Salmon has a pretty regular place on our dinner table. It’s good for us, the flavour of the fish pairs well with a lot of other ingredients, and it holds up well to a variety of cooking styles (not to mention that it’s pretty forgiving if you accidentally cook it too long!)
Of course, as with anything else, the more we eat salmon, the more we look for new and different ways to prepare it. A few nights ago, the salmon filets in our fridge and my craving for sushi-like flavours conspired to lead me toward creating something new, while still being quick and easy.
By combining a layer of wasabi paste with a crunchy panko crust, and serving the salmon with a ponzu soy reduction, I managed to fairly successfully duplicate the taste of a maki roll, while cutting out most of the carbs of a sushi dinner. Jenny decided to make a simple salad of thinly sliced fennel and orange segments, tossed with the juice of half an orange, a little olive oil and some vinegar, which was light, summery and complemented the main dish nicely.
Wasabi and Panko-Crusted Salmon with Ponzu Soy Reduction
For the salmon:
Rub one side of skinless salmon filets with a thin layer of wasabi paste.
Coat the wasabi-rubbed side with a generous amount of panko bread crumbs, pressing the panko gently into the salmon to ensure it sticks well.
Coat a pan with a thin layer of olive oil, and heat over medium-high heat for several minutes. When pan is hot, place salmon filets panko side down, and cook about four minutes, until panko starts to brown and develop a nice crust. Flip over and cook another three or four minutes.
For the reduction:
Add 1/3 cup of ponzu soy sauce, 1/3 cup of fresh lemon juice, 1/3 cup of gin and the zest of half a lemon to a small sauce pot over medium-high heat. Allow liquid to come to a gentle boil, then turn heat down to low and simmer, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes or until the amount of liquid has reduced by at least a third. (Resist the urge to walk away – keep watching and stirring regularly, in case the liquid starts to boil again and you’re left with a sticky, useless mess).
Plate the salmon and top with a drizzle of the ponzu soy reduction. Serve alongside the fennel-orange salad.