Monday, December 27, 2010

Quick and Tasty - Teriyaki Salmon

To state the obvious, I like to eat good, tasty food. However working full-time often means that on week-nights we both arrive home tired and not particularly wanting to cook, or we run out of time to pull something together for lunch of a morning.

The busy festive season has reminded me how important it is to have a couple of quick, delicious meals up my sleeve that I can whip up in a short amount of time to get me through meals over a couple of days. So this will be the first in (another) occasional series, 'quick and tasty', the criteria being a dish that can be made ahead quickly, keep for a couple of days and take more or less 30 minutes to make (by that I mean you're not standing around prepping food for more than 30 minutes, but by marinating or other like process may stretch the time out longer, and you can go off and do something else).

This recipe is simple. It is great for a dinner or lunch served with a salad and some rice (if you have the time to cook it). Make it ahead, perhaps on a Sunday afternoon, to give yourself a couple of lunches or mid-week dinners that require minimal preparation.

400-500g salmon (Ask your fishmonger to cut the fillet into 1.5-2cm wide pieces. You should be able to get about 6 pieces)

Teriyaki sauce
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup mirin*
2 tbsp sugar

Combine all sauce ingredients in a saucepan. Stir the mixture well. Put it on medium heat and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to low and simmer for a couple of minutes. Stop the heat and cool the mixture (Sauce can be stored sauce in a clean bottle in the refrigerator).

*If you don't have mirin, you can substitute sake and sugar for mirin. The ratio of sake to sugar is 3 to 1. Adjust the amount of sugar to taste, depending on your preference.

This recipe makes a lot of sauce.

Marinate the salmon pieces in the teriyaki sauce for about an hour, in the fridge.

Using a griddle-style pan, cook the salmon for approximately 5 minutes each side. The exact time will depend on the thickness of the salmon piece however, I look to cook it until the teriyaki marinade has taken on a thick, dark, caramelised appearance. Right at the end of the cooking process I pour some of the remaining marinade over the salmon in the pan and let it bubble up and thicken. The salmon should be well-done but not dry.

The cooked salmon fillets will keep in the fridge for the next couple of days. I quite like the salmon for lunch with some rice, salad/s and slices of lemon. It reminds of fabulous
bento boxes we enjoyed on our travels through Japan.