Teriyaki Broiled Salmon

This incredibly easy salmon recipe was by far the most glorious meal we've cooked so far in 2011.

We hardly ever eat fish. It's partly because of the cost, and partly due to a basic insecurity that we'll screw up cooking it and get angry at ourselves. But let me tell you: if you're fish-fearful too, I must encourage you to spring for a few salmon steaks and try this recipe yourself. It gave us a lot more confidence with cooking fish, and it will do the same for you.

Admittedly, this recipe isn't exactly I'd call laughably cheap--except if you were to compare it to a meal of commensurate quality in a restaurant. Yet it's so hilariously easy to make this dish, and it's so incredibly delicious and impressive, that I simply can't recommend it enough to readers. Enjoy!

Teriyaki Broiled Salmon
(adapted and modified slightly from Moosewood Cooks at Home)

6 4-ounce salmon steaks
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 teaspoons fresh ginger
1/2 rice wine or sherry
1 Tablespoon sugar
2-3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed

1) In a saucepan, bring the soy sauce and grated ginger to a boil. Strain it into a bowl, and discard the ginger. Then, in that same bowl, add the gingered soy sauce, wine, sugar and garlic.

2) Place fish in a separate bowl, pour the marinade over it, and let it sit for 30 minutes in the refrigerator, turning once or twice.

3) Cover a baking sheet with foil, place fish on the foil, and broil fish on a high flame for 4-5 minutes on one side, and 3-4 minutes on the other, or until fish is done to your liking.

Serves 5.

Recipe Notes:
1) There are a couple of subtleties to managing salmon. One is handling the fish while it's broiling, the other is knowing when they are sufficiently cooked. When handling salmon steaks, I flip them by gently using tongs in one hand and a wide spatula in the other. Obviously you want to limit the risk of breaking one of these beautiful pieces of fish into pieces.

2) How do you know when salmon steaks are done? Here's what we do: After about three minutes on the second side, we look for when the white material between the grain of the fish begins to firm up. You should be able to see what I mean in the photo below:

At that point, we will cut into one at its thickest point. If it's just slightly raw in the center, and the meat flakes and resists being speared with a fork, it's done.

3) Keep in mind two things: first, the fish will continue to cook after you remove it from heat. Second, you can always put a fish back on the broiler (or grill), but you cannot undo an overcooked piece of fish. Try to err on the side of caution and don't overcook these guys. A well-cooked piece of salmon should be firm, moist and flaky, never dry and overcooked.

4) Regarding Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home, the original source of this recipe, let me say just one thing: Get yourself a copy of this exceptional cookbook. You won't regret it.

Related Posts:
Paul Prudhomme's Barbecued Shrimp: The Most Glorious Meal So Far This Year
Shrimp in Garlic Sauce (Camarones Ajillo)
Shrimp Creole, Paul Prudhomme Style
Trusting Your Own Taste in Wine and Food

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Anonymous said...

This almost makes me want to eat salmon again after a pregnancy induced aversion.

I also agree fish isn't cheap, but at home it's cheaper than eating out. I bet that glaze would be great on some pork chops too (not that cheap either but hey . . .)

Daniel said...

Autumn, that's an exceptional idea. I bet this marinade would work with almost any meat, and in lots of different types of dishes. Thanks for the thoughts.


edj3 said...

Hey Daniel, you can also use a meat thermometer. We do that with a super simple salmon recipe in Joy of Cooking. You just let it get to 125 and it's perfectly done :-)

Joanne said...

I think the splurge on good salmon is so worth it every once in a while. Love how simple that sauce is!

Julia said...

Yeah, Teriyaki salmon is a staple for me too! Rather than flipping the salmon, I usually switch from broil to bake (top heat source to bottom heat source. You can also put your pan on the floor of the oven to help get that sear... as long as it's a metal pan and not pyrex.

You're right... it's not laughably cheap, but certainly a lot cheaper than eating at McDonalds.

chacha1 said...

I do salmon in my heavy copper-bottomed Cuisinart frying pan.

Heat 2 tbsp of butter, with a couple of drops of olive oil, on medium till starting to brown. Place the fish skin side down on the butter, and leave it alone till the flesh is pale halfway up.

Then roll the pan around to get more butter under the edges of the skin. Then carefully oh so carefully detach the skin from the pan with a thin spatula, tip the fish onto a broad turner, and slide it back into the pan. Season to taste (I generally add only a tiny bit of salt and paprika).

Use a sharp thin-bladed knife to shimmy the browned, crispy skin off, unless all diners like it (I don't so I give it all to DH). Cook another two minutes max. Add whatever warmed sauce you like.