Confit Salmon in Ginger Juice

Purity is an important part of Japanese culture, and the cleanliness of this dish reflects that. We eat porridge for breakfast and they eat salmon, ginger and salty soy: ours is for the energy levels, but this, first thing in the morning, definitely feels like brain food.

Ingredients

  • Around 600ml rapeseed/light olive oil/grapeseed oil (or enough to submerge your salmon pieces)
  • 300g piece of salmon, from the head end, skin on and pinboned
  • 150g/5oz ginger, washed and peel left on
  • 2 tablespoons sake
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • A small handful of alfalfa sprouts
  • ½ punnet of mustard cress
  • 50g salmon eggs

Method

  1. Warm the oil in a shallow pan/small frying pan (about 20cm/8 inches across) over a medium heat: you’re looking for the point at which a corner of bread fizzles with small bubbles but nothing explosive happens when you drop it in. From there turn the oil down a bit and wait a couple of minutes so that the temperature stabilises (for those with thermometers, it’ll be around 110°C/230°F).
  2. Halve the salmon along both axes to make 4 squarish blocks, then slide them into the oil, skin-side down. They should sink and bubble gently but you don’t want them to colour at all. Cook for 3 minutes, then gently lift them out and drain on kitchen paper.
  3. Using the big holes, grate the ginger into a bowl. Pick up half of it, squeeze the fibres over a little bowl to extract the juice, and once you’ve squeezed the life out of it do the same with the other half – it should produce 3-4 tablespoons of juice (you can keep the squeezed solids to make tea/toddies). Mix the ginger juice with the sake, mirin and soy.
  4. When the salmon has cooled to room temperature, peel off the skin. Spoon the sauce onto 4 plates, and put a piece of fish on each. Mix together the alfalfa and mustard cress, and put a small pile onto each of the fish pieces. Share the salmon eggs between the 4 plates and serve the whole thing at room temperature.

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