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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sensei's Succulent Salmon

The Ingredients (for two people):
  • 0.5 kg (or 1 lb) of salmon fillet, at least 2.5 cm (or 1 in) thick in the center
  • 1 lemon
  • 15 ml (or ½ Tbsp) of grated, fresh young ginger
  • 15 ml (or ½ Tbsp) of pressed or grated garlic
  • 60 ml (or 2 Tbsp) of sushi ginger or Chinese pickled ginger
  • 30 ml (or 1 Tbsp) of soy sauce
  • Cooking grade olive oil
The Method:
  1. Set the oven to  (or 350°F).
  2. Spray or spread olive oil thinly over a piece of aluminum foil that is large enough to wrap around the fillet.
  3. Wash then slice the lemon thinly, and place the slices on the foil. Use enough slices to make an area approximately the size of the fillet.
  4. Wash the salmon and pat dry with paper towels.
  5. Place the fillet on top of the lemon slices.
  6. Slice the pickled ginger into shreds and mix with the fresh ginger and garlic.
  7. Spread the ginger mixture thinly across the surface of the fillet.
  8. Drizzle the soy sauce over the fillet.
  9. Spray or drizzle the olive oil over the fillet.
  10. Close and crimp the foil around the seasoned fillet.
  11. Place the foil-wrapped fillet in the oven and set a timer for 15 min.
  12. After 15 min, open the foil and check the salmon. It is done when the salmon has just begun to render its fat—white globules will appear on the surface of the fillet—and inside the thickest part of the fillet will still be a bright pink.

The Story:
My husband and son used to belong to a dojo where they trained in the graceful and nonagressive martial art of aikido (with ki, it must be added). Occasionally the dojo members would organize a potluck dinner party or barbecue, to which non-ki family members were invited. Each time I attended, the sensei would arrive with a few aluminum foil packets, which he would put on the barbecue or in the oven. When he judged them ready he would open the foil, and inside each was a large piece of fish, perfectly cooked, with seasoning and sometimes a vegetable included in the packet. For me, it was always the highlight of the meal to taste sensei's foil-pouch fish.

The procedure is simple, there are any number of variations, but the one that my husband most often asks for is the recipe above.

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