Sunday, July 17 2005

Salmon teriyaki

I’ve been looking at Japanese cookbooks recently. The first one I bought, 英語でつくる和食, is fun to read, since it puts both the original Japanese recipe and an English translation on facing pages. After trying out a few things, however, I’ve come to suspect that the English versions were never tested by people who only spoke English.

So, a few days ago I picked up The Japanese Kitchen, which is meticulously organized by ingredient, and gives sample recipes for each. One of the examples for soy sauce was salmon teriyaki, with homemade teriyaki sauce.

Most teriyaki dishes I’ve had have been pretty awful, and the sauce had a lot to do with that. Obviously, they weren’t using homemade. If you have access to a gourmet or asian grocery store, you should be able to find what you need:

  • 3 parts soy sauce
  • 3 parts sake
  • 3 parts mirin (sweet cooking sake)
  • 1 part granulated sugar

(comparing this to the list of ingredients on a few bottles of commercial sauce explained a lot) Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Lower the heat, and simmer until the sauce has reduced by about 25%. Let cool.

Making the salmon isn’t any harder. Heat the oven to 350°. Cover a baking sheet with foil, put a wire rack on it, and lay the salmon fillets (4-6 ounces each) skin-side down on the rack. Baste with the sauce, put it into the oven for five minutes. Repeat until your trusty digital thermometer reads about 145°. Pour some more sauce on the fillets and serve.

I might try grilling them next time, although that’s risky on my nuclear Weber. I will try grilled teriyaki beef kabobs with this sauce. Maybe that’s Monday night’s dinner…