at the same time. It’s the exact same recipe with just a convenient rice recipe and countdown included.

Ingredients

Serve 2

  • 2 x 190g approx. salmon fillets
  • 1tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled and sliced into matchsticks
  • 3 garlic cloves thinly sliced
  • 2 spring onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • Half celery stick thinly sliced into matchsticks (optional)
  • 100-150g approx. tenderstem broccoli
  • 100g approx. babycorn sliced in half lengthways
  • 100g approx. mangetout
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Stir Fry Vegetables

Marinade for salmon

  • 2tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1tbsp brown sugar
  • 1tbsp honey
  • 1tbsp mirin
  • 2tsp Japanese rice wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove crushed
  • 2 thin slices of ginger
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Salmon in teriyaki marinade

Sauce for stir-fry

  • 1-2tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1tbsp Shaoxing rice wine (or a dry sherry)
  • ½tsp cornflour

To Garnish

  • Sesame seeds
  • Sliced spring onion
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Add sliced spring onion to garnish

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C Fan, 400°F, Gas Mark 6
  2. Put all the marinade ingredients into a plastic bag or container and mix together. Place the salmon fillets in and marinade for 20 minutes.
  3. Remove salmon fillets from the marinade, reserving the marinade by sieving into a saucepan. Discard garlic clove and ginger slices.
  4. Lightly oil the centre of a piece of kitchen foil (shiny side up) with some vegetable oil. Place the salmon fillets in the centre, bring up the sides and make a pleat. Fold both ends so you end up with a foil parcel.
  5. Place them on a baking tray and cook in the oven for 12-15 minutes
  6. While the salmon is cooking put the reserved marinade in the saucepan onto a high heat and bring to the boil. Reduce by half and set aside.
  7. With about 5 minutes remaining on the salmon, put a wok on a high heat. When it begins to smoke add the vegetable oil. Add the ginger, garlic, and spring onion and stir-fry for about 30 seconds. Add the rest of the vegetables and continue to stir-fry for 2-3 minutes until tender. Add the sauce, mixing through to combine everything together.

To Serve

  • Remove the salmon from the foil and serve with the stir-fried vegetables and Thai jasmine rice. Spoon some of the reduced marinade glaze over the top of the salmon, and scatter with sesame seeds and spring onion.
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Scatter sesame seeds over the salmon to garnish

Count Down

45 minutes before serving

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C Fan, 400°F, Gas Mark 6
  2. Mix together all the marinade ingredients and place the salmon fillets in with the marinade sauce

35 Minutes before serving

  1. Put the rice in the oven – see recipe here
  2. Prep vegetables for stir fry

25 minutes before serving

  1. Remove salmon fillets from the marinade, reserving the marinade by sieving into a saucepan. Discard garlic clove and ginger slices.
  2. Lightly oil the centre of a piece of kitchen foil (shiny side up) using some vegetable oil
  3. Place the salmon fillets in the centre, bring up the sides and make a pleat. Fold both ends so you end up with a foil parcel. Place them on a baking tray

15 minutes before serving

  1. Remove rice from the oven and let sit
  2. Put the salmon into the oven

5 minutes

  1. Put the marinade on a high heat and bring to the boil, reduce by half. Set aside.
  2. Stirfry the vegetables.

To Serve

  1. As above
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Serve with Thai Jasmine Rice

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