Miso, lime juice take salmon into sum­mer

The Hamilton Spectator - - FOOD - MELISSA D’ARA­BIAN

Salmon sea­son has ar­rived, and the mar­kets are brim­ming with gor­geous wild va­ri­eties like King Salmon and Coho, which are per­fect for grilling, poach­ing or even sim­ply cook­ing in a lightly-oiled pan.

With sum­mer here, fire up the bar­be­cue and mas­ter the grilled salmon — it’s an in­cred­i­bly ver­sa­tile blank can­vas that you can use in ev­ery­thing from light sal­ads to heady cur­ries to spicy tacos.

And grilling salmon is quite easy, as long as you fol­low the rule to pull it off the grill just a minute be­fore you think it’s ac­tu­ally done.

Coat salmon fil­lets with a lit­tle oil, salt and pep­per, and cook un­til the salmon is al­most opaque; “cook un­til flaky” is bad ad­vice that will leave your salmon over­cooked and strong-flavoured.

One of our sum­mer­time favourites is Easy Sum­mer Miso Salmon, which pairs miso with re­fresh­ing lime juice to cre­ate some­thing be­tween a creamy sauce and a cit­rus vi­nai­grette.

Miso, or fer­mented soy bean paste, adds a ton of savoury flavour (“umami”) and depth, while the lime juice keeps the recipe bright and sum­mery.

There’s gar­lic and ginger for flavour, but the shal­lot keeps the flavour more Cal­i­for­nian than Asian, al­though you could cer­tainly add soy sauce, mirin (Ja­panese wine) and chopped cilantro if you wanted to.

Serve with brown rice, grilled veg­gies or a bunch of veg­etable “noo­dles” for a fill­ing and healthy sum­mer sup­per.

Miso paste comes in var­i­ous colours, with white and yel­low be­ing the mildest va­ri­eties, and per­haps the most widely avail­able ones at the lo­cal su­per­mar­ket.

Keep a con­tainer of miso in the fridge (it lasts for months), and you can try adding a spoon­ful to soups, stews, dress­ings and dips, or even just stir it into a cup of boil­ing wa­ter and add a splash of soy sauce and rice vine­gar for a warm­ing quick broth.

Miso is low in calo­ries, and of­fers a lit­tle protein and a smat­ter­ing of min­er­als, in­clud­ing sodium, so you won’t likely need ad­di­tional salt when us­ing miso paste.

Easy Sum­mer Miso Salmon MAKES 6 SERV­INGS

Salmon: 1½ pounds wild Alaskan salmon fil­let, such as King or Coho 1 tea­spoon neu­tral oil, like olive or grape­seed ¼ tsp salt ¼ tsp pep­per Sauce: 1 ta­ble­spoon olive oil 2 shal­lots, minced 2 cloves gar­lic, chopped 1 tsp fresh minced ginger 3 tbsp white miso paste 1 tsp raw honey ¼ cup lime juice (or lemon juice) 3-4 tbsp wa­ter 1 tbsp Di­jon mus­tard ¼ tsp freshly ground black pep­per

Start to fin­ish: 20 min­utes Heat the grill to medium and lightly oil the grates.

Rub the salmon all over with the olive oil, and sprin­kle with the salt and pep­per.

Cook the salmon flesh side down first (skin side up), un­til al­most cooked through, about seven to 10 min­utes to­tal, flip­ping half­way through. (In­ter­nal tem­per­a­ture will be about 140 F, and it will rise to 145 as it rests.)

Mean­while, make the sauce (or can be made in ad­vance): heat the olive oil over medium heat in a small sauté pan and cook the shal­lots un­til ten­der, about three min­utes. (Sprin­kle with a lit­tle splash of wa­ter if needed to keep shal­lots from brown­ing.) Add the ginger and gar­lic and cook an­other minute. Add the miso paste and mix with a wooden spoon for an­other minute or two, or un­til very fra­grant and the miso paste be­gins to deepen a lit­tle in colour.

Re­move from heat, cool a minute, and then place in the blender with the honey, lime juice, wa­ter, mus­tard and black pep­per and blend un­til smooth. Add ex­tra wa­ter if needed. Spoon the miso sauce onto the hot salmon and serve with brown rice or veg­gies.

NOTE: The sauce can be made into a salad dress­ing by thin­ning with more wa­ter and lime juice.

Per serv­ing: 220 calo­ries (94 from fat); 10 grams fat (2 g sat­u­rated; 0 g trans fats); 62 mil­ligrams choles­terol; 443 mg sodium; 7 g car­bo­hy­drate; 0 g fi­bre; 3 g su­gar; 23 g protein.

MELISSA D’ARA­BIAN, THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

This recipe pairs miso (fer­mented soy bean paste) with re­fresh­ing lime juice to cre­ate some­thing be­tween a creamy sauce and a cit­rus vi­nai­grette.

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