Teriyaki Salmon with Mirin Cucumber Salad

Yikes, I sort of fell of the face of the earth there for a week!  Sorry for the massive delay in posting, life is quite busy at the moment.  I never realized how time consuming  it is to search for a job!  Despite the lack of blogging, there is certainly NOT a lack of cooking happening here at Casa Mama Cheater Bite.  I can’t wait to share some of the amazing dinners and desserts that have been served up in the past several weeks.  We will start today with the most fabulous preparation of salmon that I have ever tasted.

This is the stand by salmon recipe of my Mum; she even made a giant portion of it to serve at my wedding shower (along with many other options from family and friends as well) and it was a smashing hit.  My mouth waters just thinking about it.  Usually when I think of teriyaki dishes I think of a pretty heavy sauce that can be a bit too sweet.  Well, not this dish…the sauce is light but packs a massive amount of flavor.  The crunchy cucumber salad is a terrific counterpoint to the richness of the salmon…you really do not need to serve anything else, but it pairs nicely with a green bean and shrimp salad (post to come soon).

The key to this dish is two-fold: buy a fantastic quality center cut salmon fillet and continuously glaze the fish with the marinade as it cooks.  If you live in Pittsburgh, you absolutely MUST buy your fish at the Penn Avenue Fish Company.  Their quality cannot be matched anywhere in this city, not even at Whole Foods or any other fish place in the Strip.

Alright, let’s get down to business…

You will need:
1 cup soy sauce
juice & zest of 2 oranges
3 tablespoons brown sugar
4 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
2 pounds salmon, center cut and skinless (or you can do individual 6 oz fillets)

Combine the soy sauce, orange juice and zest, brown sugar, garlic and ginger in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil over high heat and simmer slowly until reduced by half or syrupy, about 15 minutes.  Remove from heat, stir in the sesame seeds and let cool.  Transfer to a baking dish (or large plastic bag) add the salmon, turn to coat and marinate for at least one hour.  We usually let it marinate in the bag overnight.

When you are ready to cook, prepare your grill or preheat the broiler.  If grilling, spray the grates with nonstick cooking spray. G rill the salmon over high heat, or broil, turning once, until the flesh is slightly charred, about 4 minutes per side.  Brush the fish with the remaining teriyaki sauce as it cooks.  The fish will be medium-rare to medium.  If you cooked one large piece of fish, place on a platter with a serving fork.  The fish is perfectly flaky and tender to serve easily.  Garnish with the mirin cucumber salad.

Mirin Cucumber Salad:
1 1/2 teaspoons wasabi powder
1 tablespoon mirin (Japanese sweet sake)
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
salt & pepper
2 large English cucumbers, julienned

Combine wasabi powder and mirin in a medium bowl and mix to make a paste.  Whisk in the vinegar and sugar.  Whisk in oil and season with salt and pepper, and adjust seasonings accordingly.  About 10 minutes before serving the fish, toss with the cucumbers to coat completely in the dressing.  Serve on top of the fish.

*Note:  Always get the English cucumbers, as they are seedless.  Also, many mandolines julienne quite well, which makes getting the cucumbers in those teeny tiny slices isn’t so time consuming.  Also, when buying the salmon, you want a center cut because it will be the most tender.  If you get pieces closer to the tail, it is tougher and cooks faster, thus burns more easily!

Time: about 45 minutes (plus 1+ hour of marinating time)
Serves: 4 people
From: Ming Tsai’s Blue Ginger

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  1. Posted August 8, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    Did I already tell you I love the new site? Because I do! Also, my husband loves fish and I never know what to do with it in the kitchen. So glad to have this to try.

  2. Amanda
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    This looks so good! I might make this for Joe tonight!!!

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  • By Restaurant Review: Penn Avenue Fish Market on October 7, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    […] – as Summer 2011 will now be known – I mentioned a couple of times (well, at least here) about how Penn Avenue Fish Company rocks my world.  The reason my love for this place is so […]

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